Under the Sea
30 March 2016 | Bahamas
We have returned to the water as if we had gills and fins. From our first days in the Bahamas we eagerly dove beneath the surface to see what treasures we could find below. The water was irrestible from the deep blues of the Exumas to the emerald green of the Abacos, and always so clear you could see the tiniest fish or the smallest shell from many feet away. Some days were better than others...some were spectacular.... but none were a disappointment. Even if we only saw grass, sand and shells, we love being under the water.
Our best snorkeling was in the Exumas Parks. We found a wonderful reef in a cove east of Warderick Wells. The fish and coral were amazing. We marveled at the colors of the coral and the variety of fish. The millions of fish at the Aquarium of the Sea at Cambridge Cay were another treat. David fed them oatmea lfrom his dinghy and they came to the surface in droves to practically eat out of his hand. We did not go in the water there as the current was very strong and we had no where to beach the dinghy and safely swim to the 'aquarium'. But we found our own special place just a few miles away ... grouper, parrot fish, angelfish, wrases, sargent major, snapper and yellowtail swimming among the various coral formations ... sea fans, brain coral, tubes, staghorn and baskets.
The Thunderbolt Grotto at Staniel Cay lives up to its reputation. The James Bond film of the same name as filmed there. The cave is in the center of an island so snorkelers may have to swim into the rock opening to get inside...swm in with dozens of colorful fish to surface in a domed cavern with stalagmites and stalactites. The coral formations make a home for the multitude of fish outside the entrance in only a few feet of water. It is an adventure even amateurs can thoroughly enjoy.
The joy of snorkeling is that the water is so clear and so buoyant all fears immediately disappear. I'm not a strong swimmer, but one the mask and fins go on, I can stay in the water for hours. When we took Beth and Tody (Bill's daughter and son-in-law) to Mermaid Reef in Marsh Harbor we had to swim a quarter of a mile from the boat to the reef. I have never swum more than a pool's length in my life but found it was a simple feat. The fish there were unbelievable. We had been told to bring canned corn to feed them. Bill and Toby had to fend off the fish who tried to get at the corn right through the Ziplock bag. They swarmed out of every nook of coral to fight for the golden nuggets. The variety of fish was incredible.
Not every day is a find like Mermaid Reef. But we almost alwasy find interesting things to look at, shells to gather, beaches to explore. We have yet to snag a lobster, but we did fetch four conch in the Berries. Yesterday a pod of dolphin came past the boat...twice. With luck, the adventure continues a few more weeks.