Shroud Cay’s Sandbanks + Sunsets

Leaving our moored sailboat in our wake, we speed towards the cut between Hawksbill and Shroud Cay. We’re chasing the sunset, literally. Well, that and the ever-changing tide which when low reveals a series of sandbanks just to the south. Releasing the pressure on the throttle my nephew navigates the outskirts of the bank with the eye of a skillful mariner. My eyes however are fixated on the sand-scape that appears to reach in every direction for miles.

It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

Like a sheet shaken out in the wind, here the sand peaks and valleys. At its greatest height exposing a dune and at lowest point revealing a tidal stream that will widen with each passing minute, or so we thought. Disembarking our gently beached tender, my feet sink in to a cool bed of sand still soaked from the departing tide; the disappearing sun never really having a chance to yield her warmest rays at her highest height. With the sun to our backs, our original goal lost on us, we walk from one sandbank to the next. In little time I quickly lose count of the number of banks we’ve traveled across in less than a half hour. Peeling my eyes away from the endless splendour that lays before me I look back towards to the horizon, to a sun that is near ready to settle in to bed. I hold my breath in anticipation of seeing the green flash, but even unobstructed views and a clear night sky won’t entertain such an idea.

The sun’s final crescendo having hit, the light having fallen below the horizon, the signal for our departure is given.  It’s upon our return to the boat however that we see the tide hasn’t yet shifted. At the rear of the boat, throwing our heads back in laughter, the weight of our bodies forward, we push the boat free from the bank’s floor. Our legs wildly kicking, our toes finding a firm grip in the sand, it’s with each lift of the knee that phosphorescence light the water below.

And it’s in that moment I realize we’ve been blessed to experience nature’s magic: above, below, and in line with the ocean’s horizon.

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