- Katharine Hesmer
DAY 83 | March 26, 2022
Warderick Wells, Exuma Cays, Bahamas
I'm continuing to play "catch up" on my blog from KORKZcrew's adventures in the Exuma Cays last spring. Please bear with me as there'll continue to be posts "from the past" that chronicle our journeys through early May 2022. Ron began "Round 2" of KORKZcrew's Bahamian adventures on 11.5.22. He's guest posting until I join him in the Abacos in December. You can find his blog posts beginning here. For more "real time" updates, follow me on Instagram here. I typically post current news about KORKZcrew in my Stories.
KORKZcrew is the blue dot on the map
KORKZcrew has handsome wooden floors that tend to take a beating from the salt and sand that relentlessly find their way on board. Ron will periodically treat the floors with a restorative oil solution, and with today being that day, it seemed like a good time to get out from underfoot, so Skeet and I took one for the team and went snorkeling. That's just the kind of sacrifice we're willing to make to help our captain. 😜
View from the flybridge of KORKZcrew, tied to a mooring ball in the North Mooring Field of the Exuma Cays Land & Sea Park. The North Mooring Field hosts 22 active moorings. The mooring field can accommodate vessels up to 150' in length. Mooring prices vary between $20 and $150 per night, depending on vessel size.
As fate would have it, KORKZcrew just happened to be "parked" at one of the most pristine snorkeling spots I've ever encountered. So. Much. SUFFERING. You DO, however, still need to be on your "A" game when swimming around this area, as a plethora of sea life translates into anything from harmless sea turtles to more threatening creatures like, well, this barracuda that seemed especially interested in KORKZcrew. Skeet and I were REALLY hoping this dude didn't make a hard left and start swimming straight for us. 😳 You waver between wanting to make a beeline for the swim ladder, risking calling attention to yourself, and floating "silently", hoping your hulking human self goes unnoticed. Fat chance. Literally and figuratively.
The color and clarity of the water are characteristics of the Exumas I don't think I'll ever adequately wrap my head around. You MUST experience it if at all possible, and remember — you do NOT have to have a boat to do so. There are all kinds of opportunities to visit this area and explore, whether you arrange something from Nassau, or nearby Staniel Cay for example. And ALSO remember the vast majority of charter services that can bring you here are about 20 times faster than KORKZcrew, so you're not investing half of your vacation stay in travel time.
When you check in at the park's office, you can pick up a map showing various snorkeling spots in the area. One of them includes a small sunken boat, where you can often find sea turtles swimming around.
Watching eagle rays swim by. They are so ELEGANT.
When Skeet and I were ready to return to KORKZcrew, we realized the current was working against us, so we found a shallow area and waded most of the way back. That is some seriously strong current. Once we were across from our mooring, we made our way to the boat and to our precious companion who was waiting patiently for us. And Ron.😂
While I'd LOVE to lead you to believe that Skeet can swim this fast, the video below is actually a timelapse of his favorite (and effective!) bounce-to-swim method, sped up to lessen the pain of the already too-long home movies included in this post.
Eagle rays gliding past KORKZcrew's bow
Warderick Wells also has several well-marked trails you can explore, and the park office has maps of these trails available for your use. In spite of Ron's signature mantra being "Homie don't hike", he miraculously agreed to join us for a walk to the top of Boo Boo Hill — the same spot we visited a few months ago. The panoramic views over this anchorage make it well worth the effort (and the "effort" is honestly pretty minimal. The trek isn't that challenging, even for "homie".)
Skeet, taking in the view
This afternoon we helped someone tie up to their mooring ball (the line attached to the park's mooring balls is incredibly heavy and quite the workout when you're trying to awkwardly nab it with a boat hook). We noticed the boat was from “Bikini”, and didn’t have a clue where that was. When I didn’t recognize their country-of-origin flag, I looked it up and learned they were from the Marshall Islands in the Pacific! Seeing boats from all over the world has been one of the most fun and unexpected surprises of this adventure. It sounds so obvious now that I'm "saying" it, but it really has been a colorful part of our experience.
When Ron paid for the mooring ball this morning, the nice person at the office said there’d be a happy hour on the beach today at 5. Not sure we’re going but still — what a great idea. The cruising community has consistently struck us as genuinely kind and engaging.
😳 The captain spots a very large nurse shark off the stern.
We think we are going to leave the park tomorrow and head for a place with a better signal so we can watch UNC in the NCAA's Elite 8! Priorities, right?! What a rough life. But what an exciting tournament. Skeet has kept up with every last detail, and tells us all about the latest developments when the games are televised later than we normally stay up. Which is not very late 😜. But that's ok. Makes it that much easier to start the day earlier and soak up this impeccable scenery.
Night night, Exuma Cays!
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