January 25, 2007 - Warderick Wells, Bahamas
This morning there was no work to be had, so I came back to the boat to work on magic tricks with Laura and write a little more on the cruising novel. The wind has picked up out of the south and it just could be a nice afternoon for a hike.
Title Photo: Laura and Iguanas on the beach at Allen's Cay. Also: (1) Annie snorkeling yesterday near Emerald Rock. (2) Hiking today with Boo Boo Hill in the background. This section has floating trail markers for obvious reasons.
January 27, 2007 - Warderick Wells, Bahamas
Laura and I made new boat signs to hang up on Boo Boo Hill, but Laura liked hers so much that she decided to keep it here on the boat. Today after work Laura and I hiked up and hung the one I had made, then took turns having our hats blown off at the Blowhole nearby. With some brisk east winds, the Blowholes (small solution tubes up from an overhung bluff where the waves crash in and force the air upward) are really blowing. Tonight was the weekly Saturday night cocktail party on the beach, and Laura seemed to have a great time mingling with all the adults. Ken from Oz brought me a can of Coca-Cola, since I had admitted to craving one today at work. Ken and I spent all day grinding and sanding on one of the park's boats, really messy work, after putting some fiberglass patches on yesterday. I think we're both looking forward to a day off work tomorrow.
January 28, 2007 - Warderick Wells, Bahamas
Photo: Pirates such as Blackbeard really did relax here at the Pirate's Lair near the South Anchorage, which was a perfect place to hide their ships while watching for shipping bound for Nassau. Today you can still anchor there, but the park plans to install two more mooring balls and prohibit anchoring soon. Blackbeard probably wouldn't pay for his mooring, anyway.
January 29, 2007 - Warderick Wells, Bahamas
If we get an early enough start tomorrow, our next stop will probably be Black Point. It's been three weeks since we did laundry in Bimini and grinding fiberglass all day does get the clothes dirty.
Photos:(1) Our new sign on Boo Boo Hill is in a very prominent location. (2) Hiking yesterday towards the South Anchorage. (3) Laura had up to six bananaquits at once on her hand today. These birds evidently have not heard of the Atkins diet.
January 30, 2007 - Black Point, Bahamas
Photos:(1) My feeble writing skills are no match for Laura's artistic talent. She painted this one (with a little help from the nice artist-in-residence from Sea Otter) while waiting in the Black Point laundry mat. (2) View of the Black Point Anchorage from the window of the laundry.
January 31, 2007 - Staniel Cay, Bahamas
We did a quick snorkeling trip, confirming that Thunderball is an amazing place. Swimming towards the entrance, you are met by a hundred Sergeant Majors coming right towards you, hoping for a handout. There are several entrances to the cave, and it's fun to swim through from one to another. For the second time on this cruise, I started wishing I had a kayak, because that would be an ideal craft to take into the cave at low tide to do photography.
Photos:(1) Annie and Laura snorkel towards the entrance of Thunderball Cave. (2) There are always lots of friendly nurse sharks and gigantic rays around the docks at the Staniel Cay Yacht Club.
February 2, 2007 - Chicken (Fowl) Cay, Bahamas
Photos:(1) The brown razorbacks are cute, but just too dangerous (or maybe just a bit pompous). (2) The pink pigs seem to be a little more laid-back.
Today we motored north a few miles to the Rocky Dundas, small cays just inside the southern boundary of the Exuma Land and Sea Park. Last year we dinghied over from Cambridge Cay, a distance of about two miles, to get to the Dundas, but this year we anchored much closer in a horse-shoe shaped lagoon off Chicken (Fowl) Cay. It's a fine anchorage for the forecast winds and we have it all to ourselves, but it would be terrible in a northeast wind when the waves and swell from Exuma Sound would come crashing in.
Once anchored, we wasted no time in getting in the dinghy for a trip to the caves at the Rocky Dundas. Since it was low tide we were able to drive the dinghy right into the southern cave, which is mostly dry once you get inside. The cave is basically a single large room, fifty by a hundred feet long, lit by skylights in the ceiling. The northern cave, also lit by a big skylight, is a bit smaller and has no dry land aside from a couple of small ledges. The snorkeling outside the caves is good, with lots of fish and a beautiful piece of yellow elkhorn coral. Afterwards we dinghied over to the north end of Compass Cay, looking for something called Rachel's Bubble bath, but didn't find it.
Photos:(1) The "dock" in the southern Rocky Dundas Cave from ledge at front of cavern. (2) The southern cave from ledge at rear. I didn't take any photos of the northern cave due to lack of a good dinghy dock inside.
February 4, 2007 - Warderick Wells
Photo: Lots of kids, including those from Spoony, Rio Dulce, and Grace, joined Laura in roasting marshmellows at the Saturday night happy hour at Exuma Park.
February 7, 2007 - Staniel Cay
Today we motorsailed back down to Staniel Cay, where we tanked up with diesel for the boat (21 gallons), gas for the dinghy, and topped off the water tanks. We've been using the watermaker on a daily basis but still haven't kept up with consumption, especially since after a full day of work I really look forward to a shower. This morning we talked to Endaxi, Second Wind, and Drifter, all of whom were back in Florida, on the SSB, which was fun.
My goal for tomorrow is to get my Nikon (and maybe the video camera) back into Thunderball Cave in attempt to catch the really great photo I know is lurking there.