The Octopuses Garden
12 February 2013 | Highbourne Cay, Exumas, Bahamas
The water was getting choppy where we were anchored so we decided to move to the other side of the island, closer to the reef and a different direction of protection from the land. It was a bit difficult getting in because the wind was so strong and Bill was trying to cut through the shallow part. We were using our headsets again so he could hear I was having issues. We changed our course to go a bit out of our way, but through deeper water. It worked a lot better. As soon as we anchored we could tell it was much calmer over here. Unfortunately no Internet though. That is OK, having Internet detracts from all the other things we can be doing with our time. Bill decided that it was time to go snorkeling. I personally prefer to be on top of the water rather than in it, but I let Bill buy me a wet suit and snorkeling gear. We were going to spend the winter in the Bahamas after all. We put on all our gear and practiced by the boat first so I could refresh my memory on how to snorkel. It's been a couple of years. Once I was OK with it we got in the dinghy and, with our new dinghy anchor, anchored next to the reef. Wow!!! This area of reef is called the Octopuses Garden and it was incredible. Beautiful fish, coral and plants were all around us. Luckily the water was relatively calm so it was easy to float around and check out the sights. Over night the wind changed so it was not as calm today. When we swam around the boat yesterday Bill saw some issues with the bottom of the boat because the water was so clear. Most of the bottom was fine but two areas were completely covered with live barnacles. They needed to come off. He also saw a zinc was missing from the propeller shaft. The zinc protects the boat from damage to the underwater metal by electrolysis. A few years ago he bought a very expensive system to allow him to scuba dive around the boat to fix and maintain things under the water. Finally we were in the right spot to use it. It was perfect for what he had to do today. All the preparation was done and he was jumping in the water with all the gear on when the regulator got caught on the swim ladder and broke off. End of story, that was not going to work again until we can find a way to get it replaced. He managed to do what he had to do with just his mask and snorkel, but it was a whole lot harder. We decided to go and snorkel on the reef again but it was just too rough to be enjoyable. Bill took some cool pictures which we will post when we get Internet again. On our way back our neighbors in a catamaran waved us over and invited us on board. They were Canadians, as are so many cruisers we see out here. They were just on a two week charter though. We had a nice time talking to them. As we were leaving a giant ray went swimming by the boat. Luckily Bill had a camera and got a decent picture of it. Tomorrow we will head out again and go to Allan's Cay where there are apparently iguanas everywhere you look. We will see how they compare to the iguanas we saw in Ft. Lauderdale!