Lindblad’s historic inaugural expedition to the Bahamas last week has come and gone. We have fueled up, onboarded new guests, and embarked on our second week of exploring these wonderful, fragile islands. This second week will bring new adventures and discoveries as we continue to add new spots and destinations to our voyage. Just like week one, our first stop for week two was Long Cay on the Bight of Acklins. With much better weather conditions, we were able to anchor on the southeastern side of Long Cay, which means we were much closer to the areas we wanted to explore.

After we dropped anchor, we had several briefings onboard, including our Zodiac safety briefing. Our first activity was to get in our Zodiacs and make our way up the island as we scanned the coast for the small resident flock of flamingos.

Fifteen minutes into our Zodiac ride, we spotted a small group of flamingos (called a flamboyance) flying in and landing along the coast. Their bright, vibrant pink plumage stood out amongst the calm, azure, crystal clear waters. We were able to get close to the flock of birds without scaring them off.

After a lot of whispers about the conservation story of these birds and hundreds of camera shutter clicks, we started our engines again and headed back to National Geographic Sea Lion.

After returning to the ship, we enjoyed a quick presentation by Aaron Raymond on, “Photography Basics and Techniques.” After lunch, we got briefed and fitted for our first snorkeling adventure in the afternoon. During this time, we lifted anchor and repositioned National Geographic Sea Lion to the west coast of the island, where there are more coral reefs.

Our afternoon snorkel spot was a shallow coral reef that ran parallel to an incredibly beautiful and picturesque beach. This beach, like many others in the Southern Bahamas, probably has not seen human foot traffic in years. We settled there for the afternoon to use our snorkel gear for the first time this trip. We were eager to give our guests their first look at a Bahamian coral reef and the threats they face.

After our afternoon beach hang and snorkel, we returned to National Geographic Sea Lion to end our first day in paradise. The calm seas and almost cloudless skies gifted us with a picture-perfect sunset that painted the skies in different shades of red and orange. After we enjoyed this graceful moment, we had dinner and came together to talk about national parks and conservation efforts in the Bahamas.