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Exuma Land and Sea Park

Welcome to Warderick Wells, home of the Bahamas Exuma Land and Sea
Park.
(Taken atop BooBoo Hill looking south)
 
What a wonderful place this is, as part of the Bahamas National Trust this
park covers over 176sq miles and was set up in 1958. Warderick Wells Cay
sits in the middle and houses the Parks HQ. There is no airstrip and no
ferry boats or power boat trippers from Nassau, no regular tourists of any
kind, it’s here solely to be for itself and the only way to get here is in your own boat,
how cool.I arrived last night after a frustrating sail here from Normans Cay. The
wind was not in a place that was useful to us and was steadily building
backing and generally getting in the way. A fantastic rain storm saw me
collect 2 gallons of water, I could have collected more but didn’t have any
additional containers. My hunter gather instincts in full effect and I saved
myself $3 to boot.

The Park runs a No Take Zone, meaning no fishing of any kind, nothing taken
onto or off the islands. I saw one notice with the motto ‘Take only photos,
leave only footprints’ which I quite liked.

There is a statement in the chart book which says ‘if you see plastic or any
other debris, pick it up and take it to the Park HQ for disposal’
Unfortunately when walking on the Atlantic side of the island today I would
have needed a large skip to pick all the plastic off the beach, so much
flotsam. It really drives home what a terrible mess we are making of this
earth when even a site protected from human habitation of any kind for
nearly the last 50years shows so many signs of human intervention.

Anyhoo, they have trails marked through the vegetation, beaches and cliffs.
I don’t mean nice leveled walks, I mean pioneering trails, the odd branch
cut off, a tree removed but generally just a mark every hundred yards or so
by a pile of rocks or spray painted on a palm. Other than that, completely
wild. Each trail connects a beach or other point of interest, I saw may
small lizards, birds and a small brown rodent I must find out the name of
tomorrow. The Atlantic side was wild and windy today, with spray blasting
off the volcanic cliff faces, but cross over the island to the west side and
your back in Paradise with wonderful white sand beaches and clear clear
water.

(BooBoo Hill Trail sign across ‘Banshee Creek)

(Across the Creek and Up the Hill, none of the other trails were this well marked)
On one of the trails I came across ‘Davis Plantation Ruins’ little more than
3 single room dry stone building ruins, some walls still sporting plaster,
dating from 1780’s with two dry stone wall traversing the island east to
west, one of which is still very much in tact and forms part of the trail.
Incredible to think that a group of settlers tried to make their fortunes on
a rock in the middle of no where.
(Murpheys Hideaway, one of many weathered holes in the rock, though this one had a ladder – Cool)Heading back to the boat I came across a Crab, big, in a rock pool eating
his dinner so I had to stop and play with him for a while, I don’t think he
was too impressed as he buggered off. Also these little shell crabs that
just tuck themselves up inside their shells when they hear you coming,
generally on the side of a hill so when they do they just roll away, very
funny.


(Many Larry Lizards on the Island)
Tomorrow I’m going snorkeling in the Coral garden here and I found atop Boo
Hill a huge amount of little home made plaques of boats that have passed
through so I want to find a little drift wood and make one for ‘Half Price’.
(Just one shot of three, there must be hundreds of these planted on top of BooBoo Hill)
(The sign says – Termite Mound, Do Not Disturb – Unfortunatly the termites have eaten it! LoL)
(One of the less well marked trails – still not the worst)They have Internet here !!! via Satellite I think and as this wind is going
to continue to blow for a day or two yet, I’ll post this blog and some pics
tomorrow. It’s cost $15 a night to moor here though and in the interests of
keeping it all lovely no anchoring is allowed, blowing the budget!

Ah well, Staniel Cay in the next few days, swimming pigs, Thunderball
grotto, Laundry! (bliss) and if I make it by Sat (which I wont) Rock and Roll band at the
Yacht club! This is livin ;o)

L x.

June 30, 2007 at 05:01
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