Love me some Bayahibe part III: Isla Catalinita

Apr 21, 2012

So, on our excursion that launched from Bayahibe, we went thru some of the mangrove forest, visited a little uninhabited island called Catalinita, the island Saona where we enjoyed a Dominican buffet, and a natural swimming pool (in the middle of the ocean!) AND a starfish colony. It was UH-MAZING!

The island of Catalinita is a small little island that borders the reef where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic Ocean.  On the Caribbean side, the water is not very deep, but then there is a big drop off for the Atlantic so the waves are pretty fierce on the back side of the island.  See that little black spot on the horizon to the left of the island?  It's actually a ship that tried to cross the reef during a storm (which is normally passable), but it got stuck!  And on the right side of the island, there were too other ships stuck just like this one!

When we disembarked from the catamaran, we immediately found a fabulous discovery.

Just to give you a little perspective.  This starfish was in ankle deep water, and it was probably 10 inches in diameter.  Check it out next to the hands.

More on the starfish later (Bayahibe part iv?  We'll see!) Here is the interesting part about this island. Fisherman catch lambi here and harvest them out of the conch shelves, and once they get the lambi out, they toss the conch shell onto the island of Catalinita so that they don't try to reharvest a conch that has already been captured.

Catalinita is literally littered with harvested conch shells.  They are as far as the eye can see.

For real.  This is not a great photo, but I think you get the picture.  I think the island is built of conch shells!  Everything white or grey in the photo is a shell, and they are PILED on top of shell mounds!

There's always at least one rebel in the bunch that wants to do their own thing in the photo.  It's not necessarily the same one every time, either.  But I digress . . . Conch shells.  Shells for everyone. Big ones.  Little ones. Slimy ones. Bleached ones. Barnacled ones.  Buried ones.

And now that she's solo, she's happy to grab a conch shell and show it to the camera!  Do I seem bitter?
Really, it's okay.  It's more fun to NOT be matchy matchy AND I'll give her a hard time about this maybe at her wedding rehearsal dinner.

Then again, the nut doesn't fall far from the tree, right? RIGHT!

And this is why water shoes are recommended on this part of the excursion.  The conch shells are buried under the sand and it would h.u.r.t. to step on these.  You just can't avoid them.

And, while on this part of the excursion I learned a valuable lesson that when you take photos with your sunglasses on, you are prone to overexpose your photos because you can't see the hatch marks on your camera.  I hate the loss of detail, but I still love these little faces!

Despite the fact that this photo is unsalvageable, I still love it so much.  Unfortunately there are many others like this from Catalinita, but fortunately I checked when I got back on the boat and realized what had happened so I was able to correct it for the rest of the excursion, which I will show you in Bayahibe part IV!

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