The Jumentos

Over the past week we have truly been off the grid anchored in some of the most remote islands in the Bahamas.

 Kaleo under sail to the Jumentos

The Jumentos are a short chain of small rocky islands about 60 miles from Cuba at the closest point. There are few protected anchorages around these ocean-exposed islands and we became accustomed to the constant rolling motion of Kaleo being rocked back and forth in the cradle of ocean swell. Most of the time the swaying was tolerable but four times per day, when the tides changed, the motion caused a ceaseless clanging of everything shifting within the boat. Thankfully, the majority of our time was spent off the boat exploring the islands’ rugged beauty and hanging with Ted and Mili aboard their more stable, two-legged cat.

Matt on a quest for coconuts

Our anchorage in Water Cay

For what the Jumentos lack in conveniences and calm anchorages, it makes up for in rugged, untouched territory ripe for adventure. Our daily excursions had us:

  • Living resourcefully by catching and baking our food, making fresh water from the sea, burning to dispose of our trash, and keeping ourselves constantly entertained with nature and each other
  • Dingy exploring a large cave on Flamingo Cay

Coming out of Flamingo Cay Cave

  • Hiking cliffs overlooking the ocean while the gals hunted the beaches for washed-up treasures

The captain and his winged friend exploring

  • Visiting with “Maggie M”, a boat we crossed over from Marathon with, and meeting their friends on “Three Penny Opera”
  • Surveying the wreckage of a seaplane along a nearly perfect sandy crescent beach

Seaplane wreckage

  • Spearfishing where Matt speared his first fish, a Queen Triggerfish. On one trip out, Matt speared a fish that got off and hid under a rock. The injured fish quickly attracted two 5-6 foot sharks looking for an easy meal. Matt swam off deciding not to come between the sharks and the meal he had just prepared for one of them.
  • Hosting a bake-a-thon, whipping up fresh french bread, an apple crisp and vanilla ice cream
  • Enjoying Sunday boat church service, courtesy of, followed by conversation in fellowship that truly brings home the message
  • Beachcombing Water Cay for sea beans, tropical shells, and rare colors of sea glass
  • Sharing hearty meals and meaningful conversations while watching for the ever-elusive “green flash” at sunset

Our time in the Jumentos wrapped up as strong winds and sea states were forecast to move into the area by mid-week. So, we were early to bed on Wednesday night with plans for a 6:00 a.m. departure to make the 40 mile upwind battle back to Thompson Bay for Easter Weekend.

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One Response
  1. Ron says:

    Matt and Christie, I’ve enjoyed reading about your travels and admire you for taking off on such an adventure early in life. My wife and I are planning on going cruising in a few years and have been trying to narrow down the list of possible boats. Some of the boats that we are looking at have up to a 5’6″ draft. We’re planning on cruising the Bahamas and are wondering if a boat with a draft like that would be a problem. I looked at the specs for the Aloha 34 today and saw that it has 5’6″ draft. What have your experiences been like and do you see a draft like that as being a major issue? Thanks.

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