07/19/2011, Next to Highborne...so far away!
We couldn't leave Highborne Cay Marina fast enough. The prices were outta this world and we were like a fish out of water among these mega yachts. Oriole Cookies were $10.00; showers, back in the boondocks and mosquito infested, were timed at 4 minutes and cost $4 each; just to name a few atrocities about this 'exclusive' privately owned marina.
This place called Allens is a breath of fresh air! Just nature, crystal clear torquoise water, flora, fauna and the reefs.
We saw the famous or infamous, depending on your outlook, iguanas with a face only a mother could love; we met a life long cruiser with her daughter and two grandsons visiting from the US, on SV Island Gal; met Harry and his crew on 'Bout Time' who sold us some conch; watched the tourists arrive on two go fast boats filled to the limit with folks checking out those ancient looking reptiles; and then explored some possible sites to snorkel when the tide goes slack three hours from now.
This is what we found...a very verdant, healthy, vibrant, shallow reef, stuffed with fish. Dudley was worried it was "Shark Thirty", which it was at 5:30pm, but it was gorgeous and I positively did not want to get out of the water.
07/18/2011, Highborne Cay Marina
We really sailed...we were hoping, wishing, praying that we would have wind and we did....but you can't believe it...on the nose...outta the south, which we were privy to, but then it went west and we were on the Bahama Bank dodging the 'bores', the reefs in funny shapes sticking out toward the west...doesn't it just figure!
We decided we would check out the marina @ Highborne Cay. It's touted as a pretty hoity toity place but we need stuff. We need provisions, desperate for veggies and fruit; we are hoping for an alternator belt; and our last in line water filter was supposed to last 6 months, with the tanks cleaned out...it's bad...need new filter. We need diesel, water and who knew...a slip.
There are only 20 slips, maybe, stacked with very big, very expensive "yachts" and they are full, but just happend to have a slip for us. We were not saavy. We tried to back in, easier to get out tomorrow...NOT...and the mosquitos.
All secured, lines, fenders, mosquito screens in place... we took off with 'sundowners in hand' each, for the exploration part of landing in a new place.
With all the mega bucks tied up in this place...Dudley says, "that's a boat with a story"...we took off and met Mike and Diana! Yamacraw started out in the Chesapeake Bay, Tilghman Island, hauling in the fish along with it's sister ships. She's 90 years old and still working. Mike and Diana have turned her into a supply boat and what a story! I would love to share more...but the bugs drove us away and them inside!
07/17/2011, Thought we were leaving Warderick today....
Wow...guess we better wait here! What a surprise!
07/16/2011, Further South...same area...Warderick still!
I really wanted to check out another reef...this one in deeper water and the tide is starting to run...slack tide is very skimpy...darn it!
We are in a very protected area...conch are thriving and prolific, lobster are as well, and this yummy...I mean healthy specimen, is getting bigger each day because he can hide and become one with his environment! Can't help seeing grouper or snapper without thinking "lunch"!
We are so grateful for the work they do here...thanks to all who make this possible @ Exuma Park!
07/16/2011, Between Narrow Water Cay and the Park Headquarters.
We got the skinny and Darcy, the park ranger, was bang on accurate about the best place to dive!
We took off after lunch at slack tide...key point! The current whips thru here at 4 kts easy.
It was a wonderful site with soft and hard corals challenging each other for space. The fish were plentiful, playful and much bigger than we've seen lately!
This was a big surprise! We've read recently that the lion fish have become a nuisance in this part of world having been brought here accidentaly it seems. They are extremely poisonous yet very exotic looking.
07/16/2011, Boo Boo Hill, Warderick Wells
First it was a haircut on the beach where Dudley lost all of his curls and locks, under the Chickee...then a hike over the craggy limestone rocks. We wended our way through the brush, across Banshee Creek and around some scrub trees, red, white and black mangrove beds all the way up to Boo Boo Hill.
The lore of Boo Boo Hill goes as follows: On a wild, stormy day many years ago a luckless schooner sank off Warderick Wells. All souls perished in the disaster. Not a single body was recovered for a Christian burial. Local people say that if you climb to the crest of the hill at the bloom of the full moon, you can hear the voices of the lost souls singing hymns. Either by the light of the sun or the glow of the moon, this trail shares with you some of the enchanment of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park.
So many did and it's nice to revisit what's so near and dear to our hearts. We have a very special bench just around the corner, but our lips are sealed on this one.