... and there were plenty of large (at least a foot across) starfish.
We were told to go on a rising tide, but we were still too close to low, and found ourselves paddling through some shallow water. When it got deep again, we started seeing sea turtles, at least 25 of them, but they swim really fast and are impossible to photo. Using his small hand held GPS, Buck lead us right to the blue hole. We put on our snorkel masks and leaned over the edges of the dinghys to see this amazing phenomenon. It looked like a big underwater bottomless cave, and I was quite impressed. We tried to dinghy further into the backwater, but kept running into shallows, so we turned around. Linda stopped us all to look at the sea urchins, which somehow end up with shells stuck to their spines.
On the way back, we had lunch at Lubbers Landing, a very charming beach restaurant. Bahamas lesson #1: have a dinghy that is easy to launch and can get up on a plane with your crew ... so much to see by dinghy.
Alas, this was not a calm day.
Meanwhile back at Nippers, the party was in full swing, it was "pig roast Sunday". The views from the upper levels of the bar are great.
As you can see, Nipper's is a popular hangout for the party crowd, here's the view of the pools.
We dinghy'd around the corner to the other bar, Grabber's ... seemed like a more grown up kinda place to us ... where we had beverages and the best conch salad we'd had in the Abacos.
In recent decades, the developers have moved in building big houses, a golf course, and private clubs. We wanted to see if we could still get to the reef as we remembered it being right off the beach. At the end of the island was the clubhouse and a beach with chairs. We saw some open sand (to the left in the photo) and beached the dinghy's ... no one kicked us out, actually the place was deserted except for the bartender.
Huge luxury homes were built on top of the sand cliffs you see, one has to wonder if/when they will topple into the ocean. It was finally time to part company with Buck and Linda, we will miss them, and are so glad we met them. Our destination for the night was Treasure Cay, back across the Sea, actually on what they call the "mainland", Great Abaco Island. Treasure was developed as a resort and marina about 20-30 years ago, and it's still quite lovely, if a bit worn. The protected harbor charges you $10 to anchor and you have use of all the facilities. There are canals where you can build a home and dock your boat and the whole complex is "self contained" with a small shopping strip for groceries, bakery, etc., pools and three restaurants. The beach is billed as one of the top ten "in the world", so we had to see it. The sand is not sugar sand, it's powdered sugar sand in a perfect 3 mile cresent, calm (because it's on the Sea of Abaco, not the Atlantic) and a beautiful turquoise color. It was cloudy, so you'll have to take my word for it.
The next day, we crossed The Whale, which you may recall, is a short open ocean jaunt to get around Whale Cay. It was smooooothhh this time. Since the calm weather was continuing, we decided to anchor for the night at No Name Cay, right after The Whale. We dinghy's around the corner to ....
No Name Cay has a band of feral pigs: 2 large and 3 small ones, so we had to take a look and a picture.
They wade out into the water when they hear a boat approach, but since we didn't have any food for them, they lost interest in us quickly. We spent the afternoon relaxing on Shingebiss, watching at least 6-8 small boats come in to feed, pet, and photo them.
Next day, we came into Green Turtle Club Marina and Resort on Green Turtle Cay, White Sound, across from where we stayed (Bluff House) on the way down. Just our opinion, but this really is one of the nicest places we've stayed at plus very friendly folks on the docks. We've been here through a front that produced alot of wind (30 mph +) and rain over the past two days.
The internet is a bit iffy right now, so I am going to close for now, and hope to get back to you in a couple of days.