The Nassau Aquatic Experience
Our catamaran will transport you across the glittering blue waters to drift peacefully above one of the many coral reef communities. Here, you'll gently enter another world beneath the soft, glass-clear surface. While you may be accustomed to environments on land, whose characteristics are often largely framed by botanical or plant characteristics, the coral reef is actually a colony of many tiny animals living together. Coral polyps construct the character of the aquatic landscape collectively, providing a structure around which many other species make their homes.
While snorkeling in Nassau, you'll encounter both vertebrate and invertebrate species during your time beneath the waves. If coral polyps are the dominant species present in a reef ecosystem, reef fishes constitute the greatest range and diversity of any animal group that make their homes among the coral. In the greater Caribbean region alone there are over 500 distinct species, a small fraction of the numbers found in other oceanic regions.
Many of the non-predatory varieties of fish you'll encounter on the reef exhibit fantastic adaptations to reef life, such as a thin, flat body shape with attenuated pectoral and pelvic fins. These features render maneuvering about the solid reef structures far easier for the fish, and also create a fantastic experience for visitors, with their brilliant and flashing motions, and the bright colors that actually camouflage them among the corrals and sponges. Fish species are well-adapted to exploit the various food sources of the reef community, which leads to a striking variation in physical features designed to aid in the search for specific nutritional needs. Some of the fishes you'll delight to encounter are:
• Sea bass
However, perhaps the most delightful reef denizens you'll encounter during your snorkeling adventure are sea turtles. While several members of this group of species range far beyond the sanctuary of the reef community, they often seek the sheltered feeding grounds of reefs close to secluded sandy beaches that they favor for nesting purposes. Among two of the best loved are the Hawksbill turtle and the Green Sea turtle. These gentle and wondrous creatures are facing pressure from human expansion and destructive activities that include pollution, hunting, competition for living space that often destroys their nesting territory, and competition for food sources favored by both turtles and people.
If you're seeking a tang of danger, without the actual risk, visit one of the designated shark feeding areas. Here, you'll swim with reef sharks, which are taking advantage of food resources in specific places. These powerfully graceful creatures are often misunderstood and misrepresented in the media. Take the opportunity to observe them in their habitat and get a better understanding of their crucial role in aquatic environments.