Friday, December 24, 2010

Waderick Wells in the Exumas Land and Sea Park

Mr Mac in the long, thin mooring field (dark blue water) at Waderick Wells
The Exumas Land and Sea Park was established in 1958, and has been a no-take zone since the 1980s.  The ranger’s station and main mooring field is at Waderick Wells, a cool island with plenty of areas for snorkeling, hiking, and seeing hutias, indigenous rabbit-sized rodents that Anne thinks are adorable, but which her mother would hate because of their long hairless tails (Mom’s not a rodent fan).  There’s always work to be done, so we volunteered for a day again this year.  Along with another couple, we managed to pull a boat way up on the beach, take off the hardware so it could be painted, and remove the leaking gas tank by sawing off the deck.  This was actually the boat that Chris and I spent a day fixing and sprucing up last year, so it was kind of sad to see it disassembled, though we heard later on that they received a replacement tank and had it installed within a week – terrifically quick for this part of the world, where you have to wait for the mail boat to deliver stuff.  Boo Boo Hill has a cairn of driftwood on which cruisers have written or etched their names.  Chris scratched one out for Mr Mac to add to the pile.
Chris adding a "Mr Mac" plaque to the cairn on Boo Boo Hill

Ahhh, Back in the Exumas!

The water in the Exumas is just beautiful.  It’s so clear, you can literally see every blade of grass beneath you, even though the water may be more than ten feet deep.  The sand banks are brilliant, especially at night under a full moon, when they reflect the moon light and virtually glow.  The water’s still pretty warm, so although Chris wears his shorty wet suit in for snorkeling (no body fat to keep him warm), Anne’s still just wearing a bathing suit.  This picture was taken at Hawksbill Cay, a small island in the Exumas Land and Sea Park.

Berry Islands to Nassau

 We spent Thanksgiving in the Berry Islands (which is where the blue hole from our last posting was), then headed down to Nassau.  En route, we passed through a line of clouds with light showers, then it trailed us the rest of the way down.  At one point we saw two water spouts developing; one got long enough to stir up the water on the ocean surface, but both disassembled fairly quickly (yeah!).  But of course, you need rain to get a rainbow, and this one was a beauty.  You could see the entire arc, and at one end it there was a faint second rainbow.  We saw loads of cruise ships between Port Lucaya and Nassau, and there were three or four at dock in Nassau.  They’re so huge!—especially when you’re passing by on your own small boat.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Blue Hole on Hoffman’s Cay

We anchored for several days between Devil and Hoffman’s Cays.  On Hoffman’s Cay, we walked to a blue hole.  We considered going for a swim, but there’s just something a little creepy about a hole going straight down for hundreds of feet.  Besides, there wasn’t an easy way to get in or out of this one, unlike the delightful Dean’s Blue Hole on Long Island.