The anchorages on Central Exumas:
Chicken Cay Overview
Chicken Cay is a small camel-shaped bank situated in the Central Exumas just south of The Rocky Dundas. It is mostly used as a starting point for the exploration of the nearby reefs and The Rocky Dundas, a popular tourist spot in the central region of The Bahamas. The banks to its east and southeast ends are well-known for conch.
Chicken Cay is heavily bounded by shallow sandbanks, which can make anchoring slightly difficult. But it does offer excellent cover from the south. Anchorage is possible off its northside where the banks allow good holding.
Note – Chicken Cay is also known as Fowl Cay. However, to distinguish the cay from that found between Sampson Cay and Staniel Cay (further south), it is christened as Chicken Cay. However, on the charts, you will still see it mentioned as Fowl Cay. For information about the other Fowl Cay, refer to the island page with that name on our website.
Navigation and Anchoring
You can enter the cay from the eastern end of Conch Cut, past The Rocky Dundas. From the north, head east via the Conch Cut Channel and pass the south of The Rocky Dundas. Avoid the 6-foot shallows near this channel.
Sailing from the south will be challenging as visibility is thin. You may need to pass the sandbank to the west of The Rocky Dundas. In case visibility is zero, head north towards Conch Cut. Low tides abound so exercise caution.
Anchoring suggestion is 8-12 feet on the sandy bed off the north side of Chicken Cay. This bight is the safest anchorage near the island. Caution is recommended to avoid the stray coral head around the cay as well as The Rocky Dundas. When navigating off the anchorage, keep a 50-yard distance between the channel that cuts from the shore of Chicken Cay, especially if your boat’s draft is more than 5 feet.
Chicken Cay allows good anchorage off the northern tip which provides excellent cover from the south. However, do note that large boats with heavy drafts need to be navigated with caution as the sandy bed is pretty shallow on all sides. We recommend anchoring on the north shore. If you anticipate gale from the southeast or west, avoid it and head to the mid-southern end of Compass Cay.
Pro Tip – Approach and anchor at Chicken Cay only during calm waters. Its banks are unreliable with strong currents and rocks appearing out of nowhere.
Chicken Cay is a private island and visits are by invitation only.