I always wanted to be a park ranger
09 April 2009 | Exuma Park – Warderick Wells (N24*23.664 W76*41.452) to Shroud Cay (N24*23.664 W76*41.452);
Sunny, Winds ENE3-10knots, 76*;
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Traveled 18.8 nm; anchored 7.2 ft
This was one of those mornings I just didn't want to get out of bed. I finally got up about 7:45 so I could get the weather from the park, put on the coffee and had a good yawn to start the day. The bananaquits flew down into the cabin and joined us for coffee.
After weather, then checking out, we headed out at 9:30. I really like this anchorage (mooring). St. John's ranks as my favorite island, Warderick Wells ranks as my favorite anchorage. I love the varying shades of blue in this water, from deep blue to almost a white aqua, and the way they just pop against the white sand and black pitted rock. My pictures, as usual just don't do justice to the beauty here that surrounds our little boat. Funny how two of my favorite places have bananaquits. I wonder if there's a correlation?
The wind was flat and where it wasn't flat, it was against us so we motored the entire way to Shroud Cay. As we got closer, you could see a large amount of motor yachts, mega-yachts and a couple of super yachts at anchor. It looked like a convention of the rich and famous. One 110 footer called the park headquarters complaining about the swell and how they were swaying on the mooring. They wanted to pick up a different mooring and were told that the one they were on was the only one capable of holding them. Their response was "You have all of these other moorings here, why can't we just pick up one of these? The owner doesn't like the rocking here." Judy & Julie at the park tried to explain how the moorings couldn't accommodate their size/weight. They later called again saying that the owner was trapped up the north creek in the tender, because the tide went out and left them high and dry. They wanted someone to come rescue them. I found this interesting, because in every piece of literature it says to only go there around high tide. The park asked why they couldn't just wait for the tide since we were at low, low tide at the time they called, or they could have walked back and picked up the dink later... interesting conversations. The owner was definitely used to being catered too.
We saw some of the long tailed white birds soaring and doing acrobatics in the air as we pulled in to the anchorage. In Bermuda they're called Birds of Paradise, here they're called white-tailed Tropicbirds (Phaethon lepturus) or red-billed Tropicbirds (Phaethon aethereus) depending on their bill color. The ones we saw soaring above us were the red-billed variety.
After settling in on the mooring, we took the dinghy out to explore a bit. They have an honor system here to pay for the moorings. You put the money in an envelope and drop it into a box on shore. What they don't tell you is that you need to climb up some rocks to get to the box, so you realllly need to feel the honor code to do this. Wayne climbed it barefoot to get the envelope and we'll drop it off tomorrow when we go up the north creek to explore.
I've decided that rules aren't meant for the rich. Jet skiers are zooming all over the anchorage & between the boats - it's an idle speed zone here but they're going pretty fast, even in the shallows and tidal areas where the rock and coral are near the surface. We're in the park, which is a "no take" area on land or sea. These power boaters have no qualms about fishing off their boats. One power boat. a couple moorings down from us, has two people fishing off the back. Wayne says they probably catch them and throw them back. Hmmm... Still seems that they shouldn't be fishing - period. It damages the fish and from what I've seen, some never recover and die. I'd be in big trouble if I were the game warden or park ranger here. I'd probably be dead - definitely hated, probably dead though trying to enforce the rules. I wanted to go over and yell at them & Wayne said "vent about it in your blog". The park office is out of my radio range. Okay blog - I'm venting... These type people piss me off.
Saw small queen conch and milky conch, quite a few sand dollars, sponge and baby mangrove saplings in the tidal areas. This is a pretty place on first inspection. We'll have to wait until tomorrow morning to explore the mangrove areas up north creek (high tide).