Thursday, May 08, 2014

Warderick Wells, notice all the boats are anchored in the deep water which is darker, the light blue water is probably only about a meter deep. 
We are in Nassau, Bahamas at the moment.  We arrived yesterday after a 5 hour passage across the Great Bahama Bank, it was never more than 6 meters deep and we sailed in 3.8 to 4 meters for about 2 hours before we went across the Yellow bank where there were very nasty looking really dark spots (coral heads or rocks) peering out from the gorgeous aquamarine waters.  I stood at the front of the boat for awhile and piloted us through, my heart was in my mouth at lot of  the time because the water is so clear you can see the bottom and I had to keep asking Barry how deep it was to help me
judge whether we needed to dodge objects or not.  I guess if you sail here a lot you get used to it.
Almost at the top of Boo Boo Hill. 
We spent two more days in the Exumas Cays since the last post, one in Warderick Wells, which has
the park headquarters.  There are hiking trails all over the cay and they also have a map of the good
snorkelling sites.  We hiked up to the top of Boo Boo Hill and looked at the blow holes, no water blowing though, it wasn't rough enough I guess.  Then we headed off in the dinghy, snorkelled in mediocre coral, but gorgeous clear water,  we saw a very large fish, probably 25 pounds worth, we didn't get close enough to try and identify it. 

Being the adventurous types we headed off to some nearby beaches and explored some of the paths. Barry tried another Lange short cut, which meant walking, then swimming back to the dinghy around a point.  Once we got out to the point, we were swimming with our clothes and shoes on and we could not see the dinghy so we prudently decided to return the way we had come!
The Allen Cay Iguana, of the species, Cyclura Cyclura one of the world's most endangered lizards.

Our next stop was Allen Cay which is known for the endangered iguanas that live there.  I guess the original settlers here, Indian tribes from South America, used to eat them, but the species recovered from that. What endangered them were domestic animals introduced by white settlers, dogs and cats nearly wiped them out.  They are now protected and your movement on the beach is restricted and you are only supposed to take pictures.

While we stopped here we had to do a spot of sail repair.  There was a tear in the sail just under the first reef, the stress of the reef was just too much and the sail just parted.  It was not easy to fix, because we had to take the main sail off the track, fortunately there wasn't much wind blowing and we were at anchor, not trying to do this at sea!  Barry and I actually managed to co-operate, one of using using the hammer and awl to make holes, the other wielding the needle, at times we even worked with same needle Barry on side of the sail and me on the other, all without once impaling each other with the needle.
We are headed up to the Abacos next, another group of Bahamian islands.  We will overnight to get to our destination, all in dark blue deep water, and then hang about there looking for a weather window to get to the Chesapeake.