Saturday, November 16, 2013

Somebody has Been Stepping on Fish

Posted by Alexander

We came to Warderick Wells cay in the Exuma Land and Sea Park yesterday. It is a beautiful place that also acts as the HQ for the rangers of the park. It’s a hot spot for snorkeling and hiking.   We continue to be one of the only boats around.  According to the chart book, during high season in the winter, you sometimes have to wait a couple of days to pick up a mooring ball here, but right now, we had our pick of the whole field.

Monashee, alone in another mooring field.
We relaxed on the boat for the first day here.

I am reading Game of Thrones on my Kindle right now.  It is so exciting, I can hardly put it down!

We dived and swam and dived some more. In the middle of a battle to shove Dad into the water (which succeeded) it started to rain. This wasn’t the nice kind of drizzly rain which cools you off. This is the kind of rain that makes you think some guy must be sitting on top of a cloud firing a hundred power hoses down to the earth. The rain was actually pretty awesome. We all climbed out of the water to realize we were getting a free shower. We let the rain soak the salt out of us and Dad decided to go get some shampoo. We all stood on the trampolines and covered ourselves with soap and actually took a full shower. The rain lasted long enough that everyone got rinsed off really well. After that we all headed back towards the cockpit when we realized something. The rain wasn’t stopping. Mom didn’t want to bring out the towels only to get them soaked so she wanted us to wait a while for the rain. We sat there and we were freezing. As the rain finally started to die Mom said “Okay I think we can probably go get the tow-“ she was cut off by the sound of the rain getting stronger than when it had started. This carried on before finally we decided to just get the towels. Even dry and in our rooms the rain didn’t let up for another half an hour.  According to information at the ranger station, it rains very little here over the course of a year, so I think the rain we got yesterday was pretty significant.

Later Christopher saw something. A white flash passing under the water. I caught a glimpse and we both had the same thought. There was a shark under our boat. Dad went for a snorkel to discover that they weren’t sharks. He thinks they are Remoras – the same kind of fish that stick themselves to sharks or whales to catch a free ride.

Remoras sucking onto Monashee's hull.

There were four of them. They had a sort of pattern on the top of their heads that looked like the bottom of a boot. It helped them stick to things. Which is what they were doing to the bottom of our boat. We are pretty sure they will leave when we do.

As Remoras go, these guys are pretty big.  Wikipedia says 3 feet is their maximum size, and these ones were at least that long.

Katie saw something cool when she accidentally dropped an orange peel in the water. All the Remoras suddenly dashed out at it and nibbled the bits of orange. We played with this for a while but we stopped because we weren’t really supposed to be feeding the fish. But I think that is probably why they hang out on the bottom of boats – they are scavengers that enjoy a free meal.  That is also why they hang out on bigger fish like sharks.

Today, after school, we’re going snorkeling!

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