01 January 2007 | Emerald Rock
We joined what seemed to be everyone on, or anchored near, Normans Cay for a bon fire last night. It was a nice relaxed get together. We met some interesting folks with places on the island and listened to their tales of the days of Lehder and the Cocaine operation. It was strange hanging out with non boat people! It seems that a lot of folks have plans for developing the area but things seem to be moving at a Bahamas pace.
We got up early on New Years day. I think we all hit the hay at around 10PM the night before, late for us. When you're on a boat daylight runs your schedule. You tend to get up with the sun, if not a bit before, and crash out not too long after sunset.
Our next destination was Warderick Wells, the island that is host to the Exuma Land and Sea Park headquarters. It is only about 20 miles to Warderick from Normans. Unfortunately most of the trip the wind was right on the nose so we motored the entire way and didn't even bother to raise the sails. It took about three hours on the banks to get to our anchorage at Emerald rock.
The two principal place to anchor at Warderick are on the North by the Ranger Station and on the West by Emerald rock. We chose Emerald Rock because it is out of the way, fully protected from the east wind and has no current. They have put out mooring buoys in both locations now and you are not allowed to anchor if there is a mooring at hand. If you draft over 6 feet or more you can drop the hook outside of the mooring field at Emerald Rock, however the bottom slopes so gradually you will find yourself a few miles from shore.
We chickened out around the fist few mornings after seeing numbers starting with 5 on the depth gauge. Garret and I ran around with the dinghy and a lead line to see how close in we could get to one of the beaches and it turns out that the entire area is pretty much six feet at low water. So we untied the big boat and crept up to the mooring right off of Rendezvous Beach. There was a big motor yacht a mile out on the outer moorings and Eyran another mile past them on anchor. Pretty private.
Everyone seemed pretty happy with our new digs. It was a lot more in line with expectations I think. Perfectly clear and calm water, light breeze and beautiful scenery, just like the brochure. The kids dove off of the boat, played in the water, paddled around in the kayak and generally had a great time. In retrospect I can say that Warderick Wells is one of the most beautiful anchorages we have seen to date.