Warderick Wells….Did Someone Say Boo Boo?

Warderick Wells….Did Someone Say Boo Boo?

Wow…where to start! We spent a total of 11 nights on a mooring ball at Warderick Wells (over a period of two months), which is another part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. The entire park is a “no take” zone, meaning that nothing may be removed from the park. Nothing dead. Nothing alive. No fishing, conching, shelling or lobstering is allowed. It is oh, so very hard for me to NOT collect shells, but I did refrain while within the park boundaries! The ONLY thing you can legally take from the park is photographs….and so, I present to you a tiny sliver of the photos we took during our three stays at Warderick Wells earlier this year!

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As you pull into the mooring field, you can’t help but notice that there’s a large skeleton on shore near the park headquarters. Turns out it’s the skeletal remains of a 53′ sperm whale which died in 1995 after swallowing a plastic bag. How incredibly sad, but what a great reminder of the harm that can come from something as simple as a piece of plastic rubbish.

The snorkeling here was incredible, and it wasn’t uncommon for us to be out snorkeling three times a day!

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Unfortunately we didn’t find any of these outside the park during lobster season, but at least we got to see several HUGE ones at Warderick Wells!
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Beautiful Queen Triggerfish!
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The gorgeous Queen Angelfish are even more stunning in person, and quickly became one of my favorites.
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This Nassau Grouper may not be a pretty fish, but I guess he’s a pretty smart one to be hanging out within the protected confines of the park! These fish are delicious!
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Jim is now our official creature ID dude. I spent soooo much time trying to figure out what kind of fish this was and finally had settled on Scrawled Filefish, but really didn’t think I was right. Jim got online and less than two minutes later says he’s got it figured out. Turns out it’s a Scrawled Cowfish. I was so close!

Other than what’s found under the sea, there’s not a whole lot of wildlife to be found here, but we did come across a few other little creatures.

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Cutest little hermit crab ever!
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These two gulls hung out on our dinghy the entire time we were eating dinner one evening. When we tried scaring them away, they would take flight momentarily before landing right back on the dinghy.
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Our main photographer in action….
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….and his model of the moment!
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I just love these little curly tailed creatures. This one climbed part way up my leg, and boy oh boy, did that ever tickle!
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Each evening as dusk falls, these little hutia, which look somewhat like a cross between a guinea pig and a rat, come out of wherever they’ve been hiding all day and scamper around the beach looking for food. They are pretty timid, but will cautiously come up and eat food right out of your hand. Back in 1973, when these hutia were thought to be nearing extinction, several were placed on Warderick Wells for protection and to grow the species. However, they have no predators here and are now overpopulated. The vegetation here, which they rely on for food, is already sparse and there is concern for the future of both the vegetation and the hutia.
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This little fellow is about three inches long and is a West Indian Fuzzy Chiton. We saw hundreds of these on the rocks, mostly right about the high tide line, both in and out of the water. At first we thought that they were trilobite fossils because they feel as hard as the rock they are attached to, and are impossible to move! What we’re not sure about here though, is if this chiton just took a dump…or maybe laid eggs….we just don’t know!

There are several marked trails criss-crossing Warderick Wells and we hiked the majority of them.

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Much of the terrain is very rugged and requires protective shoes
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But some parts are sandy, and given the opportunity, my shoes always come off!
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We don’t usually think of wearing hats, so sometimes we have to resort to using dead palm fronds to keep the sun off of us!

Ask just about any cruiser that’s been to the Bahamas about Boo Boo Hill, and chances are good they will know exactly what you are talking about. Legend has it that many years ago during a nasty storm there was a shipwreck near Warderick Wells and all on board perished. When the moon is full, it is said that you can hear the voices of these lost souls singing hymns from the crest of Boo Boo Hill. It has been a tradition for some time now for cruisers to leave a piece of driftwood with their boat name on it as an offering to King Neptune in return for safe travels. We were not there during a full moon, so I cannot confirm or deny that there is any truth to the hymn singing souls, but we weren’t going to take any chance and not leave our offering to King Neptune!

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After finding and rejecting several pieces, we finally found OUR piece of driftwood and got to work. I wrote out Radio Waves ’16 on the board and Jim used his rotozip tool to carve it out. I colored in the letters with a silver sharpie, outlined them in black and called it good!
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Found a good spot to secure our sign…anyone want to place bets on whether or not we’ll be able to find it next season?!?
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LOTS of cruisers have been here!
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We spent quite a bit of time looking through the plaques for cruisers we had met. Here’s one our good friends on S/V Smitty left!
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And here’s one from the folks on S/V Kairos that we met at Shroud Cay on the beach.
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We tried soooo hard to find a sign with “Marley” on it so we would have our trifecta, but alas, we came up short!
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It’s not a very long walk to the top of Boo Boo Hill, but if you need it, there is a nice bench at the top….which apparently this lizard needed!
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He does look a bit weary, don’t ya think?!?
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Cell service was non-existent at Warderick Wells, so here I am at the highest point on the cay (and one and a half feet higher thanks to the bench! LOL!) holding up my phone and hoping to catch a signal. We’d heard it had worked for some folks, but unfortunately it didn’t work for us folks!
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The view from park headquarters. The closer of the two boats pictured here is Radio Waves. The mooring balls are all in the deepest part of this narrow channel, where there is plenty of water, but it quickly gets very shallow as you can see by the two bands of lighter blue off to our left.
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Because I’m still just a little girl at heart, and…..doesn’t everyone love bubbles?

16 Comments

  • Roan Poulter

    September 8, 2016 at 2:55 pm Reply

    What a wonderful post. The turquoise waters are beautiful beyond imagination. I keep trying to decide which emotion is the highest, happiness for you two, or jealousy. It’s neck and neck. Keep posting so I can live vicariously through you two.

    • Chris

      September 8, 2016 at 5:24 pm Reply

      Thanks Roan! And I guess it’s O.K. to be jealous…as long as the happiness stays neck and neck with it! Hope to see you guys sometime in November!

  • Dean W Martin

    September 8, 2016 at 3:09 pm Reply

    Great capture of that special place. Glad we met you guys there. The hiking was fantastic.

    • Chris

      September 8, 2016 at 5:24 pm Reply

      Thanks! We sure did have some great times there, didn’t we?

  • Ken and Deb

    September 8, 2016 at 3:16 pm Reply

    I love these photos. The second one is my screen saver this week. The second to last is my screen saver next week. The underwater photos are great. I love that place. I remember back when you two started out. Whitebread yankees. Now tanned and buff looking good. Snorkeling and southern sun will do that to you. You do need sun hats to keep the rays off your head and neck. We used straw open weave at the top of the crown. Tilly’s are nice, but keep the heat in. I admit I am greedy. I want more! Ken and Deb

    • Chris

      September 8, 2016 at 5:26 pm Reply

      Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying the photos! Again, most of the credit for those goes to Jim. We really do need to look into some good hats! Hopefully sometime next week we’ll have some video from Warderick Wells up as well!

  • Kathy Walden

    September 8, 2016 at 5:59 pm Reply

    Enjoying the islands through your eyes, your voice, and your (Jim’s) photos. Absolutely beautiful.

    • Chris

      September 8, 2016 at 6:06 pm Reply

      Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying everything!

  • Tina Laterza

    September 8, 2016 at 7:46 pm Reply

    You two are just so adventurous and active! Enjoyed your post immensely (as always). I keep wondering… How do you know which creatures bite or are dangerous? You seem to absolutely love them all.

    • Chris

      September 8, 2016 at 11:13 pm Reply

      Hi Tina! Glad you enjoyed the post! I’m sure a lot of the creatures could bite or be dangerous, so we are always very cautious and calm around them, which I hope lets them know that we are not a threat! But yes, we do love them all! Well….except for maybe the barracudas and some sharks which have behaved a bit aggressively, in which case I hide behind Jim! 😉

  • Sharon Holbrook

    September 8, 2016 at 9:46 pm Reply

    Amazing photos, as usual.

    • Chris

      September 8, 2016 at 11:13 pm Reply

      Thanks so much! I let Jim know you like them!

  • Spicoli

    September 9, 2016 at 7:05 am Reply

    Nicely done! It was a fun read.

    • Chris

      September 9, 2016 at 12:44 pm Reply

      Thanks much!

  • Dee Walker

    September 10, 2016 at 3:37 pm Reply

    As usual, enjoyed the beautiful photos and descriptions of the little critters and everything else.

    • Chris

      September 11, 2016 at 8:54 pm Reply

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it!

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