South Allen Cay Continued
26 January 2023 | South Allen Cay
Roger Wallace | Still very beautiful - South wind
For the first time since arriving in the Bahamas, we have not moved Pathfinder off anchor. It’s very nice. Granted, we only moved a few hundred yards yesterday, but not running the boat in any way is a nice change. Instead, we explored the land and water of tiny South Allen Cay.
The structure and erosion patterns of this collection of islands are very interesting. The east facing shorelines are more undercut than the west facing shorelines. I suspect that is due to the prevailing wind, and thus wave, direction. The rock is a limestone that erodes very unevenly which leaves jagged edges. The east and south side of the island has small basins, a little like the potholes found in a few rivers in New England. Sedamentary layers tilted upward were clearly visible on the south side of the island despite the rough erosion pattern. We have not ID’d the vegetation yet except for palm trees. We’re both wishing we had a flora and fauna guide to the islands along with books about the geology and history.
We have snorkeled the entire perimeter of the bay; checked out the area right around our boat; and snorkeled a small area off the south side of the island. Don’t tell anybody, but we may have found an old cannon on the bottom right underneath our boat. Cool!!! I swam out to check the anchor shortly after we arrived and watched the anchor chain get under a large rock and very slowly lift it up and flip it over. The boat wasn’t moving much, but it is clear the chain was absorbing a fair amount of force/energy. There are also medium size piles of conch shells indicating that someone harvested and processed the conch on the spot. There were very few live conch to be seen. They are clearly being over-harvested.
Snorkeling the perimeter of the bay was fun. The west side, which had much more overhang, was more interesting. We saw a variety of fish, but nothing in large quantity. The most interesting fish we’ve seen thus far are needlefish. We saw our first ones at night on Mackie Shoals. The were almost two feet long and our new friend Phil said that is about as big as they get. Susan also saw a lonely conch working its way across the bottom. Not much to report on coral except that it looks pretty sad right now.
Snorkeling south of the island was a change, but not as interesting as the north side.
Visibility is excellent. The water is various shades of blue depending on depth and we can easily see our anchor chain on the bottom- even when it was 20’ down at a different anchorage.