Hernando Reef

Hernando Reef
by Andrew Bryant, 22 July 2013.

Twelve of us embarked upon the Misty Isles in Lund and set out for the unknown (at least to me) waters surrounding Hernando Island.  Luckily Mike Moore AKA “Captain Mike” clearly knew his stuff and made us feel comfortable and safe.  The skies were clear and the ocean blue.  We saw a few harbor porpoises and pigeon guillemots en route.

After about an hour and a half we set anchor, transferred to the Zodiac and zoomed ashore.  I’m glad we brought ski-poles because the footing was absolutely treacherous.  Sabina soon began to display her encyclopedic knowledge of the intertidal zone and the amazing diversity of critters that call it home.  My word!  Sea stars, nudibranches, barnacles, limpets, crabs of all shapes and sizes, kelp, more crabs, and my personal favorite the Encrusting red sponge.  Sabina not only knew them all by name, she seemed to have intimate knowledge of their varied anatomies and sexual proclivities.  Hmmm…

I’m glad I brought my mask and snorkel, because if life above water was interesting, underwater was astounding.  I vividly remember getting very close to a curious harbor seal, and watching the northern kelp crabs weaving strands of eelgrass together as they climbed towards food incoming with the tide.

Which almost stranded the lot of us, by the way.  More than once.  Great good fun.  Go if you get the chance.