Hiking in Warderick Wells
02/11/2008, Wardrick Wells ...Exuma Park Heaquarters
February 8 Warderick Wells
We started the day, as usual, with a little boat work. At around 11, we and "Madcap" got a call from "Princess" asking if we were up for a hike and a picnic and of course we said yes. We all dinghied down to Turtle Beach for a short hike to "The Pirate's Lair" and Capture Beach. The story is that pirates used to hang out there because the anchorage is well hidden from the surrounding waters by some high cays on the south side of Warderick Wells. The lair is surrounded by cabbage palms and there is a type of grass that grows here and nowhere else in the Exumas. The theory is that the pirates carried the seeds to shore in their blankets and clothing, and thereby the grass was inadvertently planted here. On the beach there was a picnic table where we had our little picnic and there was a hammock there in case one needed a nap after lunch. We were greeted by several lizards and a mocking bird who thought we might feed them I guess, but that is prohibited in the park.
From there we walked on sharp limestone along the edge of the island. I found this difficult to walk on and began to feel strange. I had to stop several times for rest and water. It was very hot (it has been around 90 every day-I know all you Michiganders feel sorry for us) and there was no breeze to speak of. We finally found a place to get in the water and cool off and I felt much better after that. We think it could have been heat stroke, or at least a heat-related affliction. We walked back across the island beside a wall that we believe was built to keep livestock out of the plantings, though how anyone ever grew much on this rocky ground is hard to believe. We got to Beryl's Beach where the girls waited and the boys took another challenging trail back to the dinghies.
We got back to the boat and headed for the office to buy more internet time and ice. We had plans to hike to Boo Boo Hill that evening to watch the sun set, but when it was time to go we all decided we had had enough hiking for the day. We spent a quiet, restful evening on the boat.
Rebuilding the dinghy
02/07/2008, Black Point Settlement
After the weather are coffee, we pulled up the dinghy for some more patching. Yesterday I found two small places that seemed to be leaking water. We hoisted it to the foredeck and while in the upright position, I patched the two areas. Then we turned it up-side-down to ride on the foredeck for the trip to Farmer's Cay. our destination for the last few days.
When we flipped her over we found that the 4 foot strip of fabric that connects the fiberglass floor to the tube was completely detached on one side. A major problem.. and one that could have been avoided if we weren't so cheap. A new dinghy at the boat was the proper course of action.
Anyway, we were here. and some work needed to be done if we were ever going to get to shore again. The strip of fabric was still connected to the tube so we carefully rolled it back and wire brushed the side to be glued. We did the same for the section of hull that where the fabric was going to be place and then cleaned everything with solvent. We gathered as many reasonably heave items as we could find to weight things down after gluing. Finally, I mixed up a batch of West Systems, (epoxy) liberally painted both surfaces and stuck things back together. Next I covered the glued area with paper towels and put the weights on top.
After a couple of hour drying, I removed the weights, scraped off the paper and inspected our efforts. Things looked good but I found two small places where water could find its way in so I filled them with 3M 4200.
I mixed up another batch of West Systems and cut a 6 in wide strip of fiberglass matting. half of which was placed on the newly glued section of fabric the other half on the adjacent section the fiberglass bottom. When that dried, I sanded the rough pieces of matting and applied a final coat of epoxy.
By that time the day was gone so we put off our departure until tomorrow.
Good-bye to our friends...
02/07/2008, Black Point Settlement
We were going to leave today but never got around to it. After listening to the SSB we went to shore to phone Kathy's mom who has just returned home after her hip injury. At the pier there is a building, the front half of which is open on three sides with half walls. It looks like some type of concessions should be sold here but the inside is empty except for a bench on inside of all three walls.
Gathered here were a group of young men who were debating politics with some gusto as we walked by. While Kathy was on the phone I really tried to eavesdrop on their discussion.There is somewhat of a language barrier although I am beginning to do a better job of following the drift of native conversations. When speaking directly there is no problem, but when they are talking among themselves, the English language is stretched a little. One poor fool was arguing the republican line.he was outnumbered to say the least.
Back at the boat Kathy made breakfast and then we hiked to the other side of the island with Jim and Beth. There were no treasures to be found, but there was lots of trash on the eastern beaches.again mostly plastic.
Before we returned to our boats we bid the Madcap sailors a fond farewell with promises to track each other down again. Jim and Beth have been a great couple to travel with but the need to stay here in the Staniel Cay area to entertain family and friends for the next few weeks while we need to continue south to connect with Sam and Erin.. We have enjoyed their wit, charm and sense of adventure ( read sparkle in her eye) for the last few weeks and will miss them dearly.
Instead of heading to Little Farmers Cay, we spent most of the afternoon reading with a quick run into Lorraine's for a bag of ice and a final check of our email. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will move south.