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Robin & Jim
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Posted By Robin & Jim

One of my very favorite cays in the Exuma Park is Shroud because it's criss-crossed with little creeks - perfect for paddling a kayak.  The weather would be turning ugly soon so we only had about a day and a half before we had to leave to find better protection from the strong fronts heading our way.  Jim isn't much of a paddler, so I had the mangroves and quiet creeks to myself.

mangrove

The miles of creeks have pure white sand bottoms lined by red and black mangroves and sometimes limestone rock.  There is enough tide that I had to pay attention to shallow areas if the tide was falling, otherwise I might have to get out and drag the kayak back into deep water. 

shroud creeks

I saw tons of baby reef fish among the mangrove roots, as well as a lot of baby barracuda - perfect replicas of the adults.  Barracuda are very fast swimmers when they are hunting, and they even have a shallow little pocket on the top of their body that their dorsal fin folds into in order to make them ultra-streamlined.  Nature is pretty clever.  I also saw a number of small lemon sharks cruising through the shallows, and a very small sea turtle that was pretty shy.

In addition to the life under the water, the bird life was pretty active.  I saw green herons and some little warblers among the mangroves, but the highlight were the long tailed tropic birds that nested in the limestone and flew overhead.  They are truly elegant looking birds with impossibly long tails.

long tailed tropic bird

They gambol overhead by themselves or with one or two other birds, their kek sound drawing attention to their flight and making me run outside with my long lens, or jump in the kayak to try for a shot.

tropic bird landing

Some least terns were also nesting nearby, and laughing gulls.

laughing gulls

The weather started to turn quickly, with some ugly squalls coming ahead of the stronger fronts and winds.

stormy weather

I made it back with my kayak about 10 minutes before the howling wind and rain cranked up.  The seas turned lumpy and we left for Nassau early the next morning to try and deal with our engine repair.

 
1 Comment(s):
Bob said...
Love those photos (except for the last one). Bob
June 4, 2012 10:27 PM
 
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