Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park

The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park (ECLSP) has more than 100,000 acres of beaches, mangroves, reefs, and ocean. It was established in the 1950's to protect the unique marine and terrestrial ecosystems. We spent a couple of nights in the park to enjoy the beauty.

Freedom on a park mooring at Warderick Wells

Lots of beautiful hiking trails.

The trail to the famous Boo Boo Hill takes you across this shallow salt creek.

Boo Boo Hill, the highest point on Warderick Wells. Boaters have been leaving plaques with their boat names for decades.

The view back to the mooring field from Boo Boo Hill

Not far from the hill are blow holes. You can hear them "breathing". On days when the waves on the open ocean are big and the tide is high water will spray from them.

It is an incredible place, one you just need to see for yourself.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Endangered Species

We finally left the Eleuthera chain of islands and headed to the Exumas. We have been looking forward to this, lots of uninhabited islands, crystal clear water, white sand beaches and even some endangered species. Yes, our first stop was Allen's Cay. This grouping of cays and rocks is generally reffered to as Allens Cay after its largest island. These islands are humans but home to the endangered Bahamas iguana.

Signs on the beaches tell the story.

A nice, well protected anchorage.

We got the anchor down and headed to the sandy beach on Leaf Cay.

Look at the welcoming committee

Look at the distinctive tracks they make on the beach.

What a handsome dude!

Wow, they are everywhere.

We even saw a turf war.

This area is a quick day trip from Nassau so ther is a lot of boat traffic. Lots of power boats and their wake. We enjoyed our time here but it is time to move on.

A Port in the Storm

The settlement of Spanish Wells is off the northwest tip of the island of Eleuthera. The settlement is on St Georges Cay and is surrounded by Russell Island and Charles Island. The fishing fleet of Spanish Wells supplies over half the Bahamas crop of lobster. It is a great little town full of friendly people and it is a well protected port in a storm. We have been watching the possible formation of a tropical low/storm. Predictions had the time and place of the low and the accompanying squalls in varying places/time/severity. We found a great group of cruisers and decided to hang out in this protected spot for a while to wait out the weathef.

Spanish Wells

Here is Freedom on her mooring with a group of our friends

A great happy hour at the Shipyard

Wow, what a sunset!

We got a larger group together to take the 2 mile dinghy ride to the Sand Bar on Russell Island, SW of Spanish Wells proper.

Our dinghies on the beach in front of the Sand Bar.

One of the moored boats is a "kid boat". Three of the cutest kids! Well behaved and industrious.

We had a great time. We had two pot lucks including a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Luckily the low formed well northwest of the Bahamas. We got a ton of rain and one day of strong winds but nothing really out of the ordinary. We are glad we made the decision to stay. We made great friends and had a lot of fun. Most of the boats are headed north. We're marching to our own drummer and heading south.