Location: Barbuda

Today was an excellent day for Marine Biology. We began the exploration of Barbuda by crossing a small strip of sand separating the shallow area where we were anchored from the Codrington Lagoon. a miles-long, shallow salt pond on the west side of Barbuda. We were met by our local contact, George (pictured below), who took us zooming off on the lagoon to see one of the island’s main attractions, a protected frigate birds nesting colony. As George explained in his deep booming voice and thick down-island accent, how the colony had been established after an older nesting site had been wrecked by a hurricane in 1960, we watched thousands of frigate birds wheeling around in the sky above us. The males would settle down and puff up their large red chest pouch and drum on in with their beak in an attempt to attract the attention of the females. We were even able to see the downy frigate hatchlings pokin’ their heads above the mangrove branches. From there, George took us to mangroves for snorkeling, where we were able to see juvenile fishes, lobsters and even a hawksbill turtle, all taking shelter in the calmer waters of Codrington Lagoon. We headed back to the boat for lunch and spent the rest of the day windsurfing, playing beach games on the pink beach sands, and getting ready for our night passage to St. Barths.