Warderick Wells

We cruised to Warderick Wells Saturday as our weather began to turn windy as predicted. Again we made the run outside and beyond the 4 mile limit of the park boundary. No joy, no fish biting! Winds were beginning to ramp up as we came through the cut, but with the winds on our stern, conditions were still relatively benign for cruising. We picked up a mooring ball in the north mooring field, The north field is a narrow s-shaped basin, with enough room for a boat to swing, but frequently not enough room on one side to accommodate another vessel passing the moored vessel on the leeward side of the mooring ball! Our spot afforded Molly a great opportunity to jump off the swim platform almost onto the bar behind the boat! There was just enough room to bring the dinghy to the swim platform at low tide, but not much more! Yet the depth in the channel holds about 15 feet.

Warderick Wells is the headquarters for the Exuma Land and Sea Park, and is the hub of maintenance and administration. It also has the area’s only internet access, providing a link with the outside world. The link is doled out in 24 hour and 100MB increments at $10/day, so internet access is limited to necessities. 100 MB slips by very quickly, so access is usually focused on catching up on email and bills. Hit one or two bloated web sites, or receive an email with a huge attachment, and your 100 MB is GONE! Therein lies the reason that cruisers seem so sensitive about folks sending email forwards with those huge attachments!

Warderick Wells offers a variety of hiking choices, most of which are over rough limestone. We visited Boo Boo Hill, the cruisers’ Mecca, where mementos commemorating the cruisers’ visit are traditionally left at the top of the hill. In the past, all manner of crap served as a suitable object, but because of the accumulation of trash, the park rules now dictate that only natural materials can be used. Driftwood is the preferred material, and each cruiser’s board vies for position on the stack of lumber that marks the top of the hill! We added our piece near our cruising friends Innu’s board. It’s fun to spot mementos of other cruisers we’ve come to know over the years. The hill also offers sweeping vistas of the whole cay, and an oft-photographed view of the mooring field. No Bahamas cruising blog is complete without the view of the blog vessel moored at Warderick Wells!

We had a visitor while moored; a bananaquit would stop by frequently to check out the surroundings, and made himself at home inside the boat as well. We learned he would light on a hand to take brown sugar, and showed no hesitation in zipping through the galley to check for crumbs.

We learned that Cronulla was moored in the south field, and we joined the crew of George aboard Migration , Celebrate,aboard Cronulla Saturday evening for cocktails and appetizers. We enjoyed making introductions of family to our cruising friends and catching up with news of everyone’s cruising experiences and plans.

With the winds sustaining speeds in the 20 kt. range and temps in the low 70’s, our activities were focused on hiking rather than swimming and snorkeling. We decided to head back south with Black Point as our next destination, making a rather wet inside run, arriving at Black Point Sunday at around 1700 hrs, in time for a trip into Lorraine’s Cafe for some Bahamian fare for dinner.

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