Paying the tax man…or the park fee.

1

March 20, 2013 by Last Star blog

So…Day four and five of Cole’s spring Break we moved from Cambridge to Emerald Rock still in the Land and Sea/see park.  Cole called Cambridge the ultimate water playground, pools to swim in, rocks to climb, beaches to comb, crystal waters to windsurf on, reefs to snorkel on all in an idyllic setting.  We were happy to show him one of our favorite spots.  Emerald Rock is in Wardewick Wells Cay and is lovely for all the same reasons.  Now, there are a couple of minor issues besides no fishing, no shelling, no facilities (cell phone or internet) in the park.  You take a mooring ball and pay the park $20 for the peace and privilege.  No worries.  In Cambridge, a park warden comes by, Big Daddy–Waggies big brother, to collect your money but at Emerald Rock you are responsible to dinghy up to the headquarters hooch and pay Jenn or Andrew for the nights you stay on a mooring.  All that is well and good, however, right now there is no gasoline to be had for our dinghy.  You know how I moan  about foraging for food, well water/diesel/gas is the same way.  Everyone (the 4 places in the Exumas you can buy gas) is out of gasoline.  I am not sure what those big fishing boats with the twin 250hp engines are doing right now, but if you live off gas–you are not moving.  They haven’t had gas for about 12 days and the next mailboat with gas is hopefully arriving Friday, another  6 days away.  Ok, having said that, we are on fumes and were worried about having enough gas to get Cole from the boat to the dock for this flight on Saturday.  (Since Cole left we have been rowing!) In order to save gas, we decide we will hike the island to the hooch to pay but they close at noon for lunch, it’s 10:45.  The title of the blog could be called the walk from hell, or Bataan here we come.  We decide for the sake of speed there will be no stopping for photos and no sightseeing along the way, we can do that on the way back.  We have a very cute hand-drawn map that is not accurate, not to scale, and not very useful but hey, it’s a gorgeous day how hard can it be? The hike is arduous.  The terrain varies from limestone iron shore that tears at the shoes and toes to quaint palm lined paths and some sandy stretches. It was a cumulative vertical effect of about 550 feet, which isn’t difficult in itself but the terrain was challenging. It is vertical climbing on the iron shore leaving you breathless at the top but you are rewarded with some pretty amazing vistas.

The beautiful water from atop the hill.

The beautiful water from atop the hill.

The Last Star in the mooring field at Emerald Rock

The Last Star in the mooring field at Emerald Rock

Not that we were allowed to view them on the way to the HQ. On the sandy parts Cole and I ran, well on any parts that weren’t trying to kill us, we ran. It was about 1.5 miles each way but the winding paths and difficult terrain made it feel like 10 each way. We made it to the HQ at 12:03 and Jenn was locking up for lunch–but she took our money!  I know you will find this surprising, but we left with no water and no snacks–and yes, it was the proverbial 10-2 pm worst-case-sun exposure time. Hey, it was only 1.5 miles. We were giddy from dehydration!  We were greeted by one of my favorite natives: the bananaquit.  He is as friendly as he is beautiful and has a song to make you smile.

My favorite native: the Bananaquit

My favorite native: the Bananaquit

Cole catching his breath at the park HQ.

Cole catching his breath at the park HQ.

At the base of the HQ is a large skeleton from a whale. Here we are posing with the thing before starting our leisurely walk back.

The whale bones...

The whale bones…

DSCN2948  Some of the things we enjoyed on the way back were exploring some very large holes in the limestone, Cole went into one looking for Hutia.

No hutia just cobwebs

No hutia just cobwebs

"Really, another picture, mom?" forced smile #1005

“Really, another picture, mom?” forced smile #1005

We crossed a small bridge called the causeway from one side of the island to the other.

Keeper of the bridge...

Keeper of the bridge…

We were able to stop along the way and take a few snaps.

Stopping to enjoy the view.

Stopping to enjoy the view.

What an amazing color!

What an amazing color!

And somewhere along the way we ran into Cole’s grandparents…I am blaming the lighting.

The grandparents??

The grandparents??

We made it back to the beach, relatively unscathed, except Cole’s feet. Almost to the end Cole decided to take an alternate route than the old folks.  This didn’t surprise us, as he has been a bit independent for a long time–like since he was 6. Cole had to scale some serious iron shore cliffs and boulders before finally rejoining us close to our little beach.  He ended up with some serious blisters.  We had a huge lunch and a good laugh.  We will miss him.

Finally, back on our beach. And I have on appropriate foot wear--a first!

Finally, back on our beach. And I have on appropriate foot wear–a first!

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One thought on “Paying the tax man…or the park fee.

  1. Stubbs says:

    Great views – very nice spring break – not like ours with 4 inches of snow. Glad to see that y’all are still sane after six months at sea.

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