Exuma Cays Park

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Entering the southern bay

The southern bay at Warderick Wells is one of the most picturesque areas in the Exuma Cays Park. There are only 4 mooring buoys here on the west side of the bay. We anchored here for two nights to shelter from a cold front with high winds before moving to a mooring on the north side near the park HQ.

Dream On in the south mooring field

Once the cold front had passed through, the seas became calm again, the clouds dispersed and the sun appeared.

Turtle Beach looking out over the Bahama Banks

The beaches are pristine and the colour of the sea really is shades of turquoise blue. This part of the island was once the base for pirate ships which could enter the southern bay and hide out of sight from ships in the Exuma Sound. One of the park trails leads to Pirate's Lair which has a natural cistern in the limestone bedrock.

Sundown from Turtle Beach

Entrance to north mooring field

There are 21 mooring buoys in this area all located in a narrow tidal channel between sandbars. Lemon sharks and eagle rays patrol the channel.

Exuma Cays Park HQ

Dream On in foreground. Park HQ on the left and staff quarters on the right.

Dream On and Breathless on their moorings

Photo taken from Park HQ. Note sand bar separating the two mooring channels.

Bananaquits feeding on the terrace at Park HQ

Also known as the Bahama honeycreeper, these very friendly little birds will gather on the terrace outside the park office for their daily ration of sugar. Boats moored close to the HQ have had these visitors onboard.

Bananaquits

Bananaquit

If you inadvertently put out your hand as you gesture, you are likely to have one of these friendly birds land to check out whether you have any sugar to offer.

Brown Racer Snake

This snake is common in the Exumas. It is non-poisonous and lives on lizards and insects. This example was seen crossing the path leading to park HQ. It was about 3 foot in length.

Brown Dog Beach

This beach is on the southern shore of the small unnamed island on which Park HQ is situated. This island is separated from the main Warderick Wells by a shallow mangrove tidal channel. It can be reached by following Julie's trail.

Looking at the western shore of Wardrick Wells

Sharp coral with teeth

Helmet Shell Cove

This beach is on Exuma Sound, on the eastern shore of Warderick Wells.

Emerald Beach

This beautiful beach is on the western shore of Warderick Wells, looking out over the Bahamas Bank.

North mooring field at low tide

North mooring field showing sandbar

Yachts Reflection and GeWil with Dream On at far right.

GeWil and Dream On

The beginning of James' Trail

James' trail starts at Emerald Bay and crosses the island to Bullion Beach. Trails are named after volunteers who helped create them.

James' trail on eastern shore

Bullion Beach on Exuma Sound

This side of the island is mostly rocky and is exposed to the Atlantic.

Shaggy Dog Trail to Boo Boo Hill

The area between the two islands fills with water at high tide.

Trail up to Boo Boo Hill

Limestone full of crevasses and holes. Near the top there are a number of blow holes in the limestone. Air is forced through these by waves surging through the sea caves below. This results in a sound (Boo, boo) which legend claims is the voice of ghosts of those who died in a shipwreck.

Boo Boo Hill

The rule of the park is: Take only pictures and memories, leave only footprints in the sand. The cairn at the top of Boo Boo Hill is the one exception. There is a tradition that passing cruisers leave a memento of their visit on driftwood.

Chill at mooring in the north mooring field

Larry's Lush Garden

Larry is a volunteer who has been working at the park for two years. He has started a garden which is now producing tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuces, onions, squash, peppers and cabbage.

The garden has to be enclosed with netting to keep out the bananaquits, who are always on the lookout for anything sweet. The lower part of the fencing is wired to keep out the hutias. These nocturnal rodents, the size of a guinea pig, are the only land mammal native to the Bahamas. They were reintroduced in 1966 in an effort to save the species. Since then the population has grown tremendously as they have no natural preditor on the island.

Judy and Tom

Judy is the organised voice of Exuma Cays Park on Channel 16 assigning the daily mooring allocation..

Tom is standing in as temporary warden.

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