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Warwick Wells – Exuma Land & Sea Conservation Park in the Bahamas.

Warwick Wells, Exuma

Warwick Wells, Exuma Land and Sea Park

The Bahamas National Trust operates the Exuma Land & Sea Conservation Park in the Bahamas. Black Diamond is a Member of the organization.

For more information visit their web site http://www.exumapark.org  –

Their motto is “Take Only Photographs – Leave Only Footprints”

Exuma Park contains many shallow coral reefs and shifting sand bars and you should always maintain a sharp lookout.

Established in 1958, Exuma Park is one of 25 National Parks and Protected Areas managed by the Bahamas National Trust. In 1986, They established Exuma Park as a complete NO TAKE ZONE and marine protected area, the first in the wider Caribbean.

The Exumas had few visitors after the removal of the Lucayan Natives until the arrival of the PrivateersBuccaneers and Pirates in the 1600’s and early 1700’s. You can learn more about this time period at this link http://www.exumapark.org/LifeinthePark/HistoryoftheCays/tabid/114/Default.aspx

The island we are visiting today is Warwick Wells. This is where you will find the park Head Quarters and where you can book a mooring as no anchoring is permitted near the park to protect the natural wild life. You can make a reservation each day at 8AM on your VHF radio. Members of  Bahamas National Trust get priority reservations and one night free mooring among other benefits.

There is some amazing snorkelling along the many coral heads on the leeward side of the islands by the Emerald Rock Mooring Fields. We found this King Conch pretty rare now, even the more common Queen Conch are become difficult to find, we hope they don’t go extinct. We released ours back for others to enjoy.

Our boat is moored at the Warwick Wells mooring fields, probably the most interesting moorings in the Bahamas. The route is carved out by tidal water flows that flow 4 times per day. They flow in a bit of a spiral path, which leaves a shallow sand bank in the middle that you need to watch out for. After we moored and the tide went out, the sand bar became visible and surfaced from out of the water. The main photo above on this page, you will see us walking on it. Alex and snorkelled near our boat and experience all sorts of marine life, including a 5 foot reef shark that we swam with for a few minutes, he was most likely harmless, but as he got closer to take a look at us, we thought we better get out of the water.

There is a skeleton of a 53’ Sperm Whale (died after swallowing a plastic bag) watches guard over Powerful Beach near the park office. On Saturday nights, cruisers frequently gather around the small tiki hut on the beach for a happy hour. Over 7 miles of trails cross throughout the island allowing visitors to hike from one end of the island to the other.

There are miles of hiking trails, including the walk to Boo Boo Hill. This trail ends at the highest elevation of Warwick Wells, tremendous views of the Ocean side and the leeward side of the islands. The favourite attraction is the Boo Boo blow holes. These are natural hole formations in the rock that the ocean blows through and can spray water as high as 10-15 feet in the air. It makes a howling sound in the evening it sounds like a ghost. Legendary tales tell a story of how these are the ghosts of long ago ship wreck victims that have perished here.

On one of our hikes on the many beaches we came across these wrecks, we believe these may be old Haitian Refugee ship wrecks. At the top of the highest point near Boo Boo Hill you will find this shrine, where cruisers carve their boat names and well wishes and leave them here for good luck on their future voyages. We did the same and left a Black Diamond sign carved by Thomas.

Come and visit the Exuma Land & Sea Park, it is an amazing experience.

Click your Refresh Button, Collage Randomly selects various pics at various sizes.

Below is a link to one of our older blog posts on Warwick Wells – Exuma Land & Sea Park, when we visited 6 years earlier.

http://www.sailboatcruise.ca/2013/02/13/warderick-wells-cay-exuama-land-sea-park-bahamas/

s/v Black Diamond

I have been boating for over 25 years, at the age of 43, this is more than half of my life time. Starting out with a number of smaller power boats, then switching to sail about 8 years ago. I have sailed various boats from wind surfers, dinghies (lasers), keel boats from 26 to 45 foot yachts. I live in the area of Toronto Canada and sail mostly on Lake Ontario. I have been racing yachts for the past 7 years. I have also entered many long distance races such as the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston, completed in 2 days 8 hours, we received 4th place in division, 8 minutes in PHRF behind a 3rd place trophy. Then 4 times finishing the Susan Hood, a 75 mile over night race, 4 times entered in the Lake Ontario 300 the worlds longest fresh water race, a 308 knotical mile race around the perimeter of Lake Ontario. My crew and I on Black Diamond finished in 2 days 12 hours in 2009. In 2009, delivering the boat back up to Canada from the Bahamas we entered in a couple of interesting races, one from Fort Lauderdale to Charleston described as a sled ride up the gulf stream, the Charleston race week regatta series and the New Year's Day Staniel Cay Regatta in the Exumas, Bahamas. This race we came in 2nd over entire fleet, only lost by 3 minutes in a 2 hour race to a 47 footer. This was a boat for boat race, no PHRF scoring. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So cast off the bowline, Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain Blue water experience include yacht deliveries from the Abacos, Bahamas to Charleston South Carolina 2006. This delivery was a non-stop, 3 and half days, total of 500 miles. We crossed parts of the Bermuda Triangle, and during most of the delivery were over 200 miles offshore. The delivery of Black Diamond a 40 foot Jeanneau racer/cruiser has been delivered to New York City and then offshore to Florida and the Bahamas from Toronto, Canada. This delivery from NYC to Florida was completed 100 miles offshore, for a distance of over a 1000 miles non-stop to Jacksonville, Florida. Completed in what might be a cruisers record of 5 days 3 hours non-stop offshore. This fall my family and I added another 500 miles of sailing throughout much of the Bahamas. Spending 6 weeks aboard Black Diamond sailing the Abacos, Nassau and the Exumas. I then sailed the boat back to New York, completely offshore, entered a few races along the way, and back to Toronto through the Hudson River and Erie Canal. During the 2009 season, we sailed Black Diamond off the dock 148 different days out of 365, winning the Vacant Dock award the second year in a row. Most recently, 2011, completed the delivery of friends boat Tracey & Nilson Ruiz, from Tortoal, BVI to New York. Tortola to Georgetown Bahamas in 5 days non-stop. Last leg from Charleston to New York over the momorial day long week-end non-stop Friday to Monday in 4 days. All completed safe and sound without incedent. Need any deliveries let me know. I am also an Open Water Certified diver and an active member of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron, certifications included Power/Sail boat handling, Seamanship Sail, Piloting/charting, GPS Navigation, Extended Offshore Cruising and a VHF Radio operation license. I hope to further my education, qualifications and experience in long distance cruising and racing. One of my goals is to obtain a commercial Captains License. Feel free to contact me at er@radonicrodgers.com

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