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Flock

We have just arrived in George Town, a bit apprehensive, but full of hope.  This place comes with a heavy reputation as either heaven or hell, depending…  We are trying to be positive in our mood but open to whatever comes.  The last several days on the boat have been challenging for me and I feel as if my head is in a bit of a fog.  I have been suffering from some cabin fever and writer’s block.  Luckily for me, my husband has written the words that follow.  (And I’m quite impressed, to be honest.)  Please enjoy!

This story comes from No Name Cay in the Abacos.  It was a stop the adults made reluctantly.  The kind cruisers and locals around Green Turtle Cay who saw our children had eagerly told them about the pigs on the island just to the south.  We were less than enthused but the kids were all in.  It turns out there were pigs, but also chickens to boot.

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Both girls pursuing pig love!

The anchorage itself was quiet once a tour boat cleared out.  We went ashore to feed and mingle with the herd.  Marley tried to pick every piglet and pig up to cradle and love them, as Evyn tried to verbally negotiate with the large sow, explaining that the food in her hand was for the cute, smaller pigs and not for her.  The pig, needless to say, did not appreciate the favoritism. The meet and greet went on longer than Erin or I would have liked, but it was definitely making the girls happy.

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Pig Island

After we pried the girls away from the feral petting zoo, I took them on a snorkel along a limestone bank on the newly-named Pig Island.  I was in search of dinner.  Recently I had managed to put two lobster on my family’s table and I was feeling like quite the hunter.  Erin took a walk on the beach and she later picked us up in the dinghy.

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Perfect for shore snorkeling

My girls and I entered the warm Bahamian waters and skirted the craggy shoreline searching under ledges and pointing out beautiful fish.  We had wandered a fair distance when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a large, dark shadow.  I’m a child of the 70s so I immediately did the requisite cringe and reached out for both daughters.  As the object grew and came into focus I quickly recognized one of my favorite sea animals.

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Spotted eagle rays at Sandy Cay, much smaller and further away than the ones we saw at No Name Cay!

The spotted eagle ray is a majestic creature.  No other word so perfectly describes the animal for me.  They break some natural law by flying when they should be swimming.  Their movements are slow and deliberate and a sense of pride and purpose graces every rise and fall of their wings. This was not one spotted eagle ray, but four of the largest rays I had ever seen.  They flew in a slight V formation and their cadence was synchronized to perfection.  I have been fortunate to have had many experiences with nature, from birds of prey taking flight from high perches just feet away from where I was climbing, to a great bull elk yards away with Evyn behind me, to graceful dolphins allowing me to share a wave, to being on a mountain bike far too close to a big, beautiful moose.  But this was different.  Here were four exquisite spotted eagle rays in only four feet of water off a little cay, flying in formation.

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Few visions delight as much as these beauties

But the special part for me was in the ones with me.  I had my two energetic, inquisitive, and beautiful daughters by my side.  As I touched a small elbow on each side of me, time stood still, if for just a moment, and those four amazing creatures seemed to lift their heads slightly while they put on a regal parade just for my flock.

9 thoughts on “Flock”

  1. Very good post Clint (especially for a sub ;-)).
    I suspect those pigs occasionally find themselves part of the festivities!
    Rays are so graceful. I had the good fortune of witnessing several tremendous schools of cownose rays migrating along the shore in Sarasota a couple years back. Not as pretty as the spotted eagle ray but just as elegant.
    You are officially getting subtropical (I believe the Tropic of Cancer runs through the Exumas).
    Hello to everyone ,
    Ed

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    1. It does. We haven’t tried it but apparently one of the restaurants here has a drink dedicated to the Tropic of Cancer. We’re trying to figure our path from here and it’s a daunting task but one we’re taking on with excitement. Hopefully things will warm up a little now. We have been getting the tail end of your cold fronts!! Brrrr!

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  2. Oh, how beautiful that must have been. So happy for each new experience you share. I can only imagine the wonder of it all through the girls’ eyes. BTW, did you find any lobster that day? You guys are getting quite spoiled on lobster fresh out of the water. I hope the bad weather in Central and South America is not affecting you. Marley called me a couple of times on Sunday but I couldn’t understand anything she was saying. We finally lost our connection. Can’t wait for the next post! Sending lots of love, hugs and kisses.

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  3. Great to find this blog! I love reading about your adventures. Would love to catch up sometime. I bet our girls would get along great!

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    1. So very glad to hear from you! We think of you and your girls often and would love for life to
      bring us back together sometime soon. Thanks for reading. We’ll keep them coming. Be well!

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  4. I don’t envy that week (or more?) you must have been holed up in 20 knot+ NW winds. I saw that you hunkered down in Saddle Cay Cut. Now that looked protected but it must have been crowded. Did you have to use the stern anchor?

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    1. It’s been an interesting adventure holed up in a boat in the wind and rain! Lots of life learning happening! Things finally are clearing out now. Rudder Cut Cay was a lifesaver. Enchantingly beautiful and very comfortable in a storm.

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