A first-time visit to Prime Cay.

One of the many anchorages we’ve been meaning to check out in the past is Prime Cay. We didn’t even know about it our first year, but on our second trip we read about an anchorage that is only accessible for our draft on a rising tide. Once in, you are rewarded with very nice protection, several beaches, an abundance of marine life, and some hiking. For various reasons we weren’t able to explore Prime on our second or third trip. This trip, the fourth time was going to be the charm.

We had a lovely, lazy sail from Staniel to Rudder Cut Cay where we anchored for the night. Once again, there were 14 boats anchored by the Active Captain anchorage, so we went around the corner and had the anchorage to ourselves. Go figure.

The next day we did some calculations to figure out when we could leave for Prime Cay, knowing that we were going to be navigating through some skinny water. We added a buffer but should have added more, because the trip was a bit of a pucker-fest. We didn’t find the bottom, but there were more than a few occasions where we had less than a foot under the keel. No big deal under calm conditions, but with a steady 20 knots of wind it was choppy so it was stressful. However, the color of the water was stunning, and after a tense few hours we successfully slid into the anchorage.

The shade of blue in the deeper water on our way to Prime was gorgeous…

And the varying shades of blue were also jaw dropping. The picture doesn’t do it justice.

The arrow shows the route we took to sneak into the anchorage. The depths are in meters on the chart, and we tend to stay away from anything under 1.5 at low tide just to be safe. But mid-tide gave us enough extra depth to get in and out without any issues, and the anchorage itself is deeper than charted.

We ended up staying for five nights, sometimes having the anchorage to ourselves, but never sharing it with more than one other boat. We saw plenty of turtles and rays from the cockpit, and we enjoyed snorkeling and checking out a different beach for every day we stayed – beaches we had all to ourselves.

At low tide the area next to the anchorage drained of virtually all water, creating an extremely large sand flat. We enjoyed exploring one day, looking at the small fish waiting in pockets of water for the tide to return, and doing a bit of hiking.

Looking out towards the anchorage.

The water was as warm as a bathtub in the shallows.

There was this random wall made out of coral rock on the cay. We didn’t see any signs of a former house.

After a very enjoyable stay, it was time to tear ourselves away from Prime and head back up towards Staniel. Once again we had a very nice sail – cruising the Bahamas is fantastic if you like sailing the vast majority of the time!

Wing and wing for a bit while we navigated around the shallows near Big Farmers Cay.

After dropping the anchor south of Staniel to try a new spot for one night, it was time to go back to our anchorage at Big Majors. We had an outboard being delivered on the mailboat!

White Point near Jack’s Bay on Great Guana Cay. Disappointing snorkeling, but very scenic.

8 thoughts on “A first-time visit to Prime Cay.

  1. Wow! That is definitely going on the visit list. With our minimum draft of 20″ when the keel is all the way up, we could definitely do this and other skinny areas. We have the 10′- 8″ Porta Bote too, with the 6hp Suzuki. You’ve got me dreaming of exploring, snorkeling and spear fishing. Can’t wait!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Technically we draw 4’4”, but I’d say it’s a bit over 4’6” fully loaded. Maybe a bit more. There was about 6’ – 7’ in the anchorage so there was plenty of depth. You get used to it after awhile. Now we say, “Five feet? Plenty of room!” LOL! Kimberly


      2. There are occasional negative tides here, but not much and not often. We probably should measure in an anchorage to see what our loaded draft really is. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s