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Entries about iguanas

SW Allens Cay

Jurassic Park in the Bahamas

sunny 80 °F

After a fairly typical morning on the boat, not much activity, we decided to take the dinghy to Allens Cay, about two miles north to see the iguanas. There is about a one mile reef/rocks between here and there with one good way through so we broke out the portable GPS with marine charts to make our way through the opening.

Not much of a problem, the GPS doing its thing well. However, having gone on the north side of the reef into a north wind the ride got bumpy. Again, not a problem. It also got wet ... Carol's description: the two of us fully clothed in a bath tub being drenched with a fire hose. Pretty close. Back at the boat I pumped out several inches of water.

The GPS was in a zip lock baggie and became pretty unreadable at that point and my glasses we so wet and salty the we just headed for a beach we could see. Turns out it was SW Allens not Allens, but who cares. We took the dinghy well up on the beach and put out the anchor. The boat is anchored near the tower to the left of the dinghy on the island in the background.

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Down the beach comes Iggy Iguana, no fear, no concerns, no problems, the local Jurassic version of Welcome Wagon. They are about 30-in. long and can move pretty quickly when they want to do so; they are vegetarians so not any real threat. They used to be ubiquitous throughout the islands; now they exist only on these few islands and are an endangered species. So, no more worrying about becoming a pair of Tony Lama cowboy boots for these guys.

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SW Allens is not very big, basically a large U shape. There are two defining items: a knoll, maybe 30-ft. above sea level and this single palm tree (lots of palmetto trees) which was just about on the beach where we landed.

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Walking in the water we noticed these conch shells, I figured empty. Not so. There were hundreds, none larger than about six inches. We did finally find a couple of conchs that were, maybe, legal size. I offered these up to Carol who, after personally devastating the conch population of the Northern Bahamas for her dining enjoyment, eschewed any more needless slaughter of the defenseless conch population. Oh, and she wants world peace too. On the plus side, I now know where to get my bait for fishing.

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Most of the island was eroded limestone with bits of sandy patches. The erosion pattern on the rocky part produced some very sharp areas; Carol slipped and punched a hole in the palm of her hand. I shredded and left about a quarter of the bottom of my not very good reef walkers there. We found this cairn and Carol added "our rock" to the pile.

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The ride back was much drier with the waves on the stern; we had dried out during the island visit. About halfway back, in an exposed, windy area, the engine quit. Oh s.... it's a long way to row. A simple fix ... I had pushed something against the fuel tank and disconnected the hose. Then the GPS stopped. A simple fix .... just reboot the thing and we made it back through the gap in the reef. Back on the boat, Carol tended her wound and we decided that it had been a good day but that we were through -- no more adventures.

Posted by sailziveli 14:10 Archived in Bahamas Tagged beach boating bahamas iguanas Comments (0)

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