Day 162, Year 10: Happy Birthday, Ollie
Date: Saturday, March 21, 2015
Weather: Sunny and Beautiful, No Wind
Latitude: 24 23.831 N
Longitude: 076 37.954 W
Location: Anchored in the N Anchorage, Warderwick Wells, Exumas

Our daughter’s youngest child, Ollie, turned three today. When we are out cruising, we always miss family, but even more so on special occasions like birthdays. We tried so desperately to connect with Ollie via Skype late today, but we just couldn’t make it happen from here. But we sent love, hugs, and kisses to Ollie over the miles. We will be heading back to Cape Cod in late April and will have lots of stories to tell the grandkids, so we’ll make up for lost time. Happy Birthday, Ollie!!! Oma and Granddad love you so much.

Now about those stories we will have to tell grandchildren . . . for instance, swimming with sharks. That was the highlight of today. Sharks are often hanging around reefs where we have snorkeled. We are never completely comfortable with them, but we have never had a situation where they have been threatening. Today we had ‘friendly’ shark encounters in both places where we snorkeled. We moved from Cambridge Cay to a place called Warderwick Wells. The Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park Headquarters is located here and it is a beautiful location. We snorkeled the Ranger’s Reef and had our first encounter with reef sharks. The sharks were quite large which made them a bit disconcerting, but they were not the least bit interested in us. Our next snorkeling destination was Judy’s Reef. As soon as I got in the water I heard Claire yelling to me saying, “Judy, a shark is headed your way.” I ducked my head back in the water and looked her way and saw nothing. Then I looked down and the rather large shark was swimming right under me. He paid absolutely no attention to me, so all was well. We were not intentionally trying to swim with sharks, but that was the theme today. We also saw more rays and we really don’t know what kind they are. They don’t seem to have spots so they really can’t be eagle rays. The Park office has postings talking about southern sting rays, but they don’t exactly look like those, either. We are so busy snorkeling that we have very little time to identify what we are seeing, but Claire, Mark, and I are all taking tons of photos and we’ll have to identify them once we get home. There’s just too much to see and do here to sit around and look at books! We’re not sure what we are doing tomorrow. We might move a couple of miles south of here, still in the Park. Or we might stay here and take the dinghy south to see the things of interest. Claire and I are anxious to go see the reefs formed by stromatolites. They just look like gray reef but according to the Park information, they are the oldest evidence of life on earth that date back 3.5 billion years. And hopefully we’ll see some fish as well. Ed and Lynne came over to say farewell this morning and Lynne brought us a quart of yogurt that she made yesterday. I have had no luck getting my yogurt to set up, so I was very thankful for the gift. Ed called this evening and said they think they will be leaving for Eleuthera in the morning, so we won’t see them again for a bit. But it was great getting together as cruisers again. Ed and Lynne, we will miss you. Tonight we went to shore to a cruiser gathering sponsored by the Park. Everyone brought an appetizer to share and people bring the most amazing things-everything from Hawaiian pizza to hot nacho dip. I think we are all going to have to go on a diet after this week.

150321 Best of Day 162 Bahamas–Warderick Wells 1