We stepped off the dinghy and onto the hot sand of Allen’s Cay, our feet touching dry land for the first time in 4 days. When we arrived, we found a large group of lizards waiting as if expecting us, and more soon began to slink out from the shelter of the gnarled trees. They didn’t do much. Mostly they just lounged on the beach watching us, and waiting for us to make the next move.
This afternoon’s landing was arranged so we could visit with the the Bahamian Rock Iguanas, an endangered species which spends its days sunning on the beach and waiting for tourists to arrive with grapes.
It sounds like we aren’t supposed to give them grapes. But … well. It might have happened.
After the iguanas we sailed out to dive at Lobster No Lobster. Honestly, I feel like many of the dive sites here are mis-named. Of the three first sites today, Squid Row, Close Mon, and Lobster No Lobster, only half were named correctly.
There were no squid at Squid Row. And no lobsters at Lobster No Lobster (which, I guess, is half right). Close Mon, however, was certainly close to shore.
Winds here have been heavy this week and Captain Jim has been challenged to find good dive sites. For the first couple of days we were further east, at Eleuthera Island, closer to the open ocean, where the dive sites are deeper.
But yesterday afternoon we moved back to the Exumas, where we can take shelter and dive in the leeward shadows of the islands.
The dive sites here are shallower (20-30 feet or so), but there was still there was plenty to see. In truth, shallow dives offer the advantages of better lighting, warmer water, and many of the same forms of aquatic life.
We will be here for the rest of the trip (basically today and tomorrow).
I’ve skipped two night dives this trip because I’ve been cold and the diving hasn’t been stellar overall. On some level I feel guilty, but on another level I’ve embraced the notion that this is my vacation and I can do what I choose. Tonight Trish and I decided to do the night dive.
And tonight’s dive brought us back to where we began, at Smuggler’s Plane.
Here we found an astounding number of hermit crabs. More than I’ve ever seen.
This was the smallest.
And this was the largest. It was huge, generating a massive cloud of sand as it dug about.
On our third circling of the plane, we found this stingray resting on the sand.
And that was the end of our last day at sea.