Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Night Class

Tropic of Cancer
Los Frailes, BCS, Mexico
November 10, 2009

Los Frailles

We sit here on the Tropic of Cancer close to the largest coral reef in North America called Pulmo Reef. The vast variety of marine life is quite amazing. Last night another cruiser mentioned that if we turned on our deck lights (lights that shine down from the spreaders - think porch light), where it shines on the water, it would attract shrimp to the surface. As the shrimp were attracted to the surface the smaller fish that eat them would come too. Then the bigger fish that eat the smaller fish would follow. And so it happened between 7:30 and 10:00 last night we had three boys who got quite a biology lesson off the swim step of Capaz. When what we believe to have been Machete fish showed up their eyes flashed bright orange in the beam of our spotlight. Eventually, the fishing poles came out and after trying several methods, a fly used on regular line pole (we only have flies, no fly-fishing pole) got a couple of these guys onto the back deck for further inspection before they were through back.
This morning was another marine biology lesson commenced with 3 families of boys heading out toward the point here at Los Frailes (the coral reef and preserve are quite a ways around the corner from our anchorage). Everyone snorkeled for a good hour and we saw so many kinds of fish that it was incredible. The area was very rocky with several different kinds of coral growing on giant boulders. The 6 boys, ranging in age from 7 to 11 were so excited is was contagious. Even in this fairly remote area, a dive boat (panga) joined us for a few minutes before it moved its customer around the corner to the coral reef.
We visited the beach after anchoring yesterday afternoon and got to see the tracks of where a turtle was trying to find just the right place to make a nest. She dug several holes and ended up returning to the water without laying eggs. There is obliviously some sort of conservation going on here as there is another actual nest close by that has been marked and netting put over the eggs to keep out rats or lizards or what not.

Turtle's nest search path

I am pretty sure that the boys are learning a thing or two about what lives in the parts of the Big Blue that covers over 3/4 of our planet!

Bryce and a machete fish - can they fight!!!

Boys and Scupper on the beach

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