Position: N24 18.206 W076 32.436
After our 2 chaotic days doing laundry and shopping we happily set off the next morning northward making for Cambridge Cay in the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park. Along the way we dropped the hook for a short stop behind a small rocky cay for lunch and a snorkel on some reefs, then continued on.
If you recall, we volunteered here last year as mooring hosts and had a great time. Same wonderful experience again. Some of our duties are: greet new boats that come in; make sure they understand basic park rules and regulations; provide information about nearby snorkeling sites and trails; collect the mooring fees; make sure people tie off to the moorings correctly; and generally be helpful and give help when requested or necessary.
Optional duties include hosting informal happy hour get-togethers and organizing work parties for beach and trail cleanup and maintenance. During our week we happily accomplished all of the above. Apart from feeling like we are giving back to the park, helping a good cause etc. we love coming here because it’s a great way to meet people and make new friends.
Our first day on duty was Valentines Day, coincidentally the same day we started here last year! In keeping with last years ‘tradition’, we organized a sunset happy hour with Valentines chocolate. Last year there were only three boats in the anchorage, so we had it on Rachel. This year there were many more, so we invited them to meet us and tie off at an empty mooring to share the sunset, deserts, and camaraderie. After dark we lit a candle and spent a bit more time sipping wine and chatting with our new friends. During the week we managed to fit in two more happy hours on the beach with up to 30 cruisers attending each.
You may also remember that last year we managed to find and reestablish an old trail to another beach. We spent several days this week clearing out last year’s growth, further marking the trail with conch shells, rock cairns, and other natural materials, and posting painted driftwood “Poisonwood” signs to help guests recognize and avoid a few patches of this shrub that gives a nasty poison ivy like rash.
Our relief arrives this afternoon and tomorrow we’re off to Sampson Cay for internet access and to hide from more wind and squalls for a couple of days.
Tired but happy,
Mark & Julie