Bitter Guana’s Iguanas

Ortolan at anchor with Staniel Cay in the distance

Ortolan at anchor with Staniel Cay in the distance

We are happy that time and weather have allowed us to visit new places as well as many favorites. Sunday the 16th was a gorgeous, barely a breath of wind day. After Staniel we needed to backtrack south to Black Point for laundry and a loaf of – bet you can guess- Mom’s coconut bread. We still had most of the batch we’d backed, but no one on Ortolan complains about eating coconut bread French toast instead of cereal. Although cruisers might not do well at knowing the date or day of the week, we do need to know “Come Sunday.” Most shops, etc are closed either all day or may only open for a few hours in the morning.  No point in rushing the seven miles to Black Point on a perfectly wonderful day; ideal for exploring a new place (with a beach of course), Bitter Guana Cay which lies in between Staniel and Black Point.

When heading south on the banks (west) side from Staniel, you have two choices; either go the long way out and around Harvey Cay, or if your draft allows you can take the shorter, direct route closer to shore.

The spot to anchor off the beach is very pretty with a sparkling view of the white limestone cliff at the southern end of the beach.

White underside of cliff as we dinghy down to South Gaulin Cay

White underside of cliff as we dinghy down to South Gaulin Cay

Bitter Guana Cay and her neighbor, South Gaulin Cay are home to the endangered Rock Iguanas. They greet everyone who lands on the beach, hoping for a tasty fruit or veggie morsel, even though people are requested not to feed them.boat and beach

We climbed up the cliff for an expansive 360 degree view and agreed that today was a Bahamas picture-perfect day; water shades from clear to deep blue surrounded by blue sky.

Refusing to be left behind, I climbed up too- wasn't too hard

Refusing to be left behind, I climbed up too- wasn’t too hard

We dinghied a short ways to South Gaulin Cay for more iguana viewing and along the way noticed a huge osprey nest on the very point of a “high” cliff. No one chased us away, although the iguanas act like they are doing just that; they are curious and looking for a handout.

This guy is ready to be served at the table

This guy is ready to be served at the table

Our afternoon dinghy trip took us north toward South Staniel and we even stuck our nose out into the Sound to check on a small beach, but a small reef close created too much swell at the beach. The area at South Staniel includes the airport; a busy place with private planes, commercial flights and Watermaker’s Air making several stops every day.

Plane approaches the airstrip at Staniel

Plane approaches the airstrip at Staniel

Some planes run into trouble and become a curiosity and home to sea life in shallow water.

This one didn't quite leave the island

This one didn’t quite leave the island

As usual we spotted rays and needlefish and we did see something new.  Back aboard around 5pm we watched an osprey indulge in a lengthy bathing routine at the water’s edge.

Bath time

Bath time

We wondered why he/she chose a spot at least a mile from the nest. Perhaps this was a weary female in need of a spa visit 🙂

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