Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Cambridge Cay, Exumas

Mr Mac in the Cambridge Cay mooring field, Bahamas
Spring of sargassum with cenophore at upper right
Cambridge Cay is in the Exumas Land & Sea Park, a beautiful stretch of islands along the Exuma chain in the Bahamas. It’s also one of the park locations with a mooring field, so we splurged for a night and picked up a mooring. First off, the water of the mooring field is absolutely gorgeous, sandy substrate and turquoise water. We dinghyed ashore and walked across the island to the Exuma Sound side. We also dinghyed to a nearby island, Rocky Dundas, that has some sea caves and terrific snorkeling. The tide was too high and the water too choppy to safely explore the caves, but the snorkeling was great! We watched a pair porcupine fish, each 2+ feet long, that swam all over the place, one clearly pursuing the other, so perhaps it as porcupine fish mating season. Also, there was a bloom of ctenophores, small floating jellies related to jellyfish but much prettier. They move by means of cilia, tiny hair-like bristles that reflect the sunlight in rainbow colors. Just beautiful!

Lovely array of corals, sponges, and sea fans

This was one big elkhorh coral (see Chris just behind it)

Laaarge grouper watching me warily
Chris following the conch-lined trail to the other side of the island

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