The day began with high hopes as we boarded the truck to THE WALL. THE WALL for those of you who don’t know is the abrupt drop off that occurs about 500 meters away from our typical snorkeling location, Snapshot Reef. As we snorkeled out, we were interested in the differing habitats of the spur and groove coral reefs and garden eels. And then we reached THE WALL- AMAZING. Intertwined among the various barrel sponges, a spotted eagle ray emerged from the abyss accompanied by a band of southern stingrays. Little did we know, the sea creatures informed Poseidon of the terrestrial visitor. The sacrificial “Awkward Cousin” had pleased Poseidon greatly as he was then able to summon a scalloped hammerhead shark – modern day Kraken, for our viewing pleasure. After the presentation of sheer awesomeness, we had to make it back to the GRC in time for lunch while dodging the insistent curiosity of the barracudas.
Then we ventured to the lighthouse that sits atop San Salvador. The lighthouse dated back to the late 1800’s. We broke up into groups of six people and headed to the top of the lighthouse, which consisted of the ever present pink walls and a small winding staircase. Once at the top, we crawled through a small hole in the wall to the outside balcony in order to soak in the great view and see the kerosene powered light. It was a nice change of pace to be able to see some of history of San Salvador.
After being atop the highest point of San Salvador, we then took the path less traveled which led us into a hillside cavern. Grabbing a hold of a rusty ol’ ladder, we descended into the vast chasm. Once inside, we were continually barraged by kamikaze bats. In full retreat, we headed deeper into the void which was filled with “fresh” water from the rising tide. Wading, swimming, and crawling, we observed endemic and rare white sponges in the water. It was soon realized that the water was not so fresh… With sporadic warm spots and the ever present bat population, the water we were wading through was not Ice Mountain pure. After reaching the final chamber, we then split into two groups, one would venture back the way we came and the other was more extreme. Army crawling through tight squeezes and guano we had our work cut out for us. To get out of the tight passage, we had to dive underwater and through a tunnel following the saving song of JDubs’ voice. There was some speculation and one eye witness account of a zombie sighting in the cave. It was once we reached salvation that we realized the zombie we had seen was in fact our one and only, “Awkward zombie Cousin.” Just another day in the Bahamas….
-written by Christen Brown ’11 & JB Easley ’13