Just like Sebastian says in Walt Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”, the Bahamas are better “Under the Sea”, he even sang a great little tune about it. The Garden of Eden in the Bahamas is clearly in the water. Over the past four trips through the Bahamas we have seen so many great examples of this. Here are a few worth sharing.
One of the most colourful Conch shells I have seen, this little guy was so rich in colour, he really was unique.
Stocking Island is the place to meet and greet in the Southern Exuma Islands and Chat ‘n Chill beach is where a lot of the social activities concentrate. It is also a place where you can get up close and friendly with the local rays. The top of a stingray feels like fine grit sand paper, while their undersides are silky smooth. It really is a great feeling to look into the large eyes of the rays – It is clear they are looking back. Oh! it would be so cool to know what they are seeing and thinking.
The little ray in the picture below was enjoying the shade while Oh! was anchored off Rudder Cut Cay. He was probably 40 cm, (16″) from tip to tip. The photo is not enlarged or zoomed in, so it shows how easily you can photograph even young rays up close. Unfortunately, it was late in the day and overcast so the light was subdued. The clearance under Oh!’s keels was 40 cm. It was a great place to check the calibration of the depth sounder!
The grotto at Staniel Cay is famous for its use in the James Bond 007 movie Thunderball that starred Sean Connery. The snorkelling there is some of the best in the Bahamas and is worth several visits at varying tide levels and sun angles to appreciate the beauty of this spot. Despite the huge volume of visitors to the grotto every day, there are still plenty of fish and some good coral to see, as well as the beauty of the grotto itself.
The shaft of light as the sun transits over the opening in the roof of the grotto is like a spotlight on the sea floor inside. The light flickers and dances on the bottom as it refracts through the waves on the surface. It makes the grotto floor look alive with electricity.
Getting a good photo of a Queen Angel fish is always difficult. They are camera shy and tough to get close to. This one is about 40 cm long (16″) and beautiful.
The entrances to the grotto make great backdrops for photos. Sometimes they are below water level and you need to dive through them to enter the central cave.
Outside the grotto the islet is surrounded by reef and sand flats with beautiful sponges, fans, corals and tropical fish. A great place to snorkel and enjoy life under the sea.
This beautiful Spotted Eagle Ray was seen gliding past Oh! just outside the grotto. The wing span would be at least two meters (6.5 ft) on this one. For me, rays are the most graceful of all the fish in the sea. The way they glide and move so effortlessly, and yet are so soft and supple to the touch is something I love to watch.
Porpoises, or Dolphins are always a delight. These came to play as we approached San Salvador Island ( where Columbus first landed in 1492). A large pod of at least 25 common Dolphins played at the bow of Oh! for about 20 minutes.
This shell from the head of a lobster was sitting in about 5 m of crystal clear water off San Salvador island. The colours were so brilliant they seemed artificial.
Another example of the amazing ￼ “Art of Nature”.
Life on Oh! is a new adventure every day. The view from the office window is ever-changing. A montage of dramatic skies, stunning views, and hidden beauty under the sea – everywhere we go.