Exuma Park

We arrived at Warderick Wells in the Exuma Land and Sea Park on Thursday after 3 long but pleasant days of sailing.  Leaving our slip at Orchid Bay marina was probably the most stressful part of the trip.  By Monday afternoon, the wind subsided a bit and moved further north making our exit possible.  I was really nervous about getting out of the slip as we had a sportfisher next to us with his bow sticking out about 10 feet past the end of the slip.  With help from our friends on Mojito holding our lines, we got out without any problems.

It was a motor-sail down to Lynard Cay at the southern end of the Abacos.  We settled into the anchorage and enjoyed a quiet night.  We awoke before dawn on Tuesday to make the passage to Eleuthera.  The trip was also a motor sail as the wind was behind us and light.  The seas were choppy but manageable.  We had a spectacular view of the sunrise behind Lady of Lorien.  We bypassed Royal Island and headed straight for Current Cut; a narrow passage between land with fierce currents and rocks close by.  The anchorage on the other side was peaceful and quiet.

Lady of Lorien and Naiad at sunrise

Wednesday morning, we left after sunrise for the trip to the south end of Eleuthera. 

Eleuthera

The wind was behind us and light so we pulled out the spinnaker and enjoyed a fun sail until the wind picked up and began to overpower the sails.  Midday, a whole fleet of dolphins joined us and swam in front of us for a long time.  I took so many pictures as they swam under our bow having a great time.  One dolphin swam directly under the bow for the longest time and kept spinning around and showing me his belly!  I took some videos but they’re too big to upload with our limited wifi service.  It was amazing!

Flying the spinnaker
Our dolphin escort
Dolphin under our bow

While off the coast of Eleuthera I turned our Bahamian cell phone on to see if there was a signal.  Up pops a symbol showing that I had a message.  Who called me??  Well, first I had to figure out how to retrieve messages.  After a 4-way conversation on the VHF among the boats traveling with us, I figured it out.  Naturally, the message was from my mother.  She heard on the news about an earthquake in Haiti that could cause a tsunami and wanted to know if we were okay!  Haiti is a long way from us and tsunamis result from earthquakes under the sea, not land.  Anyway, we did hear later that a tsunami did occur after the earthquake–registering at 3 inches!

We were very sad to hear the news later about the devastation on Haiti.  We visited there once on a cruise and it’s such a poor country with no infrastructure.  I hope the outside world can help them recover and make their country more stable.

We stayed one night at Cape Eleuthera marina where we could top off fuel and water tanks.  Mike and Angie caught 2 fish (a spanish mackerel and a small tuna) and made us a lovely dinner of Thai fish.  We topped off the evening  with a rousing round of Farkle with Joe winning both games (see, Joe…everyone now knows you were the Farkle king for one night!)

The last leg of our trip was short (about 30 miles) across open waters.  It was a bit sloppy with short chop and the wind behind us (again!)   We tried to sail with our new preventer on the mainsail but the wind was too shifty.  Arriving in the north anchorage of Exuma Park was like coming home.  We were given the mooring ball at the end of the anchorage and managed to pick it up on the first try!

The Exumas

The park office is under new management this year.  It’s a little different than last year.  We can’t sign up for wifi using Paypal–we have to go into the office and buy 1-day access passwords.  That’s a pain (in this day and age) but wifi access becomes less important in such a beautiful place with so much to see and do.

Joe celebrated our arrival by inviting us over for delicious home-made pizza.  After we stuffed ourselves, we started to fade as the past days of travelling caught up with us.  We managed to find our boat (it’s very dark!) and turned in early.

I took Bailey for a nice beach run yesterday.  We had to dodge about 8 kiteboarders screaming across the waters.  Those guys were having a great time!  After lunch, we walked to the top of Boo Boo hill to see if our sign was still there.  Skip’s knee was bothering him so he stayed on the boat.  Alas, our sign was still there but the lettering faded away.  Guess I’ll have to make a new one!

Remains of our sign on Boo Boo hill

At the weekly evening get-together and bonfire on the beach we met lots of cruisers–people from all over the world.  We plan to stay here a while…until the need for water, food or laundry takes priority.  After a few blowy days the weather will calm down for all of next week.  I can’t wait to go swimming and snorkeling!

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