20 Dec 2016

20/12/2016 : Big Majors Spot, Exumas

After a good crossing from the Berrys to Highbourne Cay at the northern end of the Exumas chain, we continued further south to Warderwick Wells after a night's sleep, to make the most of the north easterly wind before the wind clocked to the south east, which would have made sailing untenable.

Warderwick Wells is one of our favourite places in the Exumas, a national park that is ruggedly beautiful with the Atlantic crashing on the eastern shore and a protected lagoon on the western side where the mooring field is.  The water is the most amazing turquoise colour and the sand white and fine.  Ashore are hiking trails, blowholes, wildlife and, on the highest point of the island called Boo Boo hill, a pile of driftwood where passing sailors inscribe their names.  We added Tumi's to the pile.

We enjoyed a couple of hikes over the weekend spotting plenty of curly tailed lizards, a blue tailed skink, a snake and several butterflies. There have been very high tides (full moon) and a number of the trails were underwater but being ever the adventurers we ploughed on!

As we found in recent years, staying in smaller anchorages with a focal point ashore is a great way of meeting fellow sailors, sharing stories and plans.  There is a wooden gazebo on the beach at Warderwick Wells and on Saturday night about 30 sailors from around the world met up for sundowners.  Amazingly we met a couple from Sheffield and so were able to chat about places closer to home too.

After another windy weekend we sailed three hours south yesterday to big Majors Spot near Staniel Cay, another favourite place and home of the swimming pigs. Despite being the last of 5 boats leaving and heading for the same place we were the first to arrive, Tumi being the great boat that she is for pointing close into the wind.  The deep water channel to leave Warderwick Wells is narrow and we came close to clipping a moored catamaran which suddenly moved with the wind but Paul's quick action averted a collision, thank goodness. And now we're back in the land of communication, albeit frustratingly slow!  It's amazing how much we miss it when it's not available so we're making the most of it now.

One thing we have got to start doing is looking for a good weather window to sail to the BVI in time for friends arriving. Winds in this part of the world are generally from the south east or north east.  It's a 5 day sail and as we will be travelling south east we want wind from the north east to enable us to sail and not be motoring into swells.  As it's looking at the moment we may have to change our plans to spend Christmas here as the winds clock to the south east on Boxing Day so we will probably sail down to Great Exuma just before Christmas and wait for the next north-easterly weather window to sail on from there.