Posted by: suliere | April 22, 2013

All best laid plans……

Monday 22 April 2013

Today was to be a light wind day with some 10 knots and even though it would be on our nose,  we expected a tranquil motor for the ten miles down to Warderick Wells our next port of call and the centre of the Exuma Marine Park.  Our expectations  such tranquillity were shattered  by an unusually lumpy sea combined with pelting rain in a large local system  producing 25 knots right on our nose ….. we motored at 5 knots right into it …… windscreen wiper on.  Our first rain!

We had been advised that there is a waiting list system in place for moorings at Warderick and we should expect to wait a couple of days to get into Northern Mooring field as a preference so we had a backup plan in mind.    Strangely enough the best two months to cruise the Exumas are April and May yet for some reason are also off season and we have so far found very few boats indeed.

We were in no rush to get there as the Park Office was closed for lunch until 1pm so we planned to arrive just after that to be allocated our reserved mooring.  Also it was clear that the weather was a local system which should have moved on by the time we reached Warderick Wells ……. We could then pick up the buoy in the dry and with little wind. That was the plan.  (Hmmmmm! Says Lesley….. all the best laid plans….)

20130423 Warderwick Wells 1

We managed to secure to mooring number 19 in the Northern mooring field a really excellent position for all things Warderick. But plan as we did the heavens had an alternate notion making sure that as we motored into the narrow channels of the moorings weaving our way between buoys, boats and shoals that we could hardly see ahead.

The rain was pelting so hard that Lesley on the tramps struggled to open her eyes to see much at all….. but not to worry because on arrival at the buoy with our newly worked out procedure Paul was to turn up with the remote control to help keep Suliere on track for Lesley to pick up the buoy and secure it.  The only problem with this plan was that for the first time ever the remote refused to turn on!  Zero, zilch, zippo, nada and we mean nothing!   It was to turn out that it was as dead as the parrot in the Monty Python sketch but at the time we weren’t laughing.  The remote now lays in the electronics cemetery along with the drowned cameras!  In some consolation we have since had news that this shouldn’t have happened, the remote was faulty and will be replaced with a new one free of charge when we get back to Fort Lauderdale.

Despite the 25 knots of wind and pelting rain Lesley managed to hook the mooring first time as usual Paul managed to keep Suliere dead on target, creeping ever so slowly forward giving her time to get a line on. With the boat secure Paul could now come forward and help thread the other end of the bridle under the bowsprit and the job was done.   It was then with some satisfaction that we watched the next boat coming in behind us where it took three men and three failed attempts to finally secure on their forth circumnavigation of their pesky mooring ball.  It never pays to say too much or get too smug, sailing teaches you a certain humility of knowing that next time it may well be us chasing around the ball!

Within the hour we we’d had a warm shower, relaxed and enjoyed a crispy bacon and egg sandwich. The rain had stopped and we started to unwind after our bumpy trip.  Yet once again the powers that be had another plan in mind.  We overheard on the radio that the park office closed at 4 and if  that if we wanted to join the park to get a deal on mooring fees and pay for all essential internet access we needed to go ashore and book in immediately as it was 3.20.

Now the Park office  stood only some 300 meters away across the bay a mere 3 minute ride in Slurpy who we quickly launched and headed out.   Yes you guessed- the heavens opened and once again we got soaked!  We apologized red faced for the puddles around our feet at the reception desk unable to touch a piece of paper for fear of wet hands flooding it… the nice lady at the park office kept her humour, smiled acceptingly and kindly filled in the form for us.

We had arrived at the very heart of the Exuma Marine Park and looked forward to a few days of choosing when we’d get wet- this time with the reward of some great snorkeling.  Too wet for photos today folks!

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