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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Diving Exuma Wall

Another windy day here in the Bahamas. Why are we not surprised? We’re not surprised because nearly every day these past 5 months, the wind has been blowing, with only a few days where passages and/or diving were comfortable. It’s supposedly due to the effects of El Nino, but the weather has not been what we envisioned for our cruise this past season, to be perfectly honest!! But true to form, the winds continue at 15-20 knots, or more. 
The seas were rather rough in the morning so we weren't keen to be out there and get beat up trying to dive or fish, so we just settled in aboard, reading and relaxing. We're finally back within satellite TV range, so we caught up on recent news too. In some ways, it feels very odd to be so disconnected and far away from things at times. Handling  communication is the hardest, due to the lack of easy internet access, but we've discovered that TV is something you don't really miss that so much.  

There are noticeably fewer boats recently -- seems most cruising snowbirds are heading back north, thus we were one of just three boats remaining in the anchorage. Cozy, but after a few hours of relaxing aboard, we were getting a bit stir crazy! Happily, by the afternoon, things had settled enough that we decided to take Tingum out to try our hand at more fishing. We were pleased to see that out through Highbourne South Cut, the seas were actually calmer than yesterday, with brighter skies. We set some deeper lures since it was so bright out, but it was almost the stand of the tide, so there was little current. Nary a bite, so after an hour or more, deciding that fishing was a bust, we dropped anchor near the northern tip of HIghborne Cay and made a dive. Lovely!!
The profile of the wall that edges along Exuma Sound is really gorgeous and dramatic. The minute we went over the edge at the top, there was a good-sized hawksbill turtle that was cruising along, not at all startled by our arrival. He actually followed us along a bit as we meandered along the reef wall, checking out the coral and sponges that are everywhere there. Once again, both Ron and I noticed that there was some of that algae growth on the corals though, which was concerning. We’ve always associated the algae with shoreline construction, which often causes a lot of sediment in the water that settles on the reef. But since there’s no construction here, it’s a bit odd that the algae is here.
We decided after dinner that we would continue to head north tomorrow, a bittersweet concept, since it signifies “the beginning of the end” of this season’s cruising. We could stay in the Exumas through the month, but with the weather still being recalcitrant, it seems our best bet to just start back, taking our time and enjoying the good weather whenever it comes, wherever we are. We’ll head to New Providence tomorrow, either to West Bay or over to Nassau Harbor, depending on the winds and seas. No schedules, no agendas, just taking it as it comes! It will be lovely to be back in contact with folks again...we’ve missed the internet and the easy communication it provides!

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