Today’s the day…we’re leaving this afternoon for a four-or-so day passage to Beaufort, North Carolina (or thereabouts). We’ll be leaving this afternoon from Marsh Harbour, Abaco, Bahama.
But while I have your attention (and the only wifi connection we’ll see for at least four days), I’ll tell you about the endangered Rock Iguanas of Leaf Cay…
After we left Highborne Cay on May 16th, we made our way to Allen’s and Leaf Cays (another re-visit for me). We had to wait for a few day-tour boats to leave before we could get settled (doesn’t look like it from the pictures, the anchorage is cramped due to the narrowness of the channel and very shallow water outside it).
Leaf Cay is famous for its population of the very endangered Allen Cays Rock Iguana (Cyclura cychlura inornata). So famous, in fact, that day-tours come from Nassau, well, daily, and tourists feed them grapes and other veggies (a bad habit that’s tolerated by the Bahamian Government because it’s been going on for years). Non-day-tour visitors are discouraged from feeding or otherwise harassing the iguanas…
So we went ashore and this is some of what we saw.
We walked around, but didn’t see any iguanas at first.
Then we saw their tracks…
Then we saw them…lots of them. I will bombard you with an excess of pitures, because I can’t choose just a couple.
The white dots you see in a few of the pitures are not a natural feature. They’re paint marks indicating that the iguana has been counted in the latest visit of Dr. John B. Iverson’s Allen Cays Iguana Research Project. Dr. Iverson is a researcher in the Dept. of Biology, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, and we ran into him and his students conducting their research on the island. You can read more about his project here.
We got Dr. Iverson’s and his students’ permission to share some photos with you.
We thanked the professor and his students for their time with us, then moved a long to clean the four conch we had.
We were just finishing up, and one of Dr. Iverson’s assistants came over and said “Uh…can you keep doing that?” (we were pounding the conch to tenderize it) “The sound seems to be drawing the iguanas down to the beach.”
Apparently the iguanas were also used to scraps from conch fisherman.
Anyhow, that’s it about the iguanas…gotta go. We have to get out of where we are before the tide gets much lower.
Until North Carolina…