~ Sugar Beach Caves ~ | An Endless Honeymoon
Biking to the Sugar Beach Caves
After a healthy breakfast, we bundled our beach attire and bikes into
the dink, leaving barely enough room for ourselves, and departed for our landing by the bridge. Wally, our
coconut cutting counselor highly recommended making the journey to the Sugar Beach Caves at the northern end of the island. A rather
hilly region, he’d encouraged us to rent a golf cart from the ‘Happy People’ at the edge
of the marina. But the fee was steeper than the trek, so we opted to get there under our own
steam. We cruisers are such cheapskates! But rest assured our entire budget would be spent within the country,
we just wanted to stretch it as thin as possible while we lingered as long as we were able.
Peddling up each bluff
in the heat of a cloudless morning was quite a workout, but
it was good to be physically
moving again and there was really no particular hurry. The
roadside scenery was charming. The town of Great Harbour was allotted to the non-native residences;
elegant estates, second homes, and vacation chateaus lined the street. I began to consider the ordeal it must
have been to build these mansions in such a remote place. With no nearby lumber store, every box of nails,
every bag of concrete, every bucket of paint had to be shipped in, undoubtedly wrapped in heavy government
Each allotment had a plaque affixed to the entry gate, stating the manor’s
name; Palm Cove, Sunshine Villa, Seaside Heaven. I smiled to myself, knowing that we had yet another thing in
common with the privileged few. Like the multi-propertied wealthy, our ‘home’ was christened as well
- Re Metau.
| ~ Don's Sensuous Look ~
Just when we were facing yet another exhausting hill, we were saved by a sign indicating
we’d arrived at the ‘Sugar Beach Caves’. It’d been taxing peddling these rusty wheels
up the hills, but pushing them across the sandy path was even more strenuous. Noting that there was
not another living biped to be seen, we quickly dumped the bikes by a sign post, kicked off the flip-flops,
and slogged the rest of the way through the deep, fine sand.
We arrived to the most romantic, breathtaking vista I’d ever had
the pleasure to behold. The beach of soft, sugary, snow white sand was framed by spectacular, steep cliff
walls on one edge, and beautiful, shimmering, calm turquoise water on the other. Cool caverns and shallow
grottos penetrated the bedrock, which jutted into and out of the azure sea.
A little less than
four years before, Don and I were married on Re Metau while docked in Tarpon Springs. In the cockpit, we exchanged
vows to a setting sun, and sealed them with a kiss under a full moon. Later that night we
had a feast with visiting family, and joked about sailing to Honeymoon Island to consummate the affair. But the night of celebration and revelry brought nausea and lethargy the following
morning, so plans were put aside. Besides, our life was already so infused with enchanting mystery,
blissful rapture, poetic scenery, and whimsical adventure. From what had we to take a vacation?
| ~ Sugar Beach ~ Caves
Racing the Rain
On that beach, in that gloriously secluded setting of warm, gentle waves
lapping a glistening shore embraced by shaded coves of lofty palisades; it was truly a perfect honeymoon
setting of which there was no rival. We spent several delirious hours being proper newlyweds, frolicking
in the gentle surf, dancing in the sun, napping on the sand. We remained the only two souls in this Eden
and time had no meaning in our joyous ecstasy. Though I never wanted to leave, black clouds
gathering in the distance popped our bubble of bliss.
Re Metau’s ports were all open to keep it cool below decks
and if the rain reached her before we did, we’d have to spend the night in
damp sheets. A cooling, light sprinkle and a predominately downhill run made the
trek back much quicker. We managed to skirt the deluge by mere moments.
With battened hatches, the shower was soon seen as liquid sunshine. It was
good to rinse off the abundance of sand and salt that had accumulated on everything – our
boat, our bikes, our clothes, and our skin. And perhaps my salt-sullied herb planter would recuperate
with a thorough fresh-water dousing. I had a nice crop of lettuce, cilantro, and
basil growing in a hanging planter, but the weather we’d sailed in while crossing
the Great Bahama Banks brought waves over our bow, and having gotten splashed, my sprouts
were looking rather sea sick.
~ Diana in the Surf ~
A Joy Bath
We decided to take advantage of the abundance of
heaven-sent fresh water by taking what we cruisers call a ‘Joy Bath’.
This method of bathing occurs alfresco, using Joy dish washing liquid, the only
readily available soap that suds in cold, salt water. After Re Metau’s decks
were thoroughly rinsed, we filled buckets from the river running down the gunwale.
Then we stripped down in the cockpit, and scrubbed each other vigorously. It’s
no wonder people didn’t want cruisers anchored within view. We must have looked
like lunatics! But it felt so good to be really clean again, to have the luxury of rinsing
with gallons of fresh, cool water - all for free!
Weather forecasts indicated a coming front that was not favorable for us to continue
on to our next destination, so we decided to stay put for a bit. Squeaky-clean skin,
safe in a harbor, snug in our little ship, and no schedule to obey - we’d
never felt such perfect freedom. We were able to be fully present to whatever the
moment brought, to appreciate the simple pleasures of cooking a meal, playing a
game, watching the moon rise. There was still so much ahead of us, both on this
little cay and beyond. And there would always be the never ending glow of our Sugar
Beach Caves honeymoon.