The Land and Sea Park is probably our favorite area of the Bahamas because of the crystal clear waters, sandy bottoms and abundance of wildlife. To this point, there wasn’t a single day we didn’t see several sharks and rays. In fact, we saw more sharks this year than ever. The Park is an eco-sanctuary where wildlife is preserved by forbidding fishing, lobstering, shelling, conching; nothing dead or alive may be removed.
Lisa and Greg on Privateer met us at Hawksbill Cay and we enjoyed hiking trails, exploring the loyalist ruins from 1785, dinghy rides, and musing over the details of a shipwreck. I was curious about what kept the water from pouring in between the wooden planks of the handmade vessel. Upon closer examination we discovered that the pieces of fabric laying around had been stuffed between the planks and had preventing the boat from sinking. We later learned that the shipwreck was from August of 2020 and held 44 Haitians. I can’t imagine traveling, during hurricane season, all the way from Haiti in that tiny vessel with 43 other people.
Best of all, we had sundowners every evening and were thrilled to see the green flash one more time! We think it was our 5th time to see the 1-2 second flash of green at the horizon where the sun sets. The Bahamian islands are the perfect place to see the green flash with the distant and flat horizon and no pollution.
On to Warderick Wells, the headquarters of the Land and Sea Park. I was a little disappointed that we were on a different mooring this year and did not see nearly as many of the graceful, large Spotted Eagle Rays as we did last year. However, the number of Nurse Sharks certainly made up for it.
Fun times at Warderick Wells included nightly happy hours, hikes, snorkeling, meeting new friends, and seeing old on…a perfect destination. Scott enjoyed using his drone to showcase the crystal clear waters and views which give the illusion of Unforgettable floating on air. Which image below is your favorite?
Cambridge Cay was our final stop in the park where we explored the trail on the north ridge of the cay and created our own path going south along with Claiborne and Mike on Karma. My backup pair of Keens fell apart leaving multiple cuts on my opposing ankle. While hiking at Warderick Wells the bottom of my favorite Keens separated and stayed attached “solely” at the toe. My shoe repairman, Captain Scott, used 5200 to re-glue the sole on one and a strap on another. Now if we could only solve the dangerous issue of rubber bottoms that have hardened and are so slippery they can’t be worn on flat surfaces, not even the non-skid decks of the boat.
While diving on the anchor Scott checked the status of our underwater equipment. For the non-boaters reading this blog this info is for you. The rudders make the boat turn to port or starboard; each is about 3’x18″. The propellers make the boat move forward or reverse; each has four blades 30″ in diameter. The fins (stabilizers) reduce the side to side roll motion of the boat while underway. The fins (one on each side of the hull) are computer controlled rotating about a center shaft and are 9 sq. ft. each. The bow thruster assists the bow in moving right or left when in close quarters maneuvering such as docking or catching a mooring; there are two blades at 12″ each. The fins and bow thruster and rudders are driven hydraulically. The propellers are turn by the engines. The zincs (cathodic anodes, or sacrificial metal) reduce the corrosion on the underwater metals such as all of the thru-hulls, rudders, shafts and propellers.
The pristine water, land and beaches of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park simply cannot be beat. Every Cay is unique and a true jewel. A shout-out to the ECLSP wardens and the RBDF officers who maintain constant patrols and surveillance of the park. Thank you for your dedication and hard working in preserving a piece of heaven on earth.