Monday, April 20, 2009

In the Exumas Land and Sea Park (Updated 5:00 pm 4/20)
Click here to see our location at the Land and Sea Park.

This is the coolest place. The park is the first of its kind in the world and covers 176 square miles. It is a no-take zone by both land and sea – nothing living or dead, can be removed from the park. So, there are beautiful small beaches, good snorkeling and hiking trails. They also have moorings that we can tie up to for $20 a night which is a great deal. Here is Rick in the dingy. Notice how clear the water is. He was in about 3 feet of water and you can see the bottom very clearly.
Below is Rickshaw at the mooring ball. The colors of the water are just amazing.

Yesterday we had a day at the beach. Our buddy boats are in the south anchorage and we are in the north so we met half way at a small beach and enjoyed being together again,hanging out on the beach and doing a bit of snorkeling. It is really beautiful here.

One thing we have forgotten to mention is the make up of the Exumas. We had expected lush islands full of palm trees and large stretches of beaches. Instead, the Exumas look a bit like the Maine or Rhode Island coast. Most of the islands are built on several feet of coral. While there are some palm trees it is, for the most part, rather ‘craggy’. You wouldn’t want to go walking around on many of the island without sturdy shoes. The shores are interspersed with lovely, small, white sand beaches. Some of these beaches you can bring your dingy right up to the sand but many of them have a fair amount of rocks or coral so you anchor out a few yards and walk in. While it wasn’t what we expected, it has its own stark majestic beauty.

The other thing that we didn’t expect is the lack of shells. There are the big conch shells but virtually no other shells are available for the shell collectors amongst us. A bit of a bummer but, hey, it is the Exumas, so there is no complaining here!!

We are using our water maker on a regular basis now. It’s a reverse osmosis thing and makes about 30 gal/hour, which is good, because unlike the U.S. where water is included with the dockage fee, if you want water at the marinas here you have to pay for it. It runs about $.40 - $1.00 per gallon, so a water maker is pretty much essential equipment here.
This afternoon, after getting the blog out, we dingied over to the park headquarters where our friends were all camped out trying to post their blogs. Where they were anchored it was a bit too far for them to get the internet so they came to headquarters. Anyway, after all that was done, the plan was to hike up to what is called Boo Boo Hill. On the top of this hill, boaters have put signs with their boat names on them and the date they were there. It was a tough hike so Rick didn't try it but Colleen from Gypsies in the Palace and I did and put up the homemade Rickshaw sign. On the way we saw a blow-hole. As the tide comes in it goes through a hole in the
rocks and shoots up into the air. Very cool!
Here is the gang working on their blogs and below the pretty blow hole.
Below are all the boards that boaters have left and Colleen and me at Boo Boo Hill with the Rickshaw board.
On the beach there was a skelton of a 52 foot whale that had ingested some plastic. Throwing plastic in the water is a big no-no. Sad that this happens.
We’ll be leaving here tomorrow to go about 14 miles south, which will take us about 2 hours, as the winds will die down on Tuesday for a day or two. They they are going to pick up so then we'll find the next safe harbor. More later!