The Land and Sea Park
12 March 2009 | Norman’s Cay (24o36.090N, 76o49.505W) to Warderick Wells (24o23.665N, 76o37.954W)
Thursday, March 12, 2009
After coffee we waited for the Exuma Park Office to come on the air at 9am to see if we had a mooring or not. They come on the VHF (channel 9) to see which boats are vacating and which boats have intentions of coming into the park for the day. They'll take calls up to one day in advance but then you need to call back on the day to see if they have a spot for you. We heard back from them about 9:40 and raised anchor about 10:00am. I must say it was easier threading our way back out of Normans Cay at high tide than it was threading our way in at low tide. I'll take 10 feet over 6.5 feet - it definitely gives you some breathing room.
On the way out Sea Witch hailed us to see if we could relay a mooring request for them. Exuma couldn't hear them so we called and reserved a spot for them this evening after getting out into the 13 ft depths and before we got to far away from the Norman anchorage. It was a beautiful sailing day! The winds were NE to E at 15-20 with moderate NE swells and we were moving about from 5-6.5 knots the entire time. It seemed a shame to end it so quickly at 2pm as we approached Warderick Wells. I was apprehensive coming in. Looking at the charts and listening to Judy give instructions on the narrow, deep channel (that sports a strong current) to follow in to the mooring assignment left me a little queasy - especially rounding the corner and seeing boats surrounded by sand. But once we got into the channel and through the green and red markers the aqua water was visible and we had no problem getting attached to the mooring (other than my wanting to take pictures of the whale skeleton, the sand bars, islands, etc...).
It is sooo pretty here - Unbelievably so. The water is so aqua, transparent and clear with white sand bars cropping up. The small islets splashed in colors of white (sand) yellow (limestone) with greens and browns (vegetation and trees) surrounding us. As I was taking it all in, Aeolus hailed us and invited us over for a beer after we checked in.
The park office is a moderate climb up from the water. The dinghy dock rises above you out of the water at low tide so you need to climb up its wood side to get to the office. The office has a book exchange, maps, shirts, cup holders and all sorts of shells and artifacts for you to look at. I probably could have ogled all the shells and items for another hour but they close at 4pm and we got there at 3:40 so that will have to wait for another day. I think Judy is trapped there all day and felt I should let her get home. I wouldn't mind working here though - there's just something about National Parks that I just adore.
After checking in (and taking more pictures) we headed over to Aeolus and hung out there chatting with them. They're continuing southward while we will head homeward for the summer. It was kind of nice to hear that they also would like to drive up to Alaska. That's something I haven't thought about since we got Kolibrie, but now it's back in my head again. What the heck, why not? It'd be funny if one day we ran into them in Alaska. I think they're heading to Georgetown a couple of days before us but it would be nice to run into them there.
Back at the boat I made a chicken salad and salad for dinner. The bananaquits discovered us while we were sitting up top. I love those little birds. I brought out a little sugar and then discovered that this is a no-no in the park so put it away. I feel guilty for bringing it out and then giving them some, and guilty for putting it away and not feeding the little guys at the same time They keep chirping at me to feed them - I will not give in...