Exotic Exuma life forms!

Filed in Empty Nesters, Midlife, The Great Exumas, Travel by on January 15, 2014 12 Comments

bahamas, exumas, travels with tam

Quite a sight!

Quite a sight!

The islands of the Exumas, in the Bahamas, offer so much more than swimming pigs! Though, the swimming pigs are out of this world incredible. However, we were offered the chance to swim with sharks, to snorkel, and feed iguanas.  Don’t get too excited…just nurse sharks. Don’t get me wrong, I love Nurse Sharks! I just don’t consider them too dangerous. They have very small (but sharp) teeth, smallish mouths, and basically they are bottom feeders. They mostly sleep during the day. I see them diving in the Caribbean often, they are usually asleep under crevices. Nurse sharks are nocturnal, and can grow up to 4 meters (12 feet). I’ve never seen one that large, the biggest I’ve seen is probably 7 or 8 feet. These were 4 to 6 feet long, I’d guess.

Nurse sharks gathering for their feast!

Nurse sharks gathering for their feast at Staniel Cay

bahamas, exumas, travels

Tough, pebbly skin and pretty white eyes.

Off of Staniel Cay Yacht Club is a largish population of nurse sharks and they feed them squid and other tasty snacks.  I had my camera out and was in the water long before anyone else on the tour got in. The word “shark” evokes terrible fear, but once you learn about them and see them in the wild, you begin to understand they are not waiting for a human to eat. Nurse sharks are pretty. They have white eyes, and their skin is very tough and pebbly. I think they have an elegant silhouette as they swim.  After a while, several of the tour members finally got in the water with them, a great opportunity to conquer a few fears and gain knowledge!

bahamas, exumas, travels

The big guy at the Iguana Beach!

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Iguana Beach!

exuma, bahamas, travels with tam

Hanging out in Thunderball Grotto

bahamas, exumas

Entrance to Thunderball Grotto

bahamas, exumas, travels

Beautiful Stocking Cay

bahamas, exumas, travels

A glimpse of Chat N Chill, the only structure on Stocking Cay except hammocks. Good that it is a restaurant!

bahamas, exumas, travels

Feeding a Southern Stingray at Chat n’ Chill

Also on the agenda were giant iguanas! I’ve seen pretty big ones, but these are monstrosities! They are huge! And hungry, of course. We fed them grapes. I used a stick to spear the grape, then feed the iguana.  Kathy, my cousin, and I were lucky on the second tour, and one of the largest ones had a photo session with us. He must have posed for 10 minutes, and he would have stayed there, I am sure. The minute the boat pulls up to the beach, out they come!

Kathy photographing, and my foot!

Kathy photographing

Obviously, they are used to people and being fed by them.  As you can see, Exuma Water Sports provided Animal Palooza, and I loved every second of it!

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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (12)

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  1. What lovely photos. I had to, ashamedly, admit that I never heard of Exuma. It looks incredible, and where I’d love to be right now!

  2. Thanks to you we are probably joining friends at a private club in Antigua next February. I’m not going to dive but you can bet I’ll enjoy island life!
    Carol Cassara recently posted…Why I wish I’d had kidsMy Profile

  3. I love the photos and pinned some!
    Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski recently posted…Savor Laguna Beach History – Art and FoodMy Profile

  4. Donna says:

    This is so amazing to me, I would to come to your home (I will bring the food) and you regale me with all your travels. This is one thing I have missed in my life, but I am going to do it….travel!!

  5. Wow. The swimming pigs have long been on my bucket list, but there is so much more to see that I didn’t know about. But, swimming pigs! -Veronica
    The GypsyNesters recently posted…TripAdviser Thinks We Rock—Check Us Out!My Profile

  6. What I liked most was seeing you all and also how you photograph such interesting stuff! Nice post today!
    Carol Cassara recently posted…Culture breakMy Profile

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