Allan’s Cay: My Iguana Obsession Continues

Bahamas Day 2

I might need to rename this blog The Traveling Iguana, as I’ve documented my obsession with them several times before. But this time I didn’t even plan it, I was just an innocent boat passenger, I swear!

Exuma Cays Bahamas

After a cruel 7am wake up call I went on the first (very cold) dive and sat out the second just to warm up.  The captain soon announced we would be making an island stop- to Allan’s Cay, at the northern tip of the Exuma Cays chain. Allan’s Cay is one of three islands in Exuma (Allan’s Cay, Southern Allan’s Cay, and Leaf Cay) that hold the rare Exuma iguana. They are found nowhere else on earth and are considered to be among the world’s most endangered lizards. They can also be huge, with the potential to reach as much as 24 pounds and live to 80 years.

Exuma Cays Bahamas

Exuma Cays Bahamas

It had been only slightly less than 24 hours but already I was a bit excited to be on land. We took the dinghy to the beach and without the wind from the moving boat I felt Caribbean heat for the first time on the trip! According to Mark there were less iguanas than usual but luckily we came armed with grapes to lure them out of the bushes. I noticed they are kind of reddish in color but otherwise very similar to the Caymanian blue iguana.

Allen's Cay Iguana Bahamas

We put the grapes on sticks and the iguanas darted around nervously. Some were bold and climbed right up people’s outstretched arms and legs while others lingered in the shadows. Mark chose a very unique feeding method.

Exuma Cays Bahamas

Allen's Cay Iguana Bahamas
Allen's Cay Iguana Bahamas

I was in heaven running around taking photos and playing with animals. I would have been content to lay on the beach the rest of the day but this is a diving trip and soon the captain called us back. I was actually a bit sad to get back on the boat. But who would want to leave a scene like this?

Exuma Cays Bahamas
Exuma Cays Bahamas

After our Allan’s Cay stop there were two more dives but I only did one and decide this is a pretty good pattern for the trip, doing every other dive and giving myself time to enjoy the boat in between. Lucky for me I’ve got insider tips from the divemaster on which ones are must do’s! Not to mention I have to rest up for New Year’s Eve tomorrow night…

Exuma Cays Bahamas
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