On the 17th December, we motored in light winds to Warderick Wells – a name that conjures up images of an aristocracy, or a character out of Blackadder. Like Shroud Cay, this forms part of the Exumas Park. Unlike Shroud Cay, however, there aren’t that many places to anchor. And the north end of the island is mooring buoys only. It’s necessary to call Exuma Park on the VHF to get one, and if there’s one free – it’s yours.
Helpfully, our Navionics chart has the buoy numbers marked on it, so finding buoy number eight was easy enough. Although picking the mooring strop up definitely wasn’t. After Maria had finally managed to wrangle the mooring strop on the boat, we fastened our line to it and settled in for the view.
There’s only room for one line of mooring balls here, these sweep around the bay in a graceful horseshoe shape. We were thinking how picturesque, and peaceful and quiet it was when we heard BRRRRMMMM from the boat in front of us. Ah, we thought, he must just be running his engine to get hot water. Our view of that changed after the second hour.
Boo Boo Hill
We took a walk over to the beach the next day. And, after calling in the park office to pay our mooring fees, headed to Boo Boo Hill.
I’m unsure where the this started, but tradition is to leave something on Boo Boo Hill as a gift to Neptune. Some artistically-gifted yacht crews have left behind creations worthy of a place in a seaside gallery. So, in recognition of the fact we have no artistic abilities, we left behind a stick picked up from the beach – embellished with our names in felt tip.
When we returned to Lady Jane, the boat in front of us had moved on from running his engine, turning his attention to the petrol-driven watermaker instead. That thing is loud. Imagine an old tractor engine with bearing problems and you are on the right lines. That racket also continued for hours. To say it was a relief when he switched it off is an understatement, even though the noise of his generator replaced it. I know I might sound like a curmudgeonly git, but part of the attraction of an anchorage (including mooring balls) for Maria and I is the quiet of the surroundings as well as the view. I don’t mind someone running their engine for a short while to heat the water. But this went way past what we would regard as acceptable. I have heard less noise coming from a bus depot.
Beach get together
One of the cruisers in the harbour organised a get together on the beach that evening – a bring your food and drink thing. This was good. We got to meet many of the folks in the harbour (most of them from the US) and the Exumas Park staff. And we got some entertainment from a family on one of the trawlers on a buoy near the beach. They had more toys than Hamley’s – including some jet boots that can propel the wearer metres in the air.
We planned to leave the next morning for Cambridge Cay at about half tide. And just after 0800, we were sat in the cockpit sipping coffee and enjoying the quiet, when our peace was shattered with BRRRRMMMM, followed by someone shouting ‘Might be the carburettor…’ This time it was his outboard engine.
Come on – really?