Thursday, March 24, 2011

Exuma Land and Sea Park

I know I have been neglecting you, my blogging buddies, but I have an excellent excuse:  I have been engrossed in my on-line writers' course with Oh, The Stories You'll Tell.  The incredible slowness of out-island Internet, has made multi-tasking a torture and so something has to give.  Between crafting on-line wedding invitations and a wedding blog site and you....well, you got it.  Please accept my apologies.

Last week, Steadfast and Outta Thin Air took a jaunt over to Wardrick Wells for two nights.  The North Anchorage, the pretty one by the office, was completely booked up and so we braved the outside rollers and made fast in the South Anchorage by Hog's Cay.  We were the only boats there and had the whole playground to ourselves.  Even Bubba, the 6 foot barracuda, was not in evidence (probably getting his tummy filled by cruisers' handouts on the north side.)

Established in 1958 and made a no-take marine reserve in 1986, the park guarantees beauty and bounty at every turn.  Great hikes, beaches, coral reefs for snorkeling and diving, safe anchorage to weather the storms, the Park has lots to offer.  This is the only park that functions both as a marine reserve and recreational area in the whole of the Caribbean.  Proof abounds of the tremendous benefit this park provides to lobster, grouper and conch fisheries for a 150 mile radius.

Besides giving breeding ground refuge to marine and shore life flora, the Park makes rigorous efforts to educate the public on safe and ecological boating practices.  Every visit here reminds me to use biodegradables, to conserve water and take care with grey/black water discharges.  I call this next picture "Death by Plastic".

Consuming plastic garbage killed this magnificent 52 foot sperm whale.  Plastics floating in the seas are responsible for the needless deaths of thousands of sea mammals, turtles and birds every year.  Mistaken for jelly fish, plastic bags are swallowed whole.  Netting and plastic lines entangle animals and prevent them from reaching the surface to breathe or snare birds legs, or wings.  It is time for us as human wardens of our planet to rethink the whole plastics issue.

Yes, we got to snorkel the back reef while we were there--one of my favorites.  We saw several lobster and could only drool into our masks thinking of what a delicious dinner they could be.  Left undisturbed, they will produce enough eggs to repopulate the 150 mile Exuma chain that is so consistently fished out by cruisers and natives alike.

We are hearing reports of new snows back home, just as the first crocuses had popped their heads out.  I will not be in any hurry to rush back until all that nasty is totally gone.  There are still more than two weeks left of my sojourn here and I am going to devour every day remaining.  Drop me a line and tell me about life where you are.  Are you living in the moment, each and every day?  Is the cold routine of winter still holding you down, or has the promise of Spring made herself known where you are?  I am sending warm and sunny thoughts your way, so keep a lookout for them.


Roy and Christine said...

Your underwater (and all) photos are fantastic! What kind of camera do you use? The fish would never pose long enough for me to capture anything close to the way they looked. Kept letting sea water in my mouth around the snorkel from smiling at the hilarious beauty of the reef fish.

Finally in the 80's here. We'll have a poor wildflower crop due to lack of rain. Except for typical 20+ mph wind some days the bike riding is great.

Unknown said...

Very sad about the garbage, but what a beautiful place! I wouldn't be thinking about blogging at all if I were there :)

We were enjoying the spring very much here in MD, until it decided to turn into winter again. We're expecting snow on Sunday! I'm just ready to be able to go to the park and be outside on a regular basis again.

Anonymous said...

Wow, just amazing. Babe and I love reading your blog posts together. Hope you're having an amazing weekend.

Pat Tillett said...

What a time you are having! When I was young and still scuba diving, there was so many legal sized abalone and lobsters where I live. then it seemed like overnight, all the legals were gone. Now there are many reserve areas here also and they have started coming back!
ENJOY the rest of your cruise!