Exuma Land and Sea Park, Day One
16 February 2011 | Hawksbill Cay Mooring Field
We decided to move today because the wind was supposed to pick up later in the day, and tomorrow be a bit stronger. We want to get a mooring ball at Warderick Wells Cay in the Exuma Park because you can get WiFi at park headquarters. It seemed too long a trip to go from Allan to Warderick Wells so we decided to come to Hawksbill Cay and pick up a mooring ball here. This is the second cay from the north end of the park and about 10 miles from Warderick Wells.
We had another nice sail, the wind moving from on the beam to pretty close hauled as the wind and our course changed. We were making over 7 knots for most of the way and covered the 23 nm trip in just over 3 and a-half hours. We are certainly appreciating how well Earendil sails. We sailed on the west side of the chain of islands, on the Exuma Bank. The winds were around 15 knots all day, but since they were from the east, the water was almost flat. I took a photo early in the day of the shadow from the main on the bottom in about 25 feet of water. It’s easy to see why this is such a popular cruising area.
Almost as soon as we finished picking up a mooring ball here a park boat came by. It costs $20 a day to be on a mooring ball and he collected our money. He also told us we could call the park on channel 09 on the VHF and get on the waiting list for Warderick Wells. That’s the other reason we wanted to come this far, we’d been told there’d be a waiting list. Hopefully since we were put on it today we’ll at least get a mooring in the field that’s about a half mile from the headquarters tomorrow. That way we can dinghy up for Internet access. We have to listen at 9 AM to find out.
Meanwhile, even though we are now very comfortable with our anchor, anchoring is still subject to the skills of those around you. At Allan two young men came in and dropped too close to us, and they dropped the anchor going down wind and down current, so when they shut off their engine the boat drifted over the anchor. That’s a no-no, so we didn’t have too much faith in their anchoring skills in general. Since they still hadn’t left we thought it prudent that we did before the wind got stronger.
Anyway, this is beautiful here. Maybe because it costs $20/night it’s pretty empty. There were no other boats when we came, and now there is just one other, and they are probably almost a half-mile from us. We took a walk and I took a few photos that are in the gallery.