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.
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!
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!
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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