This morning we turned in to channel 9 on our VHF radio to listen in on the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park transmission regarding mooring ball availability. We were told that a mooring ball was available for us in the Warderick Wells North Mooring Field. Before departing however, we took a quick jaunt in Dalí over to the Isles General food store for some last minute grocery shopping. By 10 a.m., we had pulled up our anchor, which had been in the Big Majors Spot sand for six straight nights and headed northward.
The slightly over two hour passage was delightful with bright sunshine and warm, gentle breezes flowing over turquoise waters. Just after 1 p.m., we picked up mooring ball #18 in the most amazing setting you might imagine. Aquamarine waters shimmered and sparkled under the warm February sun. Numerous small islands surrounded us on all sides. I’m not sure what more in nature one could want that is not provided here.
After Cindy put the finishing touches on her latest painting, a beautiful acryclic composition of a sea turtle, we took Dalí over to the Park Headquarters where we checked in with Andrew, a very polite and helpful gentlemen. We picked up hiking and snorkeling information for the Land and Sea Park and hung around to do some wifi. I was able to post a blog which I had already prepared and only had to hit the publish button. But the service was otherwise poor. We could barely check email, and… no social networking on Facebook. We have no cell service so we cannot text from here, either. Oh, well… I guess we’ll just have to tear ourselves away from technology and enjoy this beautiful spot which radiates God’s glory.
Around 4:15, we hopped back in our dinghy and tied up to a dinghy mooring just a hundred yards or so from our boat. We put on our fins, mask and snorkel, and then hopped overboard and snorkeled for 45 minutes to an hour. The site was amazing, filled with beautiful coral and a panoply of fishes in various colors, shapes and sizes. We saw three huge lobsters congregating beneath some coral. We also encountered another reef shark. It was actually quite dramatic. This five foot shark was swimming directly toward us at almost our level. As we remained still atop the water, he continued straight at us until about five feet away, he turned off slightly to Cindy’s right and continued on past. Once again, I was proud of Cindy. She remained calm (likely frozen in fear) as it approached and went past. It was not long afterwards, however, that she decided to get out of the water. I wonder why? I stayed in for a while longer and took some photos. Unfortunately, my battery was dead when the shark came by so I couldn’t get an up-close photo. Also, unfortunately, I cannot get our computers to recognize the GoPro camera so I”m unable to upload any of our snorkeling photos as of yet.
A few minutes later, we returned to Beatitude to relax for the rest of the evening. We have plans for more hiking and snorkeling tomorrow. For dinner this evening, we grilled the remainder of our King Mackerel, caught one week ago. It was delicious, along with some excellent rice Cindy made. While I was grilling the mackerel, three nurse sharks swam beneath the stern of our boat. It was pretty dark at the time, so I shined the light from my headlamp (which I use to grill after dark) into the water. It was so cool watching them swim beneath the boat.