Bahamas trip: Day 9

My companions go off to interview Erma Pratt after breakfast, but I'm too tired from the previous night, so I stay in and catch up on photos, blogging, and communication with the outside world. It's a hard decision: Erma's grandmother Sophia was one of the last midwives on the island, and an amazing woman... but I'm exhausted.

On the way back from breakfast I find a hermit crab that is far too small for its shell. I play with it a little bit (and get a tiny pinch), then set it down and go about my business. An hour later, I come across the shell... upside-down, with no crab! A faint set of tracks in the sand lead me to a rock, behind which is the naked hermit crab. (I've never seen this before.) The crab is super aggressive, but I get some okay pictures of it.

I know that hermit crabs whose scavenged shells are too small are less protected, but I had never considered what danger a crab with a too-large shell would face. It seems that when an oversized shell flips over, the crab has no choice but to exit the shell and search out a new one. I test this idea by allowing the naked crab to get back in its shell and then placing it upside-down. Although the crab never exits, it also doesn't succeed in flipping; it really would have no choice in the long run. (I right the crab and search for a more appropriately sized shell, but I can find none.)

After lunch, we interview Myrtis Jones at her house and learn of even more plants (such as Sweetwood) and new uses for others. (I believe she mentioned avocado leaf for pain, but I can't be sure.) Kathleen tastes a Noni fruit, and after sputtering a bit declares that it tastes just like it smells. (Specifically, horrible.)

We help Mr. Forbes run a few errands and arrange to meet him tomorrow. I hope I can get another tamarind pod!

More snorkeling after dinner, this time to the east of the sewage pipe. (We are informed that the currents carry the water west, where we were snorkeling the other day.) There is a sting-ray! We keep a respectful distance as it futzes around in the sand.


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