Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Why We Cruise: Day Three

Coockoo for Coco Cay.

Wednesday Morning and we were anchored at Coco Cay. It's a small little islet in the Berry Islands, midway between Miami and Nassau. It is owned by the cruise line we were on, which I hear is pretty common, I guess all the lines have at least one, as an added destination for their customers.

It's basically a makeshift 'deserted Caribbean island', though not too deserted. It's relatively small, you can see the entire island from the ship.

There's no dock for the big ship, so passengers are picked up by a little runner boat, and ferried to the island.

Apon landing, there are all kinds of shops and activity centers. There's a bar, several buffet kiosks, kayak and snorkel rentals. There's plenty to do, or nothing to do, if you so choose.

Lounge chairs are everywhere, especially around the sheltered beach area.

Nearby there is a hammock grove, if you should feel like swaying yourself to sleep, in the tropical breeze.

For the kids there is a big water slide, and a little go-cart track.

I planned to put my recently purchased snorkel and mask to work again, and headed out into a cove they had set up for the purpose. For the snorkelers, there is a submerged Cessna-type aircraft in the water, the bow of an old wooden ship, and a wall of old coral covered cannon.

Kelly took a walk around the Cay while I stayed out in the water for a couple more hours of snorkeling. When I was done she recommended I go around with her again after lunch, as the other side is much nicer and quieter. We ate, then went explorin'.

Bahama Iguana Momma

We headed for a nature trail entrance nearby.

On the way, we noticed the place was (literally) crawling with iguanas.

My associate advanced, to obtain some more information about the beast, while I remained in the relative safety of the truck...

We plunged headlong into the jungle.

Something made a home out of this coconut husk. How often do you get to see coconuts just laying about? Ahh, the tropics.

The bedrock was mostly this water-bored limestone, I think. The island must have been slightly under water at some point, for these pockmarks to be created. (said the junior geologist).

I wished I had brought some kind of flora/fauna identification book, as there was a lot of plants and trees I'd never seen before, as well as several unusual (for me) birds and other critters. Kelly has a great eye for detailed movement, she can pick out a gecko in the brush at 20 paces. I kid you not. They managed to scurry away everytime I lumbered over to snap a picture though...

We came out on the other side, to see the woods open up into broad gleaming ocean.

Just a smattering of people walking about. No buildings, just a couple chairs here and there. It was the complete opposite of the crowded other side of the island.

Yes, the water was as warm as it looks.

The sand was so fine grained on this side, it formed a kind of paste-like consistency when wet.

It was mega-low tide, as this guy was only ankle deep, walking along a sandbar at least 300 yards out.

This guy strayed from the snorkeling area. I can't imagine there was too much to see in this area, but there's never a bad time to just stick your face in this water and float about listlessly.

We moved on, checking out shells and anything else that caught our eyes. There were alot of hermit crabs taking up residence in whatever shell they could find. I had to stand perfectly still for about five minutes before they peeked out...Then Kelly came bouncing over yelling something about something, and they darted back in their shells. I have the same problem at Arcadia back home...

The pelicans glided about on wind currents above, occasionally dive-bombing the ocean, and coming up with a flapping fish in their beaks.

A virtually manufactured paradise, but a paradise just the same. We took our time, strolling along the beach around the island, and made it back just in time to catch the last ferry back to the ship.


Mary E.Carey said...

Love the final photo. Brian always brings about a half dozen heavy hardcover guides to flora and fauna plus a bulky telescope. Luckily for me, he insists on always carrying all of his own luggage to prevent himself from forgetting everything that he has and leaving something behind.

kid said...

what are you implying about arcadia?