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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans
December 19, 2017
Adventures in Barbuda
7° 38.7’ N x 61°51.8’ W
Aboard the Corwith Cramer travelling by sea, her lovely crew and I have seen Grenada, Tobago Cays, Canouan, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda. This past month has been filled with countless adventures and breathtaking moments too profound to ever forget. The feeling of sailing in the dark on a moonless night is amazing. Peering over the bowsprit, I see the bioluminescence splashing up against the bow and above, the stars meet the glowing surface of the water. The night brings many creatures from the depths including small shrimp, silvery blue fish, ctenophores, and crabs. At 2100, the boat was surrounded by more than fifty sea wasps. This soon turned into a competition of who could catch a sea wasp with a bucket. We did end up catching one after multiple failed attempts. All that activity brought a couple large curious tarpon with glowing green eyes. Their silver scales glinted in the water as they swam under the boat. It was never lonely onboard or in the water because there was always the constant company of some marine animal.
Earlier this week we sailed into Barbuda, one of the flattest islands we have seen so far. In the distance, the glare from the miles of white sand beaches shimmered with heat. I grab a pair of binoculars to see if I can see anything on shore. A quick scan of the beach reveals a demolished villa style resort. What were once lush mangrove edges by the sea were flattened, wind beaten shrubs and palm-less trunks with roots exposed. The storm was long gone and it left nothing but destruction and devastation.
The next two days were spent in the water surveying the reefs. We went to five different locations, each of which were all different from one another. We saw fields of zooanthids, macro algae, and coral. Some of the largest pieces of Acropora palmata I have ever seen lay in giant heaps like underwater ruins. A school of about 60 surgeon fish circled the towers of new encrusting corals and dodged the sea urchins munching on vegetation. I saw an octopus hiding in a hole next to 40 or more live conchs. After climbing into one of the small boats and heading out to another part of the reef, I jumped into the water to find a hawksbill sea turtle just sitting there. It watched us as the rest of us splashed into the water. Then next 10 minutes consisted of taking pictures of the sea turtle, talking about how cute it was through our snorkels and wanting to give it hugs.
The next day brought many more sightings of turtles, stingrays, and a massive spotted eagle ray with at least a 6 foot arm span. Our snorkeling days are over as we depart Barbuda and say our goodbyes to all the friendly animals living beneath the sea. I leave you with this picture of me and that very friendly turtle. Thanks for all the memories!
See ya later,
Ps. Happy Birthday Dad! Congrats Andrea! Love you all. Everything is going great Mami! Sending love to grandma and grandpa.