Back in Warderick Wells
In the Exuma Land and Sea Park 24:23.88N, 76:38.00W
Anchored for the night off Emerald Rock on the west side of Warderick we put our names on the list for a mooring ball in the northern mooring field. This is closest to the Exuma Park HQ office where its easy to dinghy ashore and walk the trails on the island. With bad weather predicted in a day or so most boats decided to stay tight on their balls so to speak and we were well down the waiting list. As this was predicted to be a strong front we had to move to get shelter from winds clocking from the west through north which is the stage where the strongest winds are always experienced. It's no different to the UK really except that the warm fronts don't really affect the Bahamas - its the cold fronts that trail for hundreds of miles down from the lows crossing the eastern USA above and below Cape Hatteras. Sometimes they bring merely a change of wind direction from the east through south then west then when the front arrives into the northwest. However, occasionally these fronts can bring 30-40 knt winds gusting 50 and this was predicted to be one of those systems.
As the park extends south to Cambridge Cay where there is good protection we opted to head there where there were some available moorings at $15 per night. You can also anchor around the moorings but close to the cuts where the Exuma Banks empties into Exuma Sound on the ebb the currents can be very strong and if your anchor breaks loose in the middle of the night in strong winds then life becomes more than a little miserable.
We sat there for three nights with the front arriving on the middle night. We could make out lightening to the north perhaps over the Abaco area and as frontal lines extend from northeast to southwest in a curve then we knew we would get our share later. Before that we had walked the beach and watched large rays leap from the water close to the boat - nearly scaring us out of our wits in the process. It's a beautiful area to be in.
Views over Cambridge Cay
When the front arrived the wind ramped quickly with us experiencing 30-35 knots at a guess. Some miles down the coast a 55 knot gust was reported. Whatever the strength it was the windiest night we had experienced for many months and with the strong ebb current fighting the wind for control of the boat we were bounced arround all over the place during some parts of the night, although we never enjoyed the lightning display we could see further north. Next day was windy all day so we stayed put, opting to stay on the list for the next day. It was too windy to go ashore so it was an R & R day onboard.
So today, Sat 8th we are at last on a mooring in the north field at Warderick where we'll stay for a few days, but with laundry piling up and the boat taking on the appearance of a council refuse wagon with bags of rubbish in lockers (Strict Rule -What you take into the park you take back out with you) we will need to move south to take care of those issues, besides, we are nearly out of bread and with no food shops in the park the 'Admiral' may be called upon to make another 'house brick' from her flour and yeast stocks - and that's not good news!