Saturday, November 13, 2004

(It has been a while . . .)

Well . . . first and foremost I would like to apologize to everyone. Obviously I haven't written in a couple of months, and I now have a LOT of catching up to do. Even though I am writing these starting in November, it was merely a random starting point. The dates have nothing to do with when the events happened. This is normally the case anyway, but just more so now.

Once I got to the Imagination, I was working an immense number of hours. Once we went into dry dock (and afterwards) it got even worse. Hopefully I can get caught back up again and move forwards soon.

Today's entry is technically about going to Cozumel on August 28th. I suppose if I was being accurate I would just pre-date it, but I figure that I'll be interspersing other things throughout as I think of them, and it is in chronological order anyway. I have a great picture of the boat at dock here. I like being in Cozumel because it is the only port that we stay late in. Even more so right now, since we can't go to Key West (they are repairing the pier). Normally we go to Key West for a morning and leave around noon, then get to Cozumel from around 12:30 to 10. When you walk off the boat, the pier actually goes THROUGH a shopping area so that you can't avoid it (although the crew is allowed to take a passageway around it).

I took and excursion today, it was an Eco Jeep Tour. They break up the group into small (2-4 person) groups and give each a Jeep. There was a mom and two daughters that invited me to be in their Jeep, one of the daughters drove (and, especially considering that she was fairly young and it was a stick shift, did admirably well). The tour was to take us to a large protected state-park-type of area with a lighthouse, a very old "temple" (more on why it is in quotes later), crocodiles, snorkeling at the beach and finishing up with off-roading.

We stopped at a small pavilion first, where we got our entrance tickets to the park. They had a few small shops and a scale model of the park. We were then supposed to board an open-sided bus for the park sights, as you aren't normally allowed to just drive yourself around. However, there was a problem with the bus, so they allowed us to go in with the Jeeps under strict instructions about speed and staying on the path.

Our first stop was at the "temple." There are a lot of old ruins in Mexico from very old civilizations. Unfortunately, I was unable to take many tours at all on the Imagination, and I didn't get to see many. In this case, this wasn't actually a temple but an old type of lighthouse. While it is VERY low to the ground, the ground around it has risen a bit. They would light a fire in it, and the column of smoke would lead the people coming to the island in canoes to the correct place. For those who can read Spanish, here is a plaque about it.

After each stop, we would all pile back into the Jeeps, which were outfitted with speakers. As we drove, the lead Jeep guide gave us instructions and such. We then moved on to the swamp. There was a long boardwalk that led out into it, where the guide fed the crocodiles.

We then headed to the lighthouse at the tip of the island. It was a ways from everything else, and of course was a bit more modern than the last one. It was a bit crowded and had a very small stairway, but I wanted to go up inside. Here are our Jeeps, as well as the road that we had taken. The view of the water is really nice, and if you look closer you see a small bridge-like edifice. I'm not sure what its original purpose was, but it was nice. Here it is with the lighthouse in the background. I am a huge fan of Fresnel lenses (used to amplify the puny light that the lighthouses originally had to deal with. This shot of it from the outside has a bit of me in it as well . . .

We moved on from here to go snorkeling, but I unfortunately do not have the pictures from that yet. I actually got them developed, but had him put them on a memory card for me (instead of my usual CD). I ended up erasing it before I took the pictures off. :( I'll let you know when I re-scan them. If anyone wants to give me an underwater digital camera, it would solve these problems . . . :)