Mangrove Kayaking :)

The long hiatus on this blog will be well rewarded with this amazing trip I took. This past Monday, Jack took Sarah and I on a kayaking trip through the mangroves here in Sandy Point. Dr. Claridge and Charlotte, have gone for a few days to a cay in Abaco for some business.

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We paddled along the shore line and around the tip, past the boat ramp and into the mangroves. It wasn’t buggy at all. There was sufficient wind to keep them at bay and the tide gently rocked us through the pathways. Along the way we saw several stingrays, a barracuda, and what we believe to be juvenile bonefish swimming around the mangroves.

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It was sad, as Sarah and I followed Jack, to think that any future development in the area would require this entire habitat to be uprooted, filled, raised and cemented. These mangroves are an essential part of the livelihood of the people here in Sandy Point. The adults come in from the seagrass and coral reefs to lay their eggs. The young hatch and grow strong, protected by interlacing root systems of major predators. Once they reach a subadult age, they migrate to the nearby patch reefs offshore and the cycle repeats itself.

If the mangroves disappear, the town could go hungry as their main source of food and income would be drastically changed. Conchsaladtv.com have an excellent video on the mangroves narrated from a kayak. I recommend a watch.

I thought to myself, “How wonderful is this?” How is it that locals do not travel through this? It was like a regular road. You turn left, you turn right, you back up, you turn around, you reach a fork  in the road. And it all leads to the sea eventually.

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With tide coming in, it was the perfect time to hang out at the local blue hole.  A blue hole is given its name from the aerial view of a hole inland or out at sea that can range from metres to feet. The blue hole is connected to the ocean and its flow is controlled by the tide. When tide is rising, the hole ‘blows out’ making it the safest to swim and dive in. from above, you can see ripples in the water. When tide is lowering, the hole ‘pulls’ or ‘sucks.’ It is a small sucking which makes it slightly dangerous to go swimming or diving. The pulling makes it harder to swim against to reach the surface.

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Tide the kayaks together so they do not float away while we were swimming.

Lucky for us, the tide was coming in so the hole was blowing. We decided to take a swim around it. Jack on the otherhand decided to swim IN and THROUGH the holes. There were five of them ranging in size from 5 to 10 feet. Each one of them were connected by a tunnel to each other then a major tunnel metres down to the ocean.

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Our destination was a friend’s backyard. The mangroves lead up into a small, makeshift dock and onto land.

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