Snorkeling – Porpoise Rock – Bahamas – February 2020

We journeyed out on the WaveRunner one afternoon for a snorkeling adventure.  We were told that at Green Cay, you could snorkel with the sea turtles.  We made our way there and were very disappointed.  There were no turtles, and we only saw one fish.  No coral reefs.  We made our way to Porpoise Rock, which is just north of Rose Island.  We anchored the WaveRunner, and Chuck jumped into the limpid sea water and started our snorkeling journey.  He gave a thumbs up.  It was good.  There was a vast array of tropical fish and coral.  The coral reef was like a gigantic home. The fish skirted in and out of holes in the reef, sliding through holes that had formed over time.  We had entered the entrance of an undersea paradise.  I was particularly fascinated with the parrotfish. Parrotfish are colorful, tropical creatures that spend about 90% of their day eating algae off coral reefs. Essentially, they clean the reefs.  They also chomp on dead coral.  And, what goes in, must come out.  And, what comes out, is sand.  This sand is deposited in the reef as white coral sand.  Yes, they poop sand, and lots of it.  Each parrotfish has roughly 1,000 teeth that help it produce hundreds of pounds of sand each year.  Truly fascinating.

My Parrotfish.
All Stoplight Parrotfish are born as females. Then, something remarkable happens: the mature female changes into a bi-coloured male . This is called the terminal stage.
As juveniles (the initial phase), the stoplight parrotfish has a checkered pattern of dark-brown and white scales and bright red fins, tail and underside
The fish with the large dark spot (false eye) ringed in whited located near their tail fin is called a Four-eyed Butterflyfish.
Atlantic Blue Tang
The Jewel of the Sea – The Atlantic Jewel Damsel
My Jewel of the Sea – Chuck

The spirit of the sea had changed on our journey back to the boat. The chill sea air bit through to my bones. The ocean once calm and gentle was now rising and falling with ease. The waves roll in, each of them as strong and bold as the last. They come without fear.  Then, comes an alarm on the WaveRunner – what now?  We stop. Chuck gets in the water to see if the water intake is plugged.  No, it is not.  It took us awhile to figure out, but it was an alarm telling us that we were low on gas.  The expanse of blue water stretched in every direction to the horizon.  I won’t say that I was not nervous because I was.  It is a scary feeling when nothing is on the horizon but more of the same.  We made it back safe and sound.  As it turns out there was 4 or 5 gallons left in the tank, enough to travel a good distance.

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