Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Snorkelling with a Mermaid Sitting at a Grand Piano

 Posted by Christopher

We had anchored on the beautiful Rudder Cut Cay, next to a pristine island. Dad had read in our Bahamas cruising guide that there was something special waiting for us underwater, if we could find it. So naturally after anchoring, we hopped in our dinghy and began to explore.

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Rudder Cut Cay, complete with cave, white sand beach, and guard dog.

We searched near and around our boat for a little while but we couldn’t seem to find this “special surprise” that Dad had read about. Finally before heading back, we had Alexander stick his face in the water with his mask on. On his first try he couldn’t see anything, but we hadn’t quite lost hope yet. We made him stick his head back in, and sure enough, he popped up saying “Did I just see what I think I saw?”.

Did I just see what I think I saw?
The next few minutes were a blur of finding and equipping snorkel gear. As I began to get my flippers on, Alexander had already flipped backward off the boat and into the water. Katie was getting ready to jump as I fastened my mask on to my face. She had just leapt in when I went tumbling backwards off the dingy in proper diver fashion.

Backwards entry, diver style.
The light turquoise water was warm and inviting. It was cooler than the blazing sun outside, but still felt as friendly as a cup of hot chocolate during a cold winter day. When I entered I looked down instantly, to see a large concrete statue of a giant grand piano and a well detailed mermaid sitting at it. It seemed fairly bizarre, but it was large and cool. We all took turns diving down to it, and inspecting it, or attempting to make a funny pose.

The mermaid and her piano at Rudder Cut Cay.
It was in about 15 feet of water, so took some work to get down to.

It was actually quite a beautiful statue, with lots of detail, and spaces for fish to swim around in.
The statue was so intriguing that we spent a long time just snorkelling around it and diving on it, inspecting every nook and cranny. Eventually we tired of the mermaid, and heading up back to our dinghy for more exploring. My Mom and sister were too tired to keep going and we dropped them off at the boat. My Dad and brother kept me going and we dinghied over to a reef that we knew was in the area. It took a while but we found it and began to drop off again. We swam and paddled all over the spread out, complex reef, and found many a cool thing. At one point I saw a large fish that looked like a barracuda. It had an extending lower jaw with razor sharp teeth that it kept chomping on nothing in particular. Finally we were snorkelled out, and got back in the dinghy again.

Lots of great fish on this reef.

This guy played a great game of peek-a-boo in his little hidey hole.
Just as we were heading back to the boat, we saw a cool looking indent in the rocks that looked a bit like a cave. My Dad had read that this island was private.  There was a dog guarding the beach, so that no one came on, but there was a solid rock wall between the beach and the cave so we thought we were good. We landed our dinghy on the little piece of sand in the cave, and played around for a little while. Once we fully realized that there was nothing highly interesting in the cave, we got back in our dinghy and headed out, back to our boat.

The cave at Rudder Cut Cay.  Safe from the guard dogs.

After that, we played for a little while in the water, and jumped off the boat, so in the end we had a pretty awesome day.

Under no circumstances are we allowed to jump off the hard top bimini.  Ever.

Dad’s note:  I did a little research on the interweb to figure out why there was a statue of a mermaid sitting at a grand piano on the ocean floor.  It turns out, David Copperfield (the magician, not the Dickens character) owns Musha Cay, and the islands around it, including Rudder Cut Cay, where we were anchored.  He has turned it into an ultra-exclusive high end resort.  They only take a few guests at a time, and rates start at just $37,500 per night!  Yes, you read that right.  There are no extra zeros by accident.  I think that is pretty funny, since when we sailed past Musha Cay, Sara and I looked at some of the resort buildings and said “Oh, that place looks nice.  Maybe some day we should come back to the Bahamas and stay there.”

Anyway, turns out David Copperfield commissioned the sculpture of the mermaid, and had it sunk off the islands a couple of years ago, so it is not that old.

It also turns out that they take privacy for their guests pretty seriously.  From the boat, we could see a dog on the beach the whole time we were there, and later in the day, a boat came by and fed the dog, so it appears it was a permanent guard dog who lives on the beach, installed to keep the riff raff away.  There were also multiple no trespassing signs, and what looked like a solar powered security camera on the beach.  I guess for that kind of money, you don’t want smelly cruisers wandering around on your private island.


  1. Loved your post about the mermaid. We are preparing for our own sail there and this is one of the stops that we want to make I am guessing that we will not be staying at the resort for that kind of money. We will have the best room out of anyone anyway!

  2. Just found your info on the mermaid and piano. We are at Emerald Bay marina waiting on weather and plan to go look for it. Thanks for the info!
    S/V Midnight Sun II

    1. Hey Neil,
      Hope you find the mermaid, and that you are enjoying the Bahamas. We're a long way from there right now, but remember it fondly!

  3. Hi could u tell us where the snorkeling reef is located from the mermaid??

    1. I can't remember exactly. It's been 6 or 7 years since we were there. To the best of my recollection, it was a bit to the northwest. We basically just dinghied around until we saw some reef. Hope you find it!