[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he warm calm days of August offer ideal conditions for exploring the reefs of Abaco. The clear and refreshing water is the perfect contrast to the summer’s heat. Some of the calmest seas of the year offer comfortable rides to the nearly two dozen sites within the Fowl Cay National Underwater Park. The balmy water temperature is nearing the season high of 86°F and visibility is exceptional. Winds are light, but become gusty when a thunderstorm blows through. Ranging in its shallowest depths from 35- to 45-feet, they offer ample bottom time to escape as much of the midday’s heat as possible. Skies remain mostly sunny, except during the typical, seasonal rain showers. We are nearing that time of year when it is beneficial to keep one eye on the tropics. Air temperature is ranging from 76°F at night to 88°F during the day, plus humidity – providing all the more reason to spend your day on or under the water. The reef is at its most reproductive time and clouds of silversides are filling the swim throughs. Tropical fish and other marine life is plentiful, colors are vibrant, an underwater photographer’s delight. Grouper, grunts, snapper, angelfish, butterfly fish, blue tang, parrotfish, barracuda, jacks, porgies, chub, sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and eels are frequent and common sightings. An informative online fish identification guide that we find very useful is www.ReefGuide.org.
August is always an exciting month to sky watch, including the Full Tropical ‘Fruit’ Moon at 2:35 p.m. on Saturday, August 29 and the Persid meteor shower before dawn Tuesday, August 11 through Friday, August 14, http://earthsky.org/tonight/peak-night-for-the-perseid-meteor-shower.
Another recommended website for those who like to ‘look up’ is http://SpotTheStation.NASA.gov/, which allows for sighting location look up and signing up for eMail alerts.
Whether diving and snorkeling by day or sky watching at night, Abaco has something for everyone!