Andy has died and gone to heaven. Well, he’s still here on planet earth, but he is one happy guy. He dreamed of this and NEVER thought he could be here, in the blue water, with me, and doing what he loves everyday. AQUAMAN is in his element!
We pulled anchor and headed to the Exuma Land and Sea Park today. It’s hearquarters is in Warderick Wells Cay. We called and got a morning ball for two nights. Andy had to navigate into a cut were the mooring balls are. Both sides of this cut are super shallow sand banks. It is my first mooring ball, so I had the pole in hand and I was able to grab it easily and hook up the boat. Yeah me! Actually, Yeah Captain Andy for getting the boat exactly were we needed so I could grab the hook! Once we were tied up we took in the scenery. Andy again said “I think I Am in Nirvana. This place is a wonder! We were here just a few minutes when I hear a splash and there he went. Into the water. Right under our boat he saw a sunken boat. WHAT!!!! We are directly over a reef, what was once a boat! Strange! But it is teaming with life. And we are in only 10 ft of water.
We took the dingy down and explored this place. We went to the park headquarters and paid for a two nights and looked at the famous Sperm Whale skeleton on the beach. This is a state park so no seashell collecting for me! BOO! From the boat we have spotted turtles, a whole gang of spotted eagle rays and last night our neighbors turned on their underwater lights (we need these!) and watched sharks come in to feed on the countless fish attracted by the lights. It was super cool to watch. The rays even got in on the action. By the end of the day all the moorings were full and we were so happy we decided to come here. We slept great knowing we are tied to a mooring, even though the wind kicked up again and the boat is swinging. At least don’t have to worry about our anchor dragging. Everyone zips around in their dinghies and waves to each other. The boating community is a very friendly one.
Today we woke up to more wind. We loaded up the dingy with our snorkel gear and headed to a reef that we could tie up to. The swell was coming one way while the current was headed the other. Andy got in to check the current and it was flowing pretty strong. Nothing AQUAMAN can’t handle. It was too much current for me. He enjoyed himself while I kept watch of him. Next on the list today was to hike up to BooBoo hill. On top is a pile of scrap wood and people leave hand painted or carved pieces of wood with the name of their boats, on top the pile as an offering to the sea. I wish I had thought to make a sign to leave here. But who knew! This place is special for sure. By the end of day I was exhausted. My husband, AQUAMAN, does not know how to chill. He cannot read a book and hang out when there is an ocean to see, fish to see, reefs to explore, and trails to hike. So I was trying to relax when a fellow boater came by and BRAGGED about their snorkel. The next thing I knew I was the support crew for a drift snorkel thru a pass with strong current. He rode his underwater scooter back and forth through third narrow pass with ripping current. Me, avoiding grounding the boat in the sand banks while watching that AQUAMAN isn’t eaten by a shark. Sounds fun, RIGHT!!!! Oh, but that’s not the end. The tide was low and there was a sand bar people were walking on. I wanted to explore that. We pulled close to it and I jumped off the dingy. The sand was like quick sand and my feet dug in at least a foot deep. We got the dingy secure and, again, AQUAMAN went in to swim around another rocky point, while I nervously watch him and the rising tide. He eventually returned and we set off back to the boat. EXCEPT a giant spotted eagle ray was right in our path. Of course, Andy jumped in with his mask while I chased them in the dingy. NOW you can have a drink! Wow! I’m exhausted just typing this. We still needed to clean up, make dinner and get ready for tomorrow. We leave for Staniel Cay. This is where I wanted to go and I cannot wait. NOW who needs a bottle off wine after reading this!!! ME!!!! I love this man but he just might wear me out!!!
As I reflect on my life, I realize how lucky I am. I also realize that I am amongst a group of also lucky people who live life taking risks. People spend their whole lives wishing to do this kind of trip, but that means getting uncomfortable. Not knowing where you will be based on weather. Not knowing if you have what it takes when things, weather, conditions get rough. Not knowing if you prepared enough for any situation. Not sure you can do this. Not sure what each place will offer you. Leaving behind everyone you love. Leaving behind the security of your home and all your stuff. I have wondered, A LOT, if I can survive this, missing my friends and family. I have moments of terrible anxiety. I have moments of pure awe. I’m finding my groove. I brought way too much stuff. I need so little. When we get back to Florida I will do another purge of the boat before we leave for the loop. So many people had advise for us, which made me more anxious. “Provision, there isn’t any food. Bring tons of drinking water, you cant find water. Don’t go here cuz….. Be careful cuz you can run aground, The marinas are too expensive, anchor out, don’t anchor anchor, go to marinas. Etc……”. It’s crazy. I think some research is good, but you have to trust your gut. I ask everyone questions and I get totally different answers from everyone. It’s all your personal comfort and what you can handle. The biggest thing here is weather. You have to be vigilant or you can get caught in the shit and stuck. So we are trying to stay informed. Andy has all the weather apps and watched constantly. Doesn’t mean we have all good days. We got stuck in Nassau for 10 days waiting for winds to die. We stayed in Highborne while it poured rain. I hope as we continue the weather improves. We were told it lays down in spring. So I think we are just a bit early in the season. We have a lot still to see. Maybe we won’t get to everyplace. I have to remind Andy, because he’s the type to stop at every spot and “see it all”, that I have a limit. Then I will need to get back to the states. We meet people who are just endlessly traveling on sailboats. It all seems idealic, but I’m not ready for that. This trip is great and is totally challenging. I hope in my next blogs you will hear a change of tone. I am ok, but I am also getting pushed beyond my comfort zone. I am dealing with daily anxiety and I hope that over time, and trust, I will continue to find my groove. Andy loves this and I am along for the ride and I only hope I have what it takes.