Sunday, July 11, 2010

More diving, more sharks!

Ron and I have been enjoying the scuba diving here, diving every morning and occasionally every afternoon, when we're not snorkeling and checking out new areas of the reef to dive later. What we both -- especially Karyn -- have been reveling in is the warm water temperatures!! It's utterly delightful to splash in and not have hypothermia after 30 minutes in the water, compared with the cold water temps we had this past winter!! We've been diving somewhat shallow areas of the reef here, from 25 to 40 feet or so, but as a result, we've been clocking an hour or more underwater and still coming up with air to spare! It's been great!! 

Calm conditions for our morning dive!

The reefs along Manjack and Green Turtle Cay are made up of amazing coral formations with small crevices, nooks, crannies, and sunlight-filled holes, all filled with fish life. It's so relaxing and zen-like to glide past towering pillars surrounded with juvenile fish or swim under overhangs of coral covered with colorful sea fans...we just admire it all: the scenery, the fish life, the beauty of sunlight filtering through the water. Yet, every dive is different, but that is the charm. 

Of course, there is always the adrenaline rush of the unexpected: a pair of feeding eagle rays as we round a corner of coral, a slumbering nurse shark under a ledge, a turtle calmly resting on a reef, or a blacktip reef shark swimming past curiously -- and fairly closely -- as if to see if we're spear-fishing. (No, thank you -- as it is, the sharks have been stealing from our fishing lines when we've been fishing from Tingum, so we have NO wish to go spear fishing and attract them to us by waving a wounded fish around while underwater!!) It's one thing to see sharks when they are calmly swimming past, yet quite another when you are holding an entree for them!  

Today after our morning dive, we moved Equinox from our anchorage just north of  New Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay over to the Treasure Cay anchorage basin. After we put Eclipse back  in her cradle atop the flybridge, we then weighed anchor: Ron took Equinox south through Crossing Bay, out Whale Cay Cut and around through Loggerhead Channel, while Karyn piloted Tingum through the thin waters around Don't Rock on the Sea of Abaco. It was near low tide, and yes, the waters were low indeed! I'm not sure whether it was due to the solar eclipse today or not, but according to the chatter on the VHF about it and what we observed, it did seem that the waters were lower than usual. So, we pulled into Treasure Cay carefully: Karyn led with Tingum, reporting its sounder depths, with Equinox following. We were glad that we had Tingum checking the waters too, since it was shallow enough that the sounder on Equinox stopped registering -- yet we slipped in to the marina mooring basin and anchored with no issue. Whew!  Anchor down and secure at 2:02 pm, followed by a lengthy, leisurely time at the Treasure Cay Marina pool before sundowners on the aft deck! 

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