Sunday, January 24, 2016

Barn Owl On North Caicos

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Barn Owl on North Caicos

Hi All,
The weather has taken a turn for the worse not only in the Northeast but here on Provo! Since we went to East Caicos on the most gorgeous day possible, the wind has come up accompanied by rain and occasional thunder and lightening. We somehow managed to go up the Southside to North Caicos without getting rained on. After following the water taxi on a circuitous route into the North Caicos marina, we started heading down the canals looking for wildlife. This marina was built with the hopes that North Caicos would grow into a major tourist spot and attract lots of boats. There are the remnants of street plans and lamp posts just yards from the canals. The palm trees that were planted all along the canals are slowly dying from lack of water. The irrigation systems are defunct.

We watch a great egret gracefully guiding us down the canal. He veers off and heads into the mangroves where we can't follow. As we come to a bridge, the water speeds up and rushes through the narrow opening. I start looking to the side where there are steep cliffs lining one side. Years ago we had seen a Barn Owl in one of the hollowed out areas. I was hoping to perhaps see him again. As we pass a cave I see a pair of eyes! Back in the recesses of the cave is a Barn Owl. He stays right there as we turn our boat around at the end of the canal. We come back closer to the cliff and he flies out. There is an Osprey sitting on the bridge taking in the whole scene.  We decide to anchor and eat lunch. However lunch was cut short by some huge black clouds bearing down on us. John masterfully wound his way back through the seriously shallow water until we got to the channel between Dellis Cay and Parrot Cay. The trick to navigating really shallow water is to go like hell get your boat up on a plane and don't stop no matter what!  Its either that or getting stuck until the tide turns in several hours. 

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