On our way to Nassau, New Providence, we visited the Land and Sea Park Warderick Wells, a protection zone including several islands and their marine surroundings. Again, we had the opportunity to present the "sun21" to a responsive and highly interested public.
Clear sky, mild winds permitted us to leave early. Perhaps it was the last time that we left with Little Farmer's Cay a "Third World" ambiente. Towards the North of the Exuma Islands, there were more and more big mansions and fancy marinas. The contrast could not be more impressive than between Little Farmer's Cay and the Sampson Bay Navy Club. We had to refill water, so we docked at this marina. The "sun21" was surrounded by big showy yachts, "Grand Cru", "Impetuous", "No Agenda" and "Bandit" – be sure: also the "Bandit" was polished and perfectly clean; but all the yacht owners surrounded our boat and covered us with many questions and congratulations. The acceptance of solar energy is wide spread, unambiguous and often enthusiastic. Welcoming atmosphere all over – even the two sharks that circle in the harbor were very peaceful – Yves Thonney could dive and clean the bottom of our hulls without any risk. Meanwhile, his father skipper Michel carefully studied the best itinerary in this island world where navigation is very tricky, complicated, risky. The weather forecast announced powerful winds from the North that held us back. The next stages before Miami will be challenging, shallow sea, strong winds, powerful Gulf stream currents in front of Florida – so we had to give way and wait for the favorable conditions.
In the morning of 24 March 2007, we said good-bye to our neighbor yacht "Grand Cru" and the two "nurse sharks" and left the Sampson Cay Navy Club. We floated to the North, along the long and slim Exuma islands until we reached the Land and sea Park Warderick Wells. The park wardens immediately approached us with their official boat and were enthusiastic about ours. They gave us a ride to the park center and showed it to us. What is this park about? It is a wide protection zone including several islands and their marine surroundings with a lot of didactic references – there is no fishing, no hunting, no settlements, no stores and restaurants in this park. There is a network of carefully designed and maintained nature trails on some parts of the Warderick Well island. We walked these trails and saw a variety of animals, a stingray (Rochen) in a shallow bay, various lizards, hermit crabs in big snail shells and a snake, and several birds among them very friendly banana quids and a mocking bird. Beat and Martin met on their way to the "pirate lair" and they realized: Even the boldest pirate vessel could not have landed there today. The sea raged so wildly. We watched it respectfully. On that day, we had only experienced the waves at the smooth protected side of the island chain.
On Saturday – we were invited by Tom, the ranger of the park, at 5 30 PM to a "Happy Hour at the beach". About 40 people from all the docked boats came with beverages, salads and snacks for a potluck dinner. Tom introduced us and gave us the opportunity to present our concept and ideas. The public was very responsive and interested – all highly motivated boat owners; many questions were asked. And in the evening and during the next day many people showed up in their dinghies and visited the "sun21".
Meanwhile, the tenacious strong wind from the North did not cede, and our skippers decided to wait there for another day. Today, on 27 March 2007, we decided to cross the channel to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas. Now, our boat is like the inside of a potato chip bag because it was splashed with salt water during six hours of the trip. Nassau does not appear as a natural park, but more as a certain kind of "pirate lair". Anyway, our compatriot Werner K. Rey was not available for an interview about solar investments anymore. At least, our neighbor is the huge, black, fancy yacht "Octopussy" with an "Esso" flag. And Franz from Heiden, Appenzell, the butler of the boat, greets us from the upper deck with a big smile and a Swiss flag.