Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Warderick Wells Cay

Wow, Warderick Wells is really spectacular, and a great choice for the park headquarters location.  There is a small staff that lives on the island, presumably in shifts, and other than their accommodations, a generator house, and the park office, there are no facilities at all.  They do, however, offer wifi in slow, paid chunks of 100MB.  It quickly became evident how spoiled we have all become expecting unlimited internet.  We were not connected for more than 15 minutes and 30MB was already gone from our first card.  A single load of the NY Times web site is 3-5MB!  But enough of technology.  That's not what this place is about.... it is about wonderful beaches, well marked hiking trails, interesting terrain, a multitude of snorkeling opportunities, fish galore, and just a spectacularly beautiful setting.

Warderick Wells Park Office and Staff Residence

Warderick Wells North Mooring Field

Over the course of our stay we saw countless varieties of coral, 4 giant rays, a smaller ray,  a barracuda, a trumpet fish, three nurse sharks, a school of about 30 yellow tail snappers hanging out under our boat, and a zillions different small fish.  On shore is an amazing field of coral with dozens of pockets that collect rain water, and give the Cay it's name.

Nurse Shark circling our boat

Aside from the park buildings, the only sign of humans is the heap of boat signs up on Boo Boo hill.  Apparently it's tradition for visiting cruisers to leave behind a piece of drift wood inscribed with their boat name.  I took a walk up the hill to see this, and to see if I could find plaques from any of the people we know who have been through in the past year or so.

Boat plaques left by cruisers

More plaques piled high and deep

But I have to admit to being a bit put off by the whole thing once I saw it.  The only signs that are visible and legible are those from the past 3-6 months, and even that's pushing it.  Everything else is buried and/or faded beyond recognition.  It struck me as more of a junk heap than any kind of memorial, and I couldn't bring myself to contribute to it.

But once up on the hill, there are some great views back down over the cove.  Keep in mind that this "hill" is probably a grand total of 50' above sea level, but for the Bahamas, that's a lot.

North mooring field and cove

North tip of Warderick Wells Cay

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