Friday, July 5

Where everybody knows your name

There is a famous place in Warderick Wells were everyone goes to leave a little something to let those that follow know they were there.  It's called Boo Boo Hill and a piece of driftwood with your boat name is what you leave behind.  Leaving a piece of driftwood is a cruiser tradition commemorating your visit to the Exuma Land and Sea Park.  It just happens to be at the top of Boo Boo Hill, which is legendary.  It goes like this:  "On a wild, stormy day many years ago a luckless schooner sank off Wardwick Wells.  All souls perished in the disaster.  Not a single body was recovered for a Christian burial.  Local people say that if you climb to the crest of the hill at the bloom of the full moon, you can hear the voices of the lost souls singing in the wind".  And if you leave an offering to King Neptune on Boo Boo Hill, you'll be blessed with good luck on your voyages.  Heaven knows we could use all the luck we can get, so of course, we found a piece of driftwood and continued the tradition! The pile of driftwood is striking, with boat names carved, burned, painted or etched permanently for all to see.  The pile grows bigger each cruising season only to be knocked down and put to sea with each passing storm.  Who knows how long our driftwood will last in the pile.  It continues to get buried under each passing boat and will soon be at the bottom.  But we know we left our mark on Boo Boo Hill.

Liv proudly displaying our impressive piece of driftwood.  Craig carved it with a Dremel.  Does anyone notice anything amiss?  Perhaps the carver came down with a case of dyslexia?

Reading the posted signs along the trail

Hi Ho, Hi's off to work we go....

Phew, we made it up the grueling climb - all 100 feet up the hill!

The girls find the perfect spot to rest our piece of driftwood

The blow holes near the driftwood pile.  Everyone waiting and watching for something to happen.

When we left the driftwood pile to take a peek at the blow holes, Olivia missed our exit down the path and thought we had headed back to the dinghies.  We noticed that Olivia was missing and started searching for her.  It was slightly nerve racking since there were jagged cliffs that dropped down into pounding surf.  But with the help of Patronus, the 9 of us spread out looking for her.  Chris spotted her down the hill, walking the trail back towards the dinghies.  Craig took off to fetch her and brang her back.  She was a little shook up and scared but had done the right thing.  This impacted her and inspired her to write about it.  Here is her story, in her words (not edited by mom, dad or sisters):

I was in Wardarick Wells.  We were hiking a hill.  My dad said we were leaving.  So I started my way down the hill then the group disappeared.  I tried to follow them.  I got half way to the boat.  I felt lost then I saw four people walk by.  Then I saw people and an orange backpack up on the hill then my dad screamed for me.  Then I found my family and then I found my friends.  Then we all went back to the boats.  So we can never do that in our lives again.  

Bryson filling up his shirt with air from the blow hole

The wind was howling, creating some powerful surf

The serene leeward side of the island

The curly tailed lizard is indigenous to the Bahamas

We met the captain of this research vessel as he was passing by our boat one afternoon.  We asked him if we could bring the kids on board to learn about what they were researching.   He was delighted to accommodate us that evening.

This boat is a unique extension of the Shedd Acquarium in Chicago.  It is used by zoos, aquariums, and universities around the country for collecting, research and educational purposes.  It has logged thousands of miles in Florida waters, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

There happened to be a group of college biology students doing research on the Hutia.  A nocturnal rodent that looks like a little muskrat.  We never saw them in person, but we sure did see their evidence (poop) That is speed like a carpet all over the island!

A curious friend stopped by for a visit one afternoon

Craig and I out for a sail

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