Sunday, April 2, 2017

Warderick Wells Redux

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

We weren't in any rush this morning, because we had to wait for the 9:00 am radio net from the Exuma Park headquarters to see if we had a mooring ball free up for us.  No point in leaving unless we have someplace to go!

And the news was "No".  Only one boat left the park moorings, and there were others in line ahead of us.  So it looked like we'd have to stay anchored here at O'Brien's Cay another day.  Not the best spot in a blow, but we could move a little south to the better protected Cambridge Cay if it came to that.  So we settled in for a lazy day.

Two hours later at 11:00 am, the park called us on the VHF and said that they had had a mooring ball open up, and wanted to know if we still wanted it!  We quickly accepted and went into "secure the boat for traveling" mode.

The trip up to Warderick Wells was an easy 15 miles.  The winds were light and variable, so we motored. 

Two and a half hours later, we once again turned into the crazy narrow mooring field that is Warderick Wells.  The field is roughly shaped like a distorted capital "J", and this time we were all the way at the end of the hook on the "J", at the next to the last mooring.

On the way in, we passed our friends from Georgetown, Steve and Natasha on "Turning Points", just a few moorings away.  We got to talk to them briefly, but they were heading out the next day to pick up a visitor who was coming in to Staniel Cay.

The winds weren't supposed to kick up until tomorrow (Thursday) night, and the weather was sunny and fine, and it was close to high slack tide, so we once again got out our snorkel gear and went snorkeling on the "Ranger's Coral Garden".    Joan had the underwater still camera, but I had forgotten to recharge the GoPro.

And it was a great dive!  Fish, Rays, and even turtles! We finally figured out how to properly setup the underwater camera for the best exposures.
Butterfly Fish
Adult Stoplight Parrotfish
Needlenose Fish
Eagle Ray
Green Turtle
Another Eagle Ray
Afterwards, we met Doug and Debbie on s/v Sundowner, who took the next mooring ball up from us. Several other couples joined us, and it developed into a regular party!

Thursday March 23, 2017

The next morning, the low-slack tide was at 9:30 am, so we got up in time for it.  Joan got some great shots of a mature Stoplight Parrotfish. I had the GoPro all charged up, and I got some good  footage, although I'll have to edit it down to the good parts.  Unfortunately, video seems really slow to load on this blog, so it'll have to wait for another time.  I'll just be content with some stills from it.
Joan's new wallpaper on her laptop!

Parrotfish eating coral

Still from GoPro mounted on mask
 We went back to the boat and were lazy and read for the rest of the afternoon.

In the late afternoon, we had Doug and Debbie, from s/v Sundowner, and Mike and Linda, from s/v Fairwinds, over for snacks and drinks.

As predicted, the winds shifted to the North West and started to pipe up in the late afternoon, and by evening they were blowing good.  We saw gusts up to 38 knots. Storms rolled through in the evening, but stayed north of us, the distant unheard lightning outlining the storm clouds on the horizon in a flickering strobeing light. 

Friday March 24, 2017

Blew hard all day.  Too rough and unpleasant for a dinghy ride, so we stayed aboard and read.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Still blowing, but  starting to calm down.  Looking ahead at the sea state forecast, we decided to stay one more day to give things a chance to calm down after the winds abated. We stayed aboard for most of the day, but got ashore at 5:00 pm for the weekly cruisers sundowners at the pavilion on the beach.
Weekly Cruisers GetTogether
Sunday, March 26, 2017

Went ashore in the morning to settle up our bill with the park, then put the outboard AND the dinghy up on deck.  That evening, our friends from s/v Sundowner gave us a lift in their dinghy over to drinks & snacks aboard s/v Fairwinds.  This is a 41 ft Lord Nelson double-ender, and it is built to cross oceans.  Everything on it is oversize!  And tons of bronze and teak everywhere.  A beautiful boat.
Mike & Doug aboard s/v Fairwinds
Debbie, Linda, Joan...

and Riley!

Tomorrow morning we will head up to Highbourn Cay to get fuel and water, and then anchor overnight before departing the Exumas and beginning the long run back to New Providence Island.

As we began to prepare for the trip tomorrow, I found my spare glasses!

Life is good.

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