Wednesday, June 2, 2004

(Snorkeling in Barbados)

Well, I was supposed to be on duty today. However, Mihai wanted part of Friday off, and yesterday a friend asked me to take a shore tour with her so that she wouldn't have to go by herself. She has a boyfriend, but he really didn't want to go, and was relieved that I went in his place.

We got on a catamaran, one of the same ones that they use for the sunset cruise I took last week. They took us out to an area known for having a lot of sea turtles. It is amazing how graceful they are in water, I have previously only watched them walk on shore (although the ones in FL are around four times as big as these, and not as colorful). This was the closest that I got to one while trying to snap pictures. A number of times I was close enough to touch them. I wanted to try to get Tatiana to snap a picture of me with the turtles, but she was having a hard time with the snorkel and wasn't using it. She wasn't under the water long enough to be able to get a picture.

We got back on the boat, and headed to a private beach. There is a sailboat that I have seen a number of times now that has a design that I haven't seen before. I have wanted a picture of it for a while, but never seem to have my camera at the right time. However, this time I got it. It has two masts, and all of the normal sails. However, it has an extra triangle-shaped sail (similar to a jib) that is mounted upside-down to catch the wind in an area normally vacant from sails.

They picked this particular beach for two reasons. It is a gorgeous beach in an expensive area, and we (all of the people on the boat) had it completely to ourselves. I walked along it for quite a ways, and saw several gorgeous houses. Each one is completely landscaped as to be unseen from the water, though, so I don't have any pictures except for this one. You can see the sailboat that I was on in the background here. There was a beautiful bridge between two of the houses. Since there were no people on the beach, the sand crabs are a lot more prevalent than they are on the public beaches. I love watching them. When I am at a public beach I will sit very still for a long time near one of their holes. The crab will slowly emerge and will peek one eye stalk at me, using the other to scan for other threats. After it watches me for a long time to see if I move, it will finally scoop out a big chunk of sand and throw it, running quickly back into the hole. After a minute, it peeks out again, each time becoming quicker and more bold about it if no one walks by. If you happen to mistakenly walk between a crab and its hole when it has gotten bold enough to venture a ways away, it will freak out. Normally they just scurry back into the hole, but they don't know what to do when they can't. I have actually had one run over my foot while frantically running around trying to get away from me. The crabs here, though, were a long ways away from their holes since the beach was empty. This one (and another just outside the picture) were sitting perfectly still, pretending they were invisible (they were blending in with a sand-colored wall, and I was a little ways away using the zoom lens).

The second reason for picking this beach was that it is right on a coral reef that is only about 20 yards off shore. There are a lot of beautiful fish and coral. My favorite things to watch, though, are eels. I couldn't get really good pictures of him, but he is just peeking out of a hole in the coral. Here he is after coming out to dart into another hole. Unfortunately they had a problem getting the disposable camera apart, so a number of pictures were ruined. We got back on the boat to eat and head back to shore. Everything was solid carbs, so I picked today to be my day to splurge. I had three kinds of cake, rice, breaded fish, and lasagna.

After we got back I went to the Boat Yard to hang out on the beach. It was such a beautiful day, and since I wanted to swim I didn't bring my camera. I stayed there until sunset, and because I didn't bring my camera it was the best sunset I have seen since coming to the boat.

Well, I promised that when I got the camera developed, I would have the pictures I took on the Wacky Rollers tour in Dominica (where I swam up the crack in the rocks to get to the waterfall) in the beginning of may. So, they are on the May 12 page. Unfortunately a lot more of these got ruined than the underwater ones, but here they are nonetheless.