Sandy Cay Reef

Beatitude at anchor west of Lynard Cay

Beatitude at anchor west of Lynard Cay

Lynard Cay Sunrise

Lynard Cay Sunrise

Sunrise over Lynard Cay

Sunrise over Lynard Cay

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.

Deceived!  Empty conch shells!

Deceived! Empty conch shells!

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?!

Julie snorkeling off Beatitude between the back of the boat and the shore

Julie snorkeling off Beatitude between the back of the boat and the shore

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 small school of French Grunts

A small school of French Grunts

A Parrotfish swimming by

A Parrotfish swimming by

DCIM100GOPRO

Two Bar Jack

Two Bar Jack

DCIM100GOPRO

Cindy snorkeling Sandy Cay Reef

Cindy snorkeling Sandy Cay Reef

Trumpetfish

Trumpetfish

Cutest little Hawksbill Turtle

Cutest little Hawksbill Turtle

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

Julie and Tracy snorkeling Sandy Cay Reef

Julie and Tracy snorkeling Sandy Cay Reef

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

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!

Our own private beach on Lynard Cay

Our own private beach on Lynard Cay

Ladies looking for sand dollars

Ladies looking for sand dollars

A Lynard Cay beach

A Lynard Cay beach

Can you spare a few dollars?

Can you spare a few dollars?

Heart Urchin in a few inches of water

Heart Urchin in a few inches of water

Mr. Crab playing hide and seek

Mr. Crab playing hide and seek

Ladies on the beach

Ladies on the beach

My lounge chair upon which to soak in God's great creation.

My lounge chair upon which to soak in God’s great creation.

Us with our daughter, Julie

Us with our daughter, Julie

Sunset after an eventful day

Sunset after an eventful day

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