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 Privateers, Buccaneers 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.