After a short jaunt from Bequia, we ended up hanging in the Tobago Cays for a couple of days. Let me start by saying that these Cays are very similar to the Bahamas. I mean this from a aesthetic, topographical perspective, where they are small low lying islands with crystal clear aquamarine water rich with coral. Seeing it made me miss Bahamas so much, making me regretful that I took the amazing diving and marine life for granted at the time. We never realized that the water visibility and coral of the rest of the Caribbean would be so lacking compared to the Bahamas. Frank and I often long for the months we spent spearfishing, foraging, alone on deserted islands, and getting back to our primal roots. There really hasn't been anything else like it since as the islands of the Caribbean are highly trafficked by cruisers, cruise ships, and tourists alike, and it's so rare to ever be alone by yourself in an anchorage.
With that being said, I can say that the Tobago Cays are beautiful with coral that was semi-comparable to the Bahamas. I say this because a lot of the reefs here, sadly, are starting to die. With Horseshoe Reef surrounding the cays, spanning miles long, most of the coral is starting to be overgrown with algae, which is really sad as I can only imagine just how incredible it was when it was teaming with colorful, vivid, live corals. I suppose it has to do with the amount of tourism here, with charter boats and cruisers every where you turn. The really remote areas, where Frank and spent weeks without seeing single boat in the Bahamas, were always rich with different coral as well as a diverse variety of fish. Anyhow, I say this from a purely speculative point of view, I'm obviously not a marine biologist, so I really have no damn clue as to why all the coral is dying.
Nonetheless, we really enjoyed our time here. Though we weren't able to spearfish, as the cays are part of a protected marine park, we still spent our days free diving the reef, swimming with sea turtles, and exploring all the little islands. The diving visibility is amazing and the reef is so tall that that you were surrounded by reef even in 40+ft of water. Frank spotted a Hammerhead bigger than our dinghy, during one of our excursions, just skimming along in 5 feet of water. Though it would've scared the shit out of me, I am jealous that I didn't get to see it as I was busy exploring another part of the reef. I have never spotted a Hammerhead before, and when I imagine big scary sharks, Hammerheads always seem to make an appearance next to the Great Whites, so they're definitely on my bucket list. It was a pretty cool place to anchor your boat in as well, since the cays are protected from the seas by Horseshoe Reef, you feel like you're just anchored smack in the middle of the ocean with tiny little islands surrounding you (along with the million other boats). All in all, very well worth the $10EC per person per day they charge you to stay.
|…little island where they filmed a scene in Pirates of the Caribbean|
|Cool cairns off the end of the beach|
|Boats everywhere :(|
|Baby reef sharks...|
|Just swimming in the shallows on shore|
|Sea Turtles everywhere….|
|This was awesome…it's called a Sea Robin...|
|…also known as Flying Gunard. Looks like a butterfly!|
|Stingray about to bury himself|
|I love these little cactus flowers|
|Sun set in the cays...|
|Full moon shot at the bow|