I mentioned in my last post that, when we were in Highbourne Cay Marina, it rained for the first time in a month. No rain during April and May is the norm here for this time of year but since we've arrived in the Bahamas that wonderful trend has gone by the wayside. The day before we finally departed Warderwick Wells, Hans had to put on his foul weather gear in order to go ashore and pay for our mooring ball.
Before all this unexpected rain we left Highbourne Cay and sailed (finally! even if we only moved at about 3 knots we were sailing) to Norman's Cay where we anchored and Hans snorkeled around a plane wreck. I gave it my best shot but there's just something totally creepy about things being under water that shouldn't be there. Once over the side of the dinghy I only had to take one peek at that wreck to know this was not happening for me. Getting back into the dinghy created a special challenge and Hans had to hoist me from behind where I ended up flopping around the floor like a landed fish. So while I sat in the dinghy and sizzled in the sun, Hans then snorkeled around and through the wreckage, and would gleefully call out, "I just went through the fuselage! You should see it!" "Wow, the wings are still attached! You should see them!" "A whole school of fish is swimming with me! You should see them!" Needless to say there was no joyous response from me and as the tide was starting to turn it was time for Hans to get back in the dinghy, and he couldn't. I ended up creating a foot hold by tying a loose line from the stern to the bow. By placing a foot on the line (which was now just under the water) Hans was able to boost himself out of the water and it was his turn to flounder around the floor. A ladder would be nice but we like to do things the hard way.
The next day we anchored at Hawksbill Cay which is rumored to be one of the prettiest islands in the Exumas and apparently rife with attractions including things like ruins, and a cave. I'd like to be able to corroborate this, but being the lazy people we are, we didn't feel like going through the whole nearly hour long 'preparing the dinghy and motor for launch' procedure and spent the day reading and drinking in the cockpit.
Which brings us to Exuma Park in Warderick Wells. We sailed (I think we were moving at around 2 knots by then but we were sailing!) into the north field with the intention of; A) buying a days worth of internet ($15.00) in order to get weather info, and; B) there's a snorkeling area there that Hans wanted to explore. Two days max, we said, and we'll be on our way.
One week later we were still there. I kid you not. Poseidon and Mother Nature got together this spring and they've been having a blast vexing the Bahamian waters. Each and every day has brought a new forecast of 'weather' due to hit, and this particular mooring field, protected from every direction, was the place to be.
We arrived on a Saturday which happens to coincide with the once weekly held scheduled cocktail hour on the beach. But don't think that schedule kept the twenty or so of us cruising boats, stuck here for all the other days, from holding our own get together every single other night. And what a perfect place to be stuck. We were all a very short dinghy ride away from shore and everyone enjoyed snorkeling in Ranger's Garden (even me, but that's because I didn't see the reef shark darting about here and there) and leaving driftwood mementos with our boat's names at BooBoo Hill.
Our driftwood offering on BooBoo Hill
Our two day plan stretched to a week when we heard forecasts of 50-60 knot winds due to hit and since Warderwick Wells is so heavily protected we stayed. Thankfully, the winds didn't reach that level but we did get gusts of 30 knots. Finally, the day after all of us cruisers were stuck on our boats (thus cancelling our Happy Hour on the beach) due to stormy weather, we all dropped our mooring lines and headed south.
And into even more weather.