Beautiful Warderick Wells

The moorings at Warderick Wells … a study in blue. Photo by Monica Pisani
The moorings at Warderick Wells … a study in blue. Photo by Monica Pisani
The moorings at Warderick Wells … a study in blue. Photo by Monica Pisani

At low tide, the scenery changed with the birth of a white sandy island in the middle of the bay. It offered a wonderful moment to relax, swim, walk, and absorb the beauty that will forever be inside our hearts.

Our next stop was Warderick Wells, an island under the protection of the Exuma Parks, which operates under The Bahamas National Trust. American and Bahamian conservationists, interested in protecting the fragile marine and terrestrial ecosystem of the Bahamas, created the trust in 1950. Warderick Wells is one of 25 national parks protected by the Trust. It is important to know that the park does not provide trash disposal, no provisions are available on the island; boats are not allowed to anchor, and they do not reserve mooring balls ahead of time.

As soon as the sun came up, Journey’s crew was ready to set sail, anchor stowed, sails up and we were on our way. We safely sailed through the banks and continued our journey north; we had planned to arrive at slack or ebbtide, and hoped that the wind would die down by the time we made our final approach.

Once we were within VHF range of the park, we hailed the park official on channel 9 several times until they finally answered. We were told a mooring ball was available and instructed to call back once we were an hour away from the park, at which time we were assigned mooring ball number six.

Warderick Wells Bahamas : Photo by Monica Pisani
Photo by Monica Pisani

We had a blast all the way there, Journey sailed beautifully on a broad reach … a perfect sailing day. We arrived much sooner than planned and found ourselves fighting the tide flooding in through the cut. The wind continued strong and steady at 20kts from the ESE. We approached the mooring field at a crawl; our speed over ground barely a knot.

Once we had a visual of the very narrow channel shown two dimensionally on the chart plotter, it all made sense. The dramatic variation of blues and greens defined the narrow yet deep blue channel lined with mooring balls. Fighting the wind and the rising tide, we made our way to our assigned mooring ball avoiding the shallows and moored boats.

As we got closer to mooring number six, we realized that there was no mooring line attached to our buoy, and no matter how much I extended my body, my arm, and the boathook, I could not reach it. Captain Jonathan saw my struggle, but could not leave the helm.

Warderick Wells Bahamas :The author on the trail to Boo Boo Hill. Photo by Monica Pisani
The author on the trail to Boo Boo Hill. Photo by Monica Pisani

He was trying his best to keep the boat as steady as possible, but to no avail. To make matters worse, I lost both boathooks overboard. Now what? Well, an angel appeared flying in a dinghy; he took our line and threaded it through the mooring’s loop to end the problem!

Once safe, we both sat on Journey’s deck, mesmerized by the beauty surrounding us. We agreed that we were in some kind of mint-colored paradise floating in the clearest waters.

We woke next morning to the total absence of wind and calm water with barely a ripple. Once we realized it was slack tide; perfect snorkeling conditions at this anchorage, we found our snorkeling gear, drove the dinghy to a ‘snorkeling’ mooring ball, and immersed ourselves in a world of yellows, blues, oranges, life, and movement.

There are trails and amazing views ashore. We visited the park’s office, and then started on the trail to Boo Boo Hill and the blowholes.

Warderick Wells Bahamas : Photo by Monica Pisani
Photo by Monica Pisani

The trail to Boo Boo Hill took us through the mangroves and a dry creek populated by muscular trees and shrubs that have adapted to life in this unique, harsh environment by filtering the salt out of the water to gain nourishment.

Ascending the hill we turned left to the blowholes, and then turned right and walked a little further uphill to find a cairn of sorts. A pile of mementos, most bleached by the smoldering sun, and a few new ones with painted flowers, flags, names, and hearts, all left behind by passing yachties who want to leave a testament of their visit to this unique paradise. (FYI, the park asks that the memento be made of organic materials.)

We went to the beach and checked out the monumental whale skeleton. The poor creature died from swallowing plastic. What a statement that makes!

Warderick Wells Bahamas : Journey’s memento joins those left by other yachties on the ‘cairn’ atop Boo Boo Hill. Photo by Monica Pisani
Journey’s memento joins those left by other yachties on the ‘cairn’ atop Boo Boo Hill. Photo by Monica Pisani

At low tide, the scenery changed with the birth of a white sandy island in the middle of the bay. It offered a wonderful moment to relax, swim, walk, and absorb the beauty that will forever be inside our hearts.

Warderick Wells, truly, one of the most amazing paradises ever …

 

Monica Pisani and Jonathan Morton live and cruise aboard Journey, a 42-foot Tatoosh. To learn more about their voyaging, visit: www.sailing-journey.com

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