Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8, 2013 - National Gallery, Camana Bay, and Bio Bay

We were up at the crack of dawn (almost) to get back in the water right outside the condo. My flipper flopping is still fairly amateurish, but I've really figured out keeping the mask clear. Esther found this urchin exoskeleton right after descending the ladder. Jacki was just trying to describe to me the shape of one of these the night before at Smith Cove and as soon as I saw it, I understood. These are fragile and it's not extremely common to find one whole.

This parrot fish looks afflicted, but she's getting her scales detailed by two bluestreak cleaner wrasse while a blue tang peeks out from below.

This bird was hunting for fish in the shallow pools right next to us while we were checking out the flounder in the above picture. 


Phil and Jacki picked us up later this morning to check out the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. In the main exhibit hall was a collection called "Images of Yesteryear" that included several black and white photos of the island from 1900 to 1960 including one of a car being floated by raft to the island and several of the early inhabitants. Outside building is a collection of sculptures and a labyrinth that Esther was compelled to walk to completion. 

We had lunch at a restaurant in Camana Bay, a more recent addition to the island. Esther and I climbed the observation tower for a 360° view of the island.

That evening at sunset we set out for a tour of the "Bio Bay", a sheltered part of North Sound where during the nights of low moonlight can be seen the bioluminescent dinoflagellates. Sadly, we have no photos of the actual glowing dinoflagellates as they are problematic to photograph. I have found several pictures on the web of what are supposed to be people swimming and kayaking in the bio bay, but our experience looked little like that. The dinoflagellates react to changes in water pressure by luminescing (similar to fireflies) in quick bursts of light that is a pale blue color. The effect looks like sparks of bluish-white flying off of any part of you in the water as it moves- clapping hands, snapping fingers. By rotating my arms in the water they looked electrified.

All the pictures from today are swimming around here.

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