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The beaches of Elbow Cay are breathtaking.  Long, wide, inviting, and often deserted. 

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With the sound of the surf – sometimes crashing and crushing, sometimes gently caressing.

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Here are some fun facts about beaches in the Bahamas.  Although Harbour Island, to our south, is famous for its pink sand, our beaches here on Elbow Cay also have a pink tint.  (Okay, I enhanced this slightly to make the point.)

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For several reasons.  One, the otherwise tan sand contains lots of broken shells that are pink.  So they influence the color of the sand.  (This photo is NOT enhanced – there are a ton of tiny pink shells on the beaches, although they tend to wash up in clumps and not be evenly distributed.)

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Two – tiny single celled marine organisms called “foraminifera” live and die on the reefs offshore.  The ones in this part of the Bahamas are reddish-pink.  So they add to the color when their remains wash ashore.

And – fun fact No. 3 – a lot of the ground up calcium carbonate that constitutes sand is supplied by parrotfish.

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When parrotfish are munching yummies off the reef, they also ingest reef material, which they grind up inside and excrete as sand.  Yippee!  Our sand is partly parrotfish poop.

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Next time I’ll bring a towel to sit on.

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One thought on “Beaches

  1. So funny!
    Thanks for posting….gave me a way to show photos of manatee with the red paint to Jessica’s family. Girls enjoyed them!

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