We entered Exumas Land and Sea Park at Shroud Cay (previous post) and will exit the park area once we hit Compass Cay. The park is a beautiful marine preserve, non-profit run and a “no take” zone (no fishing, conching, lobstering or spearing). On March 1st, prices changed to $40 per day for a mooring ball; $0.50 per foot to anchor (under 90 ft) and $1.00 per foot for vessels over 90 feet to anchor. Mooring balls were clearly our best choice. We joined the park association, made a donation of $200 and got 2 night’s free plus 2 additional night’s included in our donation.
Upon arriving at Wardwick Wells Cay and snuggling in on our mooring ball, the wildlife and water are amazing! There are sharks, turtles, fish, barracuda, giant bat rays that jump out of the water and lots of coral to snorkel. The beaches are pet friendly but Park rules prevented Gus from joining us on trails or inland paths so as not to disturb the wild life. The beach and sand bars are s pristine and lovely as a Caribbean post card. The mooring balls are full (constantly) and its entertaining to listen to the Park net (ch 9) where all of the “I want a ball drama” occurs. Sherry is a courteous master of ceremonies on this net and in about 30 minutes, it’s all settled…but there is a waiting list. We were lucky in getting in since we agreed to transport the mooring payments from the Host boat at Hawksbill Cay To the ranger station at Wardwick…which we think got us to the top of the wait list and on a ball the next day.
We went ashore on day 2 and hiked the famous Boo Boo Hill, and put our Take Me There “shingle” on the driftwood pile. We followed the trail down to Boo Boo Beach, then Pirate’s Lair and thru Shady Tree (all paths on the Cay) for a total hike of nearly 3 miles. It was beautiful and stimulating! Back on the boat, Brandon and David did a drift-snorkel of the coral garden and we all retired for a good night’s sleep after dark!
As of this post, winds have shifted again indicating an approaching cold front that we will prepare for (some potential squally weather). The guys will recon their campsite for tomorrow night and another “bucket list” item will be marked off the cruising sheet (camping on a deserted island).