I awoke this morning and walked out on deck. About that time I heard a big splash just in front of the boat. I hurried to front deck just in time to see four, yes four, spotted eagle rays swim just past the bow of Beatitude. Magnificent!
At 9, we released the mooring ball and made our way out of the Warderick Wells north mooring field. I wish we could’ve stayed a week, but we needed to make our way north, and there are other places we’d like to visit. Although leaving Warderick Wells, we are not leaving the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. This park covers 176 square miles and includes fifteen large islands and many more tiny ones. Today the plan was to cover fourteen nautical miles sailing northward to Hawksbill Cay, also in the park. Around 11:15, we picked up one of the four mooring balls in the north mooring field and reveled in the beauty and serenity of this location. A beautiful beach lies just a hundred yards off our stern. Coral heads are visible in the anchorage. There is no extraneous source of noise. It is heavenly.
After a quick lunch of BLTs we took Dalí to the south end of Hawksbill Cay to snorkel an area called Pirates Cut. This is an area with potentially dangerous current and exposure to the seas, but today is a very calm day and we tried to time our snorkeling adventure with a slack high tide to avoid severe current. We both hopped in the water from the dinghy and began to snorkel. We couldn’t find any nice coral or sea life in the area. Before we knew it, though, the current, which was stronger than it seemed, took us a considerable distance from Dalí. Fortunately (and I knew this ahead of time), the current took us right into the beach. I tried to swim back to our dinghy along with Cindy against the current, which did not appear that strong, but she was unable to do it. So, we swam over to the beach (which was quite easy since it was with the current) and I dropped Cindy off. I then swam to Dalí alone. I must admit I was extremely exhausted and winded swimming this relatively short distance, but I did arrive at Dalí safely, climb aboard, and return with the dinghy to pick up Cindy on the beach.
Needless to say we did not snorkel at Pirates Cut any longer. Instead, we motored back around the southwestern tip of the island and northward to Russell Rocks Reef. At first we could not find any decent coral heads, so Cindy returned to the dinghy while I swam further off. I did find one isolated coral head about the size of a car which was teeming with fish. I hung out around there for 15 minutes or so, watching the fish dart in and out of the coral. Having derived enough snorkeling enjoyment for the moment, we motored back to Beatitude, where we relaxed for the evening.
While snorkeling, we ran across a couple who are cruising aboard their catamaran, Stray Cat. Seeing how polite and pleasant they were, I hailed them on the radio and asked if they had an SD card reader. I’ve been unable to view any video or photos from my GoPro because I cannot get the computers to recognize the device when plugged into the USB port. Thankfully, they had one which they willingly let me borrow for a few minutes. I was able to download all the photos and video, which means I can now place them in the blogs. 🙂