After breakfast this morning, Tracy spotted some conch not far from the boat. So, we decided to go conchin’! We donned our wetsuits and dove in approximately 10 feet of water beneath the boat and brought up several conch. We were so disappointed to find that they had previously been caught and the conch had already been evacuated from their shells. We were looking forward to cracked conch for lunch.
Making the best of the situation, we snorkeled between the boat and the beach and were surprised to find several small patches of coral with quite a few fish in the area. Julie and Cindy donned their wetsuits, and we had a little snorkeling party off the back of Beatitude. After a half an hour or so, we reboarded our yacht and prepared for the 1.5 mile dinghy ride to Sandy Cay Reef. The Sea of Abaco water had barely a ripple as we motored northward. We encountered a gentle ocean swell of 2 feet or so as we neared Sandy Cay. We picked out one of the several mooring balls placed for small boats to tie up to while snorkeling the reef. A couple came up later and tied to the same ball although several were available. They said a friend told them the snorkeling from this ball is the best on the reef. Who knew?!
We all made our entrance into the 20-25′ deep water by the boat and swam the 30 feet or so to the reef. My expectations of this place was high, so it would be difficult for the reef to meet them… but, they were far surpassed. Sandy Cay Reef is, hands-down, the best snorkeling I’ve ever done (And I’ve snorkeled throughout the Caribbean and Hawaii). The reef was amazing with such a variety of coral set ablaze with color. We saw a great diversity of reef fish: Parrotfish in an array of colors, yellow snapper, blue tangs, squirrelfish, angelfish, trumpetfish and barracuda. Tracy and Julie spotted two majestic spotted eagle rays gliding effortlessly through the water. They also saw a nurse shark. Cindy and I saw a Caribbean reef shark. Perhaps the highlights of our encounters was the cutest little hawksbill turtle who was just hanging out among the coral. We stayed for around an hour, although I could’ve stayed much longer, before making the trek back to Beatitude.
A little later in the afternoon we took Dalí over to a secluded beach on Lynard Cay where we hung out in the sun and did a little exploring. There was a neat cave carved into the rocky face of the beach. We found 10-15 sand dollars, as well as numerous other water creatures. A cute little crab played hide and seek with us from within his shell. This day was awesome!