The sun rose as National Geographic Sea Lion pulled up to our anchorage on the lee side of Long Caye. Today’s activities took place on one of the three islands in the atoll that also includes both Acklins and Crooked Islands. Originally named Fortune Island by Christopher Columbus, it is now Long Caye. The narrow island with powder white sand beaches is surrounded by water in a myriad of blues and turquoise. Albert Town is home to just 1% of the original population of 4,000 people in its heyday, and our guests came ashore to visit the Sts. Augustine and David Anglican Church and to look for flamingos. The church and cemetery date to 1795 and offered great photo opportunities. The flamingos did not disappoint, and a walk along the edges of the salt pond led us to where they were feeding and preening.
The afternoon’s adventure was beach time and our first snorkeling opportunity of this trip. The wind and waves were a little strong but did not dampen our spirits, and all enjoyed being in the sea and observing sea fans and scattered brain, lettuce, finger, and star corals. Crevices in the rocks provided hiding spaces for banded and four-eyed butterflyfish, many species of parrotfish, snappers, grunts, and a small gathering of coneys, a type of grouper.
The day ended well with recaps about flamingos and seashells and announcements about tomorrow’s activities.