The beaches of Elbow Cay are breathtaking. Long, wide, inviting, and often deserted.
With the sound of the surf – sometimes crashing and crushing, sometimes gently caressing.
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.)
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.)
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.
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.
Next time I’ll bring a towel to sit on.
Thanks for posting….gave me a way to show photos of manatee with the red paint to Jessica’s family. Girls enjoyed them!