Jan 11, 2016

Green Cay: Visiting Iguanas

January 11, 2016

A very curious iguana! Photo courtesy of Bruno Shkembi

Today's forecast: sun, breeze, and an appetite for adventure! We were finally set to visit the iguanas of Green Cay. This remote island is home to the unique San Salvador rock iguana. After lunch, we met with Captain Bruce and his dog Jazzy at Graham’s Harbour. We sailed twenty minutes to the offshore island where we anchored the boat just 20 feet from the jagged shore. We were instructed to don our snorkel gear prior to entering the water. The short swim to the island was enjoyable as there were patch reefs with colorful parrotfish along the way.

The smooth gentleness of the water gave way to rocky slope covered with shells and dead coral. Upon reaching shore, I threw my fins and gear onto the island and carefully climbed up. The vast majority of the island is composed of a jagged, sharp limestone that makes it near impossible to walk the terrain without boots. I don't know how the iguanas do it.
Greetings from Green Cay! As you can see the island is very jagged and sparse, but home to edible succulent plants!

About a minute into our trek, a small greenish yellow iguana greeted us. Why was it so eager to see us? The answer is food! Many tourists come prepared with lettuce to give the iguanas. A few more iguanas snuck up behind us, curious of one of our group member’s video camera! In total, we saw about eight iguanas on Green Cay. The San Salvador rock iguana is an endangered species native to certain remote islands of the Bahamas. It was a pretty neat sight to see a larger iguana on San Salvador itself. It was spotted twice by Graham's Harbour on North Point. I take this as a positive sign of the iguana's return to the island.
Photo by geoscience major, Bruno Shkembi

A look at the north side of Green Cay Island. The ocean has eroded the limestone to create sea caves and inlets. Photo by Bruno Shkembi