This place is absolutely stunning. We had a rolly sail over from Rock Sound, after waiting a few more days than we’d have liked for the squalls and their attendant lightening risk to pass (see the Facebook page). As you arrive at the edge of the Exumas, the water color changes suddenly from a dark sapphire blue to a bright cobalt color we haven’t seen before or since. Stunning, and apparently difficult to photograph. Sorry.
We wove our way through the cut into the Warderick mooring field, and as we came in, a pod of five eagle rays came to see what all the fuss was about. Jazz almost jumped in right there – and then again, when we broke the pennant off of our assigned mooring ball, but right at that moment a shark came to join, and some neighbors pulled up in their dinghy and helped us grab the dangling loop. Thanks SeaQuester!
Our sharky friend circled between our boat and our neighbors for most of the day, coming up right to the edge of the water by our dinghy.
We need to get better at telling sharks apart. In hindsight, it’s clearly a nurse, but to us, it looked just like the bull sharks we saw getting fed in Bimini. The lady at the park office said there are Nurse, Lemon, Reef, and Bull sharks in the area, and while nobody’s been bitten recently, we don’t want to be the ones to break the streak!
Warderick is the first place we’ve been so far that felt really social. Everyone there was some sort of cruiser, and I suppose there’s a nice sense of camaraderie to being somewhere hard to get to. (There were a few boats of day visitors who zipped in from Nassau on Sunday afternoon, but they didn’t stay long.) So we made some friends and had some company other than ourselves and the Captain, which is always nice. Not that we haven’t been in places with people, or even other cruisers (Rock Sound, e.g.). But this is probably the first we’ve felt both social and on Island Time.
But I know you’re just here for the pictures. We hiked up Boo Boo Hill, and put our little placard up alongside all the others. Apparently this is considered good luck, and that’s never something to pass up. From the top, there’s a panoramic view out across the Sound, around the island, and down to the ring of boats that makes up the anchorage.
It turns out that you can get a trickle of internet at the top of the hill, so I downloaded the latest weather forecast.
There’s a whale skeleton on the beach, a victim of one of the hurricanes we keep worrying about. So of course:
But the real draw of the park is the snorkeling. In fact, there were so many places to snorkel that we decided to stay an extra night. We saw the coral gardens south of the mooring field, and Judy’s Reef just north. Interesting soft corals, pretty fish, nudibranches, a few nurse sharks, and a very curious barracuda. Apparently they’re mostly harmless, even when they’re swimming at you: they just want to check out the visitors. But again, not something we knew at the time.
Since there’s lots of current, it’s wise to time your swims with the tides. So we were just drying off from our “last swim” when the call came out that the eagle rays had come back. So back on with the masks and fins, and we jumped in the water – and the splash startled them, so it was another few minutes before we could track them back down. Totally worth it: they really are majestic, and the patterns of spots on their backs, both spotted and marbled, look kind of like a Louis Vuitton knock-off. We’re still figuring out how the camera works, so we missed some of the better moments, but Jazz managed to get some great shots anyway.