Still in the park
02/12/2008, Wardrick Wells
Feb. 11... Still at the park.
Happy Birthday Carter!
Although the water here is amazing, the land is not. There are no stately palm trees that you might see in Florida, or live oaks of South Carolina and Georgia. The vegetation consists mostly of low bushes. It's thick, but nothing more that 12 feet tall. There is no topsoil. Just eroded limestone that would mean stitches if you ever lost your balance, and sand. The wind was out of the north east today at about 20 knots . Sapphire is moored in the perfect spot for anything but a west wind so we went to shore to watch the waves crash on the limestone cliffs of the Exuma Sound side of the island. About half way across the island, we began to feel salt spray in the air... we were at least 200 yards away. The waves were awesome and the blow holes way more impressive than the day before.
Later we visited some ruins of a plantation just above our anchorage... and although the place is billed as a "plantation" the foundations that remain are all about 10 by 14 so the term needs to be used loosely.
The anchorage is almost full here and no one ventured out today, partially because of the wind but the fact that is was mostly cloudy makes piloting visually almost impossible. Visual piloting is very important as there are large coral heads just beneath the surface of the water and the water can change depth very quickly. Both conditions are easier to spot if the sun is high in the sky.
More snorkeling and hiking
02/11/2008, Wardrick Wells ...Exuma Park Heaquarters
Feb. 10... Warderick Wells
In the morning I went snorkeling again (I love it) with the crew to the north of park headquarters. The current was tough at the first spot and although we again saw a lobster and some nice grouper, we didn't stay long. Back at the dinghies, we layed around in the water for an hour or so just talking. At the next spot... there were a few fish but hundreds of conch. The highlight was seeing a shark...nurse sharks are reasonably common and only get up to about 4 feet. This was something else... at about 5 or 6 feet it was spooky.
In the afternoon we all went on a hike to the far side of the island and then north to Boo Boo Hill which is the highest place on the Cay. At the top cruisers leave all types of biodegradable things with their boat name attached. We also checked out the blow holes, but they were not blowing when we were there. The holes go down into the rock and waves come up under them. In the right conditions, air shoots right up and can blow your hat off. One hiker told us she had lost her visor there that morning. They also make sounds which have led to stories about the place being haunted. It was a little easier hike ... not quite so much scary sharp limestone.
Later as the wind began to pick up we went to shore and met some of the boaters in our anchorage for snacks.
More untouchable lobster
02/11/2008, Wardrick Wells ...Exuma Park heaquarters
February 9 Warderick Wells and more lobsters
Another beautiful day... We worked on the boat for a while and then I snorkeled on some nearby coral heads with Steve, Sandra, Beth and Jim. (Kathy doesn't have any equipment) At the first spot we saw two nice lobsters and a few big Nassau Groupers. There was also a sea turtle resting among the coral. At the next area, two more lobsters and lots of fish. Although everything is protected we are getting much better at spotting lobsters under and in the rock, holes and coral. Generally all you see at first is part of their antenna. Then by changing angles you can usually get a glimpse of them hiding.
We were going to go for a walk but ended up reading on the boat in the shade. There was a potluck at the park headquarters at 5:30 so we dinghied over...(it's about a mile away).
As always we met some great new people and ran into some folks that we had crossed paths with on our trip south. There were probably about 20 boats represented so it was a good crowd.
Back at the boat we listened to the Spartans... and hope that they can break the trend and win a couple of road games.