The Land and Sea Park

Trip Start Nov 06, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Exuma Land and Sea Park

Flag of Bahamas  , Exuma,
Thursday, December 30, 2010

We rose with the sun this morning, leaving Norman’s Cay when there was sufficient light to help us see our way out - and with the swing of the tide, we were safely lifted from our resting spot on the bottom from last night.  It was a really gorgeous day today with plenty of sunshine, and we had a nice sail south to Warderick Wells Cay and the Exuma Land and Sea Park.  We had a decent enough amount of wind, so Hejira was able to easily maintain five knots but the seas were so calm, we were able to let Pepe do a bit of the work en route. It was nice to be sailing along and relaxing a bit more with just the little mechanical grunts from Pepe as he steered. 
We arrived in the southern mooring field at Warderick Wells around 1330 or so, and we tacked back and forth throughout, enjoying the ridiculously blue water and the pristine shoreline while checking out the few other boats in the field.  We decided which mooring ball would be prime (closest to the beach, not right next to any other boats), and we sailed onto the mooring.  Caleb prepared some lunch while Peter and I launched the dinghy, and after our bellies were full, we went ashore to look around.  As Peter was still fighting off his cold, he relaxed on the beach with his book while Caleb and I explored some of the trails in the park. 

The terrain varied from flat and sandy with short varieties of palms lining the way, or we would be climbing on coral that has long since been out of the water.  We wandered through one section of ruins, short walls built up with stone with conch shells scattered about, but it was hard to tell exactly what the history of the ruins were as there were no signs to indicate.  There were multiple signs indicating certain plant species, so it was fun to learn about the various things we were seeing - particularly what the poisonwood tree looks like, which causes a poison ivy-like rash, and what the antidote tree looks like. Good things to know.

We wandered several paths and found, essentially, our own private beach at the break in every path. It was pretty remarkable. I think we saw all of three people in as many hours.  After seeing multiple pristine beaches in our hike, we made our way across the island from the Exuma Bank side to the Exuma Sound side.  The difference was striking.  While on the side of the Bank, the water was relatively clear and calm in bright blues and aquamarines.  Over on the Sound, the wind and waves that had been coming for miles provided a much more blustery setting.  Plus, this side was lined with cliffs and reefs as opposed to the sandy beaches, so the waves would come crashing up.  It was pretty cool to see the difference, and Caleb and I were sort of wishing we had come this way first as we couldn’t get too far before having to turn back before sunset.  Oh well. 

The other thing we had heard about the Land and Sea Park was that it was the place to spot the native Bahamian Hutia.  Pete had seen them before when he was here with Pete and Pete last winter, and he had described them as something like a rather large gerbal.  Caleb and I spotted several, and we would confirm this - fluffy and brown with something of a rat-like tail... They aren’t quite because they’re not THAT big, but maybe more like an R.O.M.S. (Rodents Of Moderate Size).  Unfortunately...I did not have my camera with - rookie mistake.

We found Peter back on the beach and sat with him while the sun started to set.  It had been such a beautiful day, but as the sun sank the chill came back into the air - we got back to Hejira and I hopped off to grab the camera so there would be at least a couple of sunset pictures from the day.  We settled onto the boat for the evening, and enjoyed some tasty pesto prepared by Caleb. It is a really nice night with plenty of stars in the sky, and we look forward to the rest that comes with being on the safety of a mooring.

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Sally Adamson Taylor on

Isnt the color of the water unbelievable? I dont think anywhere else is as pretty at the Bahamas for water color.

Mitch Buck on

Be careful of the fruit! Most are good but watch out for poison apple!!!!

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