Sailing against the trade winds always makes for a bumpy night, so we welcomed protection from the swells when we tucked behind Long Cay in the morning. A few seabirds darted by in the predawn light as a few of us awaited the sunrise with excitement. As expected, another Bahamian sunrise did not disappoint. Rays broke through the clouds before the world was awash in soft morning light. Approaching our anchorage for the morning, we found relatively calm blue waters lined by the low green land to which we have become accustomed.
For our day’s first excursion, we set out in Zodiacs in search of West Indian flamingos. A local guide pointed us in the correct direction, and it was not long before we saw a flamboyance of pink resting in the shallow waters near shore. These birds are iconic in the tropics and the Bahamas, and rightfully so. With their long legs and necks, characteristic bills, and bright pink plumage, they are a delight to behold, especially from a close distance. While seeing these animals is always special, it is particularly meaningful in the Bahamas. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the Bahamian people, who are working to save the species from losses endured in the past, the population of flamingos has rebounded.
During our lunch, the ship was repositioned to Crooked Island, where Andy, our local guide, took us on a tour of some of the sites in the town. With a population of 200, it seemed everyone we met was related or close friends. Everyone was incredibly warm and welcoming. Our first stop was the oldest post office in the Bahamas. Not only was this an interesting structure, but it gave Andy an opportunity to tell us about some of the history of the island. On the grounds, American kestrels, barn swallows, and endemic Bahama woodstars flitted around, letting us sneak in some wildlife during our tour of historic sites. After a short look at the ruins of a cotton plantation, we were gifted some delicious local delicacies: conch fritters and key lime pie!
Our evening was spent cruising by a picturesque lighthouse on the way to a calm anchorage. We are all looking forward to some decent sleep and a fun day tomorrow. We plan to spend the last full day of our voyage on the Out Islands of the Bahamas.