Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The busy time

The next five weeks will be very busy. The best way to book a trip this time of year is to call my cell #, 252-241-6866. I'm on the boat a good deal of the time. Returning E-mail is time consuming and difficult this time of year.

I still have many openings, you just need to call.

Capt. Ron

The Bahamas are still there

The Bahamas trip this year was in late June instead of our usual trip in mid May. Yes, it was a lot hotter when I arrived. At least the boat had a generator and air condition.

We sailed for Wardrick Wells in the Exuma park and arrived after dark. Not the best way to travel in coral infested water but we anchored off shore and went into the island the next day. We had inoculated Alligator Cay with six iguanas in 1988 in the hopes of placing a population of Cycluara cyclura ordinata in a protected area in case the Leaf Cay population where some how wiped out. Getting 14 people ashore in an 11 foot Boston Whaler through rough seas with lots of nets and other gear always takes some time. Off loaded and on the beach we spent the entire day thrashing through the underbrush trying to round up the offspring of the six iguanas we had left there 19 years go. It proved very difficult because the animals where not bait sensitive and very weary of nets and nooses. Ten Iguanas where all we caught. A bit disappointing for so much effort.

We moved the boat north 10 miles the next day to Bush Hill Cay and went ashore in even worse conditions. At least the increased wind made it a little cooler. It had been two years since we had made a census of the other subspecies of ordinata. The San Salvador Iguana was inoculated on this Cay in an attempt to provide a safer habitat in a protected area. This iguana is smaller then the Allans Cay iguana but makes up for it in color variation. Blue with orange spots, orange with blue spots and yellow with green spots. The color variation is unique. We spent one and a half days, again thrashing around the island over rocks and through bushes to net just over 100 iguanas. Not a record for us, but a very good effort.

We where all sporting puncture wounds, scratches and sunburn by now. The next day we again sailed north to Alans Cay this time. The weather was windy with clouds and rain which made it difficult to attract iguanas, since they are sun lovers. We did a survey of the islands in the Alans group searching for new, untagged, animals and fresh nest burrows.

Our trip back to Nassau sailed through some more rain and high wind. Its always that way. We had large numbers of conch fritters, washed down with a fair amount of local beer that evening and made our way to the Airport the next day. It was exhausting but good, very good.