18-25 March 2015... Exuma Land and Sea Park

Eager to get on to the Exuma Park, we went to Shroud Cay with Gem. There they showed us one of the mangrove channels through to the ocean side of the island. Later we kayaked another channel -- fun to see sharks and rays in this very shallow water. We surprised some ruddy turnstones who flew up as we approached -- as with everything else on the banks, their undersides reflected the green of the water. Wonderful too to see the beautiful tropicbirds in the anchorage -- unfortunately they were too high for a decent photo. So far Shroud is the only place we have seen these birds.

Gem left us at Shroud, and we continued down to Hawksbill Cay -- the next large island in the Park. Here we anchored down near the end of the island, hoping to avoid the snugglers -- boats that feel a need to anchor close to other boats. We succeeded. There were a series of rocks nearby with fairly good snorkeling. So over the next couple of days we tried these out. Saw some old friends -- queen angelfish, bluehead wrasse, squirrelfish, grunts, white margate, blue tang, surgeonfish, bar jacks, schoolmasters along with christmas tree worms and sponges. Not a big variety of coral, but enough protection to afford these fish a home. And from the boat we saw daily parades of rays from the cut around the corner to the banks.

Next stop -- Warderick Wells Cay -- Park headquarters. Not there early enough to get a mooring, so we anchored out near Emerald Rock. Just as well, as the snorkeling was near there anyway. Again into the water and saw some things we hadn't before. Best of those was the queen triggerfish -- first in its white coloration over the sand, then watched it turn blue as it hovered over the coral head at the cleaning station. Wow, nature! Again, saw the regulars, this time adding the stoplight parrotfish, mahogany snapper, butterflyfish, blue chromis, fairy basslet, rock beauty, and a nassau grouper.

Back to Anhinga, Patti dangling toes in the water from the dinghy, when feeling a nibble... Uhh ohh -- there ARE sharks here. But, with inspection, found that 3 sharksuckers had made their home under the boat. Sometimes they will attach themselves to divers, luckily that didn't happen. Once back aboard tried to get a photo...

The other highlight of Warderick Wells was the hike to Boo Boo Hill. Not very high, but enough to give you perspective on the water and islands nearby. And to catch a welcome breeze after the hot desert-like trek through the bush.

Shroud Cay: 24d32.051'N 76d47.943'W
Hawksbill Cay: 24d27.792'N 76d46.073'W
Warderick Wells Cay: 24d22.948'N 76d37.991'W

1 comment:

  1. Ahoy Anhinga- Great to read the posts and see the photos. Beautiful as always. Spring has finally arrived here in DMV, cherry blossoms in full bloom so don't feel so depressed reading your posts..:-)! Looking forward to the continuing adventures of Patti & John. Be well my friends.