It IS Better in the Bahamas

Turtle Journal’s Sue Wieber Nourse Snorkels in Coco Cay

Rising from the brilliant sunlit waters of the Bahamas, Sue Wieber Nourse slips through the warm sands of Barefoot Beach after a long snorkel dive in the channels off Coco Cay.  Morning temperatures hovered in the low 80s with a gentle easterly breeze swaying the palm trees shading our cabana lounge chairs.  The only cold thing on this beach was the iced Heineken.

Barefoot Beach in Coco Cay

Patrolling clear, deep channels separating fields of turtle grass, Sue cruised by her near-namesake predator, a nurse shark, hovered over an enormous ray scouring the sandy bottom for grub, and observed conchs of all sizes crisscrossing the submerged flats like Great Plains tractors.  Experiencing that eerie, chill-down-the-back sense of being followed, Sue glimpsed a barracuda through the corner of her mask, as the fish tracked her every movement.  It was a juvenile no more than two feet long, but every inch a predator, and practicing what predators do best.

Barefoot Beach in Coco Cay

Don Lewis dove north of Sue and tested the Journal’s underwater camera on a variety of tropical fish.  He discoverd a tiny live conch about 2 inches long gliding along the bottom of a shallow channel.

Minnow School in Coco Cay

While the Bahamas can’t match St. John USVI for abundance and variety of reef fish and colorful, healthy corals, for this brief winter interlude when ice storms are battering the Great White North, the Bahamas make a perfect refuge.  Yep, they’re right.  It is better in the Bahamas … and 70 degress warmer, too.

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