Day 168, Year 10: Happy Birthday, Lynda
Date: Friday, March 27, 2015
Weather: Partly Sunny, Winds SSW 15-20
Location: Emerald Rock Mooring Field, Warderick Wells, Exumas

Lynda on Sea Turtle had birthday today. Unfortunately the seas are so rough that we weren’t able to get together this evening, but I did bake Lynda a birthday cake. She and Lee had so enjoyed the carrot cake in Black Point that I thought I would give it a try. But the only recipe I had onboard was in an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and when the cake was done, I have to say I wouldn’t recommend that recipe. But even though it was less than stellar, we took it over late this afternoon. As our dinghy rose up out of the water on a big wave, Lynda was on Sea Turtle’s side deck ready to grab the bag with the cake. Happy Birthday, Lynda!

We’ve been hobby-horsing on the mooring all day long, so I literally feel like we are ‘riding’ out the westerly winds. We have almost no protection from the south or the west, but hopefully the cold front will come through in the morning bringing north winds. I’m not looking forward to the cooler weather we will have with north winds, but we will have protection so hopefully the big waves will calm down. But despite the big waves, Mark and I took off at low tide this morning to snorkel out at the Malabar Cays. They are a mile from here and it was really a rough ride in the dinghy. About a quarter of the way there, I realized that I had left our snorkel masks on the seat in the cockpit, so we had to turn around to get them. It was too rough to snorkel on the south side of the cays, but we went to the north side and got some protection. I went in first and didn’t find anything very exciting, but Mark came along behind. He is having trouble with his mask leaking and the rubber of the mask also rubs raw some of the places where he has a facial rash due to the cancer treatment. So he didn’t stay in long. We had hoped to see turtles, but maybe it was too rough for them today. I did see a number of barracudas, two different kinds of rays, and a couple of lobsters, some beautiful Queen Angelfish (the size of a dinner plate, and one tiny (2 inches in length) juvenile Queen Angelfish. That made the whole snorkel well worth it to me. When we got back to the anchorage area, we stopped by one of the snorkel sights around Emerald Rock. I jumped in and immediately saw a beautiful Queen Triggerfish. She was a very pale blue with two electric blue lines on her face and outlining all of her fins. She had small lines radiating out from her eyes that made her look almost bug-eyed. I took some photos and then moved on. When I came back, an almost black triggerfish was in the same place with the same electric blue lines. When I got back to the boat I read that Queen Triggerfish can pale and darken dramatically, so I guess I was actually seeing the same fish. Seeing the Queen Angelfish juvenile and the color-changing Queen Triggerfish made my day.

150327 Day 168 Bahamas–Snorkeling Malabar Cays & Emerald Rock

When we got back from snorkeling, we changed clothes, went to pick Lynda up, and headed into the Park office which is about three-quarters of a mile north of us. Lee threw his back out yesterday and didn’t want to aggravate it any more by climbing in and out of a dinghy and bouncing through the big waves in the dinghy. So Mark, Lynda, and I went to the office to check in. We paid for three nights, last night, tonight, and tomorrow night, and are hoping that we might be able to head north to the next island on Sunday. While in the office, Lynda and I bought t-shirts and then went out to inspect the sperm whale skeleton on the beach. It was killed by ingesting plastic and is there as a reminder that plastic garbage must be carefully contained and never thrown overboard. It was quite interesting that there was a red plastic bag blowing about on the beach as we were taking photos of the skeleton. I guess not everybody is as careful as they should be.

150327 Day 168b Bahamas–Judy & Lynda at Park Headquarters
Day 169, Year 10: Riding Out the Late Season Cold Front
Day 167, Year 10: Back to Warderick Wells