While iguanas live all over the Bahamas, some islands are more noted for them. These were at Bitter Guana Cay. When we first walked up to check out the sign, at least 5 iguans came RUNNING out to greet us. Clearly they expected food, which we did not have with us. Let me tell you having 5+ of these creatures barreling towards you expecting food you don't have does more than just give you pause. It makes you run backwards FAST! Not only did I do the backwards dance, but so did everyone else on the beach. These are not cute little curly tail lizards. They are seriously hungry dragon looking speed demons. After we caught our breath and they realized we didn't have any food, things settled down. We realized that the iguanas, while they were running straight towards us, would only come so close before stopping on a dime. If you moved closer to them, they took off in the other direction. That was a relief!
I filmed the video using my underwater camera, which is the one to the left. There is no screen on the back, so you can't see what you are videoing. I just held it up and tried to aim it. Please forgive the shots that aren't centered. It's a little jumpy and there is no sound, but it does give you a nice view of the iguanas.
Every time we walked on the beach we saw shoes. Never a pair of shoes leading you to believe that someone walked off and forgot them. These were lone shoes that had washed ashore....baby shoes, kid shoes, men's shoes, women's shoes....some fairly intact, some only the sole. The thing is many of them did not look like shoes anyone would have worn on the beach. These pics were taken on the same beach on Long Island and were all within 50 feet of each other.
So just how do all these shoes get washed up on the beach? Do that many folks come there, take their shoes off and then forget them? Do they get blown off the decks of mega yachts traveling at high speeds? Do that many people throw their worn out shoes in the ocean instead of the trash? Did a Rack Room container full of shoes get washed off a ship? Is there some country on the other side of the Atlantic ocean that throws them into the water as an offering to the shoe Goddess? These important questions are what keep me up at night! ha ha! Still, I do wonder just how they get there. Got any ideas????
Our boating friends Tom and Cathie on Interlude said when we went to Long Island we just HAD to go to this great restaurant. The way they described it made my mouth water. Almost all the restaurants in the Bahamas serve basically the same things. Lunch = hamburger, cheeseburger, conch burger, chicken sandwich, fish fingers...usually with fries, if you are lucky you might get a side salad. Dinner is the same plus cracked conch and lobster. Dinner sides are mac and cheese or peas and rice. A few restaurants serve fish and maybe one other dish. But Chez Pierre serves Italian food, my fav! Since my parents were with us and Italian is Dad's favorite too, we just had to go there.
We decided to rent a car and see Long Island that way while we were anchored in Clarence Town. Little did we realize when we saw this sign that we were in for an adventure.
First we had to drive about 3 miles down this narrow dirt/coral/rocky road...but hey, at least we didn't have to worry about remembering to drive on the left. There was only room for one car anyway.
Then we saw this sign, turned right and drove down another dirt road for 2 miles. That is five miles down a road that had more potholes, gullies and rocks than the dirt road leading to camp in Maine! I was starting to think we should have rented a jeep!
With a view of the water, a boardwalk leading to the beach and palm trees all around, it was was quite picturesque and totally worth the drive. Pierre came out to greet us and told us to go ahead and bring Roux inside so she wouldn't have to wait in the hot car....that would never happen in the US.
Pierre is the owner, host, waiter and chef. He managed to cook spectacular food while waiting on three tables at the same time. We ordered a salad that was so big the four of us shared it and all had seconds! Dad tried everything to get Pierre to tell us the secret to his salad dressing. But all he would say is you have to have really good olive oil and vinegar. It had SLICED feta cheese, not crumbled, that just melted in your mouth. Then we enjoyed four huge bowls of pasta with the most delicious sauces. It was everything Tom and Cathie said it would be. My only question is what other restaurants do they recommend!!!
...You can take a picture of your anchor and chain while standing on the boat in 10 feet of water. It also helps that the water in the Bahamas is so crystal clear. No I didn't cheat and take these pictures with my underwater camera! They were taking while standing on the boat looking over....
the STERN! Not the usual place to see you anchor!!! The current was swinging the boat around and taking it's nice sweet time. With no wind to push the beast or to even make ripples on the surface of the water, it was easy to spot the anchor at the back of the boat beside the dinghy!
Blue holes are a fairly unique thing to see. They are places where the depth drops suddenly. The dramatic increase in the depth makes the water very blue.
Dean’s Blue Hole is located in a town named, Dean, on Long Island. Actually town is not the right word. Dean is more like a small section on the Queen’s Highway without any stores, businesses, or even a gas station. If it weren’t for the sign, you wouldn’t even realize it was there. Its claim to fame is its blue hole, which at 663 feet, is the deepest in the entire world.
The best part of this particular blue hole is that the cliff surrounding it extends for about 100 yards and protects it from the ocean. That means there is never a swell or even waves to deal with. You can come and swim almost any time except during a strong outgoing tide. Then it creates a whirlpool effect that can suck you down under the water. Three people who died here are memorialized with these statues.
This picture gives you a view of what the cliff protecting the hole looks like.
Notice the dramatic color change. As you can see it is only a few feet from the sand to the big drop off. The drop is so steep, you have to put on all your snorkel gear while you are sitting in the sand and then crawl or walk like a duck to the deep part.
The white structure in the center is a diving platform that has several lines leading to the bottom. I am not sure how they were able to secure the lines on the bottom. Going down 663 feet with dive gear is not possible, so I have to wonder how did they do it??? Every year they hold a free diving competition here. They say it is easy to dive down because the air compresses in your lungs as you go deeper making you sink quickly. The tricky part is the fight to get back up. You have to kick hard to force yourself back up while your lungs are screaming for air.
We snorkeled the area. There is about a 30 foot drop off that rings the deep hole. The fish like to swim in the shallower water as there are a few corals growing here. If you look back at the first picture, it is easy to see. The water over the 30 foot drop is a lighter color. We took that picture before we snorkeled. After this drop , it drops again straaaaight down. No way to touch the bottom here!
Those who know us well, know that we have worn the paint off our fishing lures trolling. I am quite good at putting the lures on the pole and taking them off. I watch the line. I call to the fish. I do the fish dance. But we have yet to have any luck trolling!!! We have been totally skunked! Valkyrie 0; Fish 100.
When Dad came aboard, I had hopes that he would catch something. My Dad has fished his whole life! If anyone could catch a fish, it would be my Dad. Of course with trolling, you set the line and then just drive. Day One = No fish. Dad joked with Don that the Captain was supposed to know where the fish are and drive over them.
I was about to give up hope, when bam, we got a hit. Not that the fish stayed on the line, but it was a definite bite. This was a first!!! We all got excited. As we were heading around the top of Long Island, it finally happened! We got another bite. Dad kept the fish on the line and brought him in!!! I knew Dad would catch a fish!!!
This is a “Lookie Bucket” aka an underwater viewer. Bascially it is a five gallon bucket with the bottom replaced with clear plastic. When placed on top of the water, it acts like a snorkeling mask allowing you to see what is underwater. Sure you could just put on your mask and look, but then your face gets all wet. If I am going to get wet, I want to make it worth my while. I want to see something pretty.
While we were at Conception Island, I swam underwater and took this picture looking up through the bottom of the lookie bucket. Dad was standing in the water looking down through the bucket. Notice his dry hair. :-)
It is especially handy when the water is clear and you want to check your anchor. In the Bahamas the bottom is often sand and grass. While sand provides good holding, grass can have very poor holding because your anchor can’t dig in. Each time you anchor, you need to check to be sure your anchor is dug in and will hold you. No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night to discover they are dragging, esp. in anchorage with other boats around. When Don and my Dad went to check out the anchor in Long Island, they discovered that the anchor was on top of the grass just sitting there looking shiny. NOT conducive for a good night’s sleep. We obviously moved to a better spot with less grass.
Here is what our anchor currently looks like. As you can see the bottom is a mixture of sand and grass. The anchor has dug in and will hold us nicely in place.
The lookie bucket has other sweet uses as well. You can check out the bottom to see if there are rock ledges that lobster might hide under or if there is coral with fish. This is what the water looked like at Lee Stocking Island. Looking without the bucket, you can tell that something is there, but is it grass, coral, rock or something else?.........
Turns out it was two submerged tanks with coral starting to grow and fish swimming all around. There were even a few sea anomies.
The sign looks familiar. The name is certainly familiar. Morrisville is only a few minutes drive from Apex. But something is not quite right.
Could it be that the steering wheel is on the right? Passenger to the left? GPS in Japanese? Oops you can't see that in the picture, but it sure was. Now we aren't home visiting Nick and Sarah in Morrisville, NC. We are in Morrisville, Long Island in the Bahamas. Things are just a little different here. First you drive on the left side of the road. Not an easy task for those of us with way too many years to count of driving on the right. Even as a passenger sitting in the back seat, it freaked me out when a car came around a curve on the "wrong" side of the road. Honestly, I am surprised that there was any air left in the car after us girls sucked wind like it was a fresh peaches and cream milkshake from Chick Fil-A. You know you love them too! The town is tiny. There isn't even an intersection. It is just a small area on Queen's Highway where a school is located.
We didn't even have to pull the car to the wrong lane to take this picture. No traffic issues. No police department. No First Baptist Church. Just a couple of houses, a school and a sign. That's Morrisville, Long Island!