March 27, 2016
We have spent now two nights at Shroud Cay with six other sailboats and an equal number of mega- or monster-yachts. The latter seem to be everywhere these days. We keep the VHF on 72 so we can talk to our friends on Bel Canto and Valinor. The monster-yachts also use the same channel, so we hear the “chauffers” and other servants conferring with one another about the small families to whom they cater, and are continually surprised at the extravagance and wealth that some people display. The servants set up tents, tables, tablecloths, silver trays filled with canapes, sandwiches, fruit, cheese, smoked fish, caviar, numerous bottles of wine chilling in shiny, elegant buckets, linen napkins, comfortable chairs set well in the shade, neat lines of swim fins, masks, towels, motorized devices for snorkeling, for jumping out of the water, huge, floating trampolines with slides, jetskis, paddleboards, so that everything that can be imagined to delight the family is ready when they are ferried to the scene in smooth-riding 500 horsepower tenders. At Hawksbill Cay, where there is a lovely long beach, there were at least three such families sitting in splendor.
On the way from Staniel Cay, where monster-yachts abound, to Hawksbill, a 200-foot, white hulled monster-yacht roared through a fleet of sailing vessels so fast that the 60-foot rooster-tail they created nearly swamped our friends on a 40-foot catarmaran. Our friends, along with a number of other sailing captains, hailed them on the radio to complain and begged him to slow down, as the monster-yacht was still plowing through a dozen much smaller, sailing vessels. The monster-yacht’s response was, “F*ck Sailboats.”
I don’t know if that captain expressed the prevailing attitude towards sailing vessels or not, since most of the servants on the monster-yachts we have encountered during our travels through the Exuma Land and Sea Park have been perfectly polite. I have heard that in parts of Florida the monster-yacht owners have managed to pass a law preventing sailboats from anchoring in waters near them, as they allegedly spoil the view.