Experiencing our nation through its environments, animals, people and history.

Galatians 5:1

Friday, December 11, 2009

Freeport

That's right, the Bahamas are part of the Carribean Islands, in the West Indies, and its all subtropical climate down here. Amen, SUNSHINE!! Man, if we haven't been spoiled yet on this trip, we sure are now!! The Bahamas are made up of 29 islands and about 2000 keys. The name might come from the Spanish "Baja mar", meaning shallow seas. Our first stop was at the Grand Bahama Island, which has the second largest city: Freeport. The ship offered several expensive "shore excursions" but we are way too wise (cheap) for that, so we made our way off to find a local taxi...
Funny, they found us! What, did we look like tourists or something? Was it the boogie board slung over our back, or the snorkels already donned on our children??
No matter. We got a great deal to a private snorkeling beach...


Where there was a lagoon about 2-5 feet deep all the way out to some rocks, or islets. The surf was breaking beyond the islets and it was like "the drop off" (much deeper), so we pretty much stayed in the lagoon. It was a perfect opportunity for our first real snorkeling adventure!! (you know we had been practicing.... everywhere....)
Jo: My mask was getting water in it so I used the goggles and snorkel. I liked being on the boogie board cuz I didn't have to swim much, just a little!
Shayna: There was coral, shells and seagrass all over the bottom. There were tiny bright fish swimming through the coral. I loved the blue ones with the bright spots, they looked like Christmas lights! Out toward the rocks there were larger fish and big schools of them.
This is "brain coral" that you could find on the bottom. Coral is alive, so we had to be careful not to stop and step on any of it.
JJ: When I was swimming out near the rocks, suddenly a ray swam up to me. I saw its bulging eyes and long wings out to the side. He was about 5 feet away, looking right at me!! I was yelling at my mom through the snorkel, when she looked she saw it swimming away. It was blue and had spots, it was an eagle ray!
http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/SERay/SERay.html
After that I was ready to come back to the shore!!
We were able to find some "sea biscuts" and other cool shells. (You were allowed to collect them as long as they didn't have any creatures living inside!)
Jo: This is Bahama Bear!!! After awhile me and dad went back out and we didn't go very far, but we did see some cool things! At first we went over something bumpy and we thought is was a rock. But then we noticed it had eyes. So we went back and saw it was a ray! It was mostly buried in the sand so we couldn't see what kind it was. We watched it for awhile. The ray was probably thinking "that sure is strange coral!! Or really wierd fish!! Oh, its humans, better swim away!!"

JJ: I never knew the Rays would get me this far!!!

2 comments:

Sabbatical, Phase 4- Florida... said...

momma note: JJ's last comment is a baseball reference to his team last season, the Tampa Bay Rays. They took the championship and he credits them the special Eagle Ray visit! (which he is still freaking out about.....)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeremiah! We've been following your adventures and you look like you're having a great time. We've been trying to reach you. Please contact us. We have a plan! We really miss you, and Josiah and Shayna.
Nancy and SND