Travel with me #76 : Swimming with the Sharks at Compass Cay!
Dear Steemit friends:
Bahamas is a dream destination for interacting with animals you won't find in your back yard!
Although some of the animals I've had the pleasure of interacting with have been in captivity, I've also had the opportunity to come face to face with many free roaming animals in the comfort of their own natural habitats.
So far, we've seen the cute and curious Iguanas of Allen Cay and had the odd experience of Swimming with the Pigs in Major Cay. Both experiences have been really hands on, whether it's feeding Iguanas little grapes on sticks (and getting bitten!), or mildly satisfying the aquatic pigs with Carrots, I've thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity come closer to nature.
Bahamas being a collection of islands surrounded by the expanse of the ocean, it is no surprise that they have some of the most amazing marine wildlife too. In Atlantis I was able to meet some Sea Lions and see just how intelligent these cats of the ocean really are. I've also had many opportunities to see a variety of fishes both at The Dig and The Predator Lagoon.
I've always ravished the opportunity to interact with Sharks because aside from their formidable appearance and reputation of being vicious predators, they're also some of the most diverse species of marine life in the world. From my visit to the Predator lagoon, I realised that not all sharks are blood thirsty, human attacking predators they are often portrayed to be.
Join me and let's find out how true that statement is!
Compass Cay Marina
For this Shark adventure, we'll be taking a boat ride from Nassau to Compass Cay Marina. Whilst this island is uninhabited, it is frequently visited by many adventurers who will dock their boats and Yachts at the Marina and then set off exploring the island's natural wildlife.
The journey from Nassau to Compass Cay takes around 1 hour by speedboat, and there are many excursions each day which can be booked from most hotels in Nassau.
Most people come to Compass Cay to see their family of Nurse Sharks and the Compass Cay Marina has been featured in many shows such as the Discovery Channel, Shark Week and Animal Planet.
Now it's featuring on my blog!
Travelling by speedboat is always an exhilarating experience. With the temperature pushing 37 degrees Celsius, the gushing wind is very welcoming.
There are many boats already docked at the Marina but this Yacht called Charisma stood out to be the most luxury one. Someone told me that this particular Yacht is worth $40 million dollars. Better start saving!
Our speedboat pulled up against these wooden docks and then we proceed to climb out of the boat onto the wooden pier.
This was our boat on the left, and behind it, you can see just how large the Charisma yacht is.
Just a short walk along the wooden pier takes us to a building where you can purchase some merchandise as well as some refreshments. Obviously, the main point of interest here are the Nurse Sharks swimming below this building. There is a ladder that leads us to a shallow part of the water. Just a few meters from the ladder, the is a swarm of fish and Nurse sharks swimming around!
This species of Shark are abundant around Bahamas and currently are not considered an endangered species.
They are easily recognised by their curled, hinged mouth and little whiskers resembling a cat.
The origin of the Nurse Shark's name is not clear. Some say that it is called a Nurse shark because of the sucking noise resembling a nursing baby, when hunting for prey. Others claim the word "Nurse" comes from the old word nusse which means cat shark.
Regardless of how they named the shark, the Nurse shark is mostly harmless to humans and there have been very few attacks on humans ever recorded.
Despite their docile nature, getting up and close with the Nurse Sharks was initially a very terrifying experience. I've never been around fish anywhere near this size.
Did you know, Nurse Sharks can grow to 14ft in length!
As they swam around us in the waist height water. Some of the locals through some fish bait into the water to attract them.
They seem to be completely unfazed by the large group of humans around them and will happily swim between us.
As they swim by, they're happy for you to stroke them. They seem to be quite excited by the human company!
There's even baby ones!
I was quite surprised by the texture of their skin. I was expecting it to feel smooth like a regular fish, but it's actually very coarse.
I read somewhere that the water clarity here is amongst the best in the world. Even beating places like Maldives. From the pictures, you can see the Nurse sharks and the other tropical fish through the perfectly clear crystal water.
Check out the video !
Swimming with sharks is definitely one of my most memorable experiences. From interacting with them so closely, I've now cultivated a new love for them (at least the Nurse Sharks). Who would have known they could be so friendly and playful around humans?
If you are thinking about a trip to the Bahamas, then a trip to Compass Cay to swim with the sharks is an absolute must!
If you enjoyed my post, I always appreciate your upvote, be sure to follow for more exciting travel blogs, and leave a comment to let me know what you think!
我喜欢巴哈马的原因，大概是因为这里提供好多机会,能和许多特别的动物互动，而这些动物也许这辈子我都不会在其他地方看到。在巴哈马旅游都每一天都是难以用言语形容的精彩，这里是动物的天堂，也是我的梦想目的地。虽然有些动物是被人类圈养的，但是我依然得到了一次宝贵的机会，可以和海里自由自在游走的鲨鱼又一次互动的机会。到目前为止，我们已经看到了顽皮机灵的 Allen Cay岩鼠蜥 ，并且还约会了Major Cay岛上的小猪，直到现在，我都难以想象我拥有这样奇怪的经历。无论是喂葡萄给岩鼠蜥还是喂面包胡萝卜给小猪们，我都超级享受这样亲近自然的机会。
巴哈马群岛是海洋生物栖息的天堂，在亚特兰蒂斯，我遇到了可爱搞笑的海狮 ，他们好聪明好灵活，特别通人性。当然我也在水族馆和捕食者的湖有机会接触到了大量的海洋生物，难得一见的sawfish锯鳐和黄貂鱼，每一次都让我印象深刻，非常感动。虽然我也谈不上特别勇敢，但是自从听说岛上有可以和鲨鱼近距离接触的活动，看见可以抚摸鲨鱼的照片，我的眼睛就离不开了。并不是所有鲨鱼都会被当作攻击人类的对象，护士鲨就可以和人类和睦相处。今天我们就一起去护士鲨小港Compass Cay, 约会一下性格温顺可爱的护士鲨吧。护士鲨又叫铰口鲨，白天它们会在海底或者岩洞内休息，晚上会醒来捕食，这点生活习惯，还挺像小猫的。护士鲨捕食通常以吸食的方式捕捉鱼类、甲壳类和软体动物，所以在接触它们之前，当地人特意提醒我们，不要把手指放在它们眼前，不然会被当作是可口的食物，可就不好了。听说护士鲨这个名字，就是因为它们吃食物的方式，像小婴儿在吸奶的声音，英文里叫nursing。我们的船靠近Compass Cay，就看到好多我从来没见过的，超级豪华的游轮，有的上面带一个长长的滑梯，想象游客们从船上坐滑梯到海里，感觉一定超级清凉。还有部分漂亮的游艇应该私人的，都停靠在Compass Cay看望护士鲨。第一次看到这么大的“鱼”在水里游，并且我还要下水和它们亲密接触，心里难免紧张。