2/11: Happy bday to me from Cayos Cochinos

Yesterday, S and I took a tour with Bay Island Adventures to Cayos Cochinos, the islands we see pretty much every morning from our balcony.

sunrise IV

It was pretty thrilling to finally get close to the Cayos and also to see the mountains of Honduras coming into focus.

001 approaching

As we approached the islands, we realized there are a lot of them besides the two big ones that we can see. We made a quick stop at an info center. The top poster shows you that there are a whole mess of keys. I liked the turtle poster below. He looks so much sterner than any turtle I’ve seen, but we all would be too in his circumstances.

007 turtle poster

Then we headed for our first snorkeling destination, right out of Castaway.

022 island goodbye

Here’s the thing. Desert islands are awesome…

015 first stop beach conch

…as long as you have a fully equipped boat to take you away. If you were stuck here, you would run out of coconuts fast. The water was pristine and all about the coral. We didn’t see many fish. So we got back on the boat and headed to a key—really a sand spit—populated by about 150 Garífuna.

corrected garifuna

The Garífuna (pronounced “gar-EE-foona”) are descended from African slaves who sought refuge in the Bay Islands, which include Roatan and this small key. For supplies, they take small boats with kick-ass engines over the 11 km to the Honduran mainland. That’s pretty brave. Just the 50 minute trip in a good-sized boat was a pretty wild ride. Props to their skills. They also fed us REALLY well.

037 lunch

I was pleased with my lunch. And the day in general.

040 me chillin

After lunch, off to another key to do more snorkeling. Honestly, the greatest variety of fish we’ve found is about 12 minutes from here at Infinity Bay or off of the old Smuggler’s. But we’d never seen a trunkfish before, and this guy was textbook.

corrected trunkfish

And coral was still a big story. It’s shallower there, so the light is different, and the formations are not so clifflike.

enhanced coral

A truly marvelous day. Thank you, Steve. I love you.

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