Warderick Wells, the HQ Cay of ECLSP is indescribably beautiful, especially the north mooring field which contains 22 of the cay’s 53 moorings. Moorings are priced based on boat size ($20 for us) and assigned on a call in basis for the next or current day. We scored #9, a very short ride to the office and beach, with its own wreck to dive on. Sure, give the newbies the spooky mooring. Some years ago a boat caught on fire while the owners were enjoying dinner on another boat. It sank and the hull is visible in 12’ of water. Russ checked it out after one of our snorkel outings and sure enough, many pretty fishies called it “home”.
We climbed Boo Boo Hill the first afternoon; the cay’s highest spot and THE place to leave a piece of driftwood with your boat name on it. Although the pile looks like a heap of wood, upon closer inspection you see creative calling cards made from driftwood. We’ll add ours next time from driftwood obtained outside the park. “Take only pictures, leave only footprints” is the park’s message. Oh, it has plenty of guidelines and rules too. Again we did this at low tide and to our benefit for once as Jasper Creek is more easily crossed when nearly dry.
At headquarters you can get books, a 1 for 1 exchange, rent a DVD for $2, buy T-shirts and trinkets and cough up $10 for 24 hrs of wi-fi that once you are able to log on, works decently. Don’t go too crazy or you’ll use up your allotted megabytes and if that comes before the 24 hours, you are SOL. Tues we hiked the Causeway and Hutia (who-tia) trails. The Causeway trail takes you along the creek (high tide this time), over a small bridge then up and over to the cliffs on the eastern shore. The great majority of bights, harbors and good anchorages exist on the western (Exuma Banks) side of the cays, which is a beneficial in the typical prevailing east winds. The trails are not like what you’d find at home, they are rocky, hole-y and often with huge deep holes (wells). The Bahamas are basically Tertiary limestone, which is limestone that was laid down as windblown deposits approximately 1 to 2 million yrs ago. No other type of rock exists in The Bahamas.
After hitting a couple snorkel spots where we identified Nassau Grouper, Triggerfish and Needlefish, plus many more that were colorful and not in our book, baking was on the agenda. How to best use our 3 remaining eggs? Decided to bake coconut bread- this is a yummy loaf bread, not a yeast one, and bran muffins – which would mean plenty of breakfast food until we could get more eggs. Our friends on Polar Pacer came in to the south field and we hoped to see them before we headed off to Staniel Cay.