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:: Snorkels and Speedboats

Monday. Yes, it's almost certainly Monday. Already it's difficult to remember what day it is, which of course is a good sign when you're on vacation. Anyways, today we got up early and headed down to the Clifton docks to meet a guy named Seymore (aka Redman), who has a speed boat. Tim had arranged to have Redman take us out for the day so we could try some snorkeling at a few different spots. Low and behold, when we got to the dock, Amy and I recognized Redman's boat- it was the same one that had picked us up at Carriacou Island last year on our first trip to Union. (Well, Craig recognized the boat. Amy thinks it is not the same boat at all, because Seymore was having engine problems on that day.) Ahh yes, we have fond memories of that first introduction to Caribbean travel (don't tell Tim though). On that boat ride, the engine conked out every five minutes, and when it did run, it seemed like the boar was going through the waves as much as it was going over them. This time, we were prepared though. In addition to wearing bathing suits and Peace Corps Grade suntan lotion, we had so much snorkel gear, that you'd think we'd tricked ourselves into believing that we could always swim back home if we had to.

Our speedboat waits

Down at the dock

Our first stop was along a reef in the Tobago Cays. Heh heh.. While I was getting ready to go in, I look up and hear Pete say, "So.. is this how we do it?". This was immediately followed by Pete rolling off his side of the boat (at the high end), navy Seal style. Normally, this would be fine if he'd actually had a scuba tank to help break the fall, or had been in more than three feet of water, or if he'd actually been asking someone that question as opposed to using it to tell us what he was doing. Heh heh. He went down with a loud plunging noise that rocked the boat. He came up fine and all, I just thought it was kinda funny. It's becoming obvious that Pete's scuba class was a bit more hardcore than mine. I instead flopped into the water like a lentil-filled tube sock.

A cow fish

No Amy, that goes on your foot

The first snorkel spot was great. It wasn't too deep, but it was far enough away from land that there were plenty of interesting fish out there. Right off the bat, I found the above cow fish (note the horns!), which was cool, because Tim had told me earlier that they aren't all that common. There were lots of other cool fish, but Cambria had the big find for the day. She spotted a good sized sting ray and called out in time for the rest of us to spot it as it swooped by. I was the last person along its path, and was lucky enough to get a picture of him. He was close enough for me to feel like I should just get the hell away from him and let him go about his important fish business. Tim and Pete tried to follow him for a bit, but he lost them by gliding over some shallow spots in the reef. Wow.

Cambria's ray zips by

We eventually swam back to Redman's boat, where we flopped into it like gravy-filled socks. He then took us over to an island, dropped us off, and told us he'd be back in a bit when he'd caught lunch. We were pretty tired, so we mostly just wandered around the beach and rested in the curvy trees. Tim told us that they used this island in Pirates of the Caribbean for the scene where Johnny Depp finds his buried rum. Upon sharing this news, Tim demonstrated a proper pirate face. I practiced my own pirate expressions in front of a small audience of hermit crabs. They didn't seem too terrified of me, but they did have their little claws out, just in case. Aye.

One of the locals

Ugh. Speaking of crustaceans, another boat group camped next to us and had their guide cook them lobsters. What I didn't know about this beforehand was that the way you cook lobsters on a fire is to.. well, take the live lobsters and put them on the fire. I first became aware of the liveness of the lobsters when I started to hear them make clicking noises, like they were calling out or something. It was awful. I don't have a high opinion of lobsters in general, but the clicking really made me aware of their slow, painful deaths. Ugh.

Waiting in the shade

After a long wait, Redman finally came back with the boat and took us over to another island, where our fish-lunch was frying. So what kind of fish did we (the non-vegetarian guys) have? Well, the same kind we were swimming with. It was easy to tell, because well, there it was, skin, lips, and all, looking at you with their cooked eyes. They were tasty, though I have to admit that by this point I was a bit squeamish about eating anything. When Amy asked what the fish looked like, I told her that they looked just like the ones you see in the water, except with a small hole in the side. We finished up, saw an iguana, and stumbled around in the water. The island initially was packed with cruise people, but they all left when their boat people told them their allocated time for enjoying said island was over. I guess we did the same, although Redman let us tell him when we wanted to go.

Where the beach ends

There's our boat..

For the trip back, Redman picked up his brother, who was selling conch shells on the beach to cruise people. His brother was pretty cool on the ride back- he stood the whole way, facing into the wind like men in the Caribbean always seem to do on boats. For dinner, Tim and Pete went down the street and picked up some fried chicken (which was awesome). Like I end all of these rambling posts, we conked out, tired from the sun and the swimming. Tomorrow we're doing our first dive trip, which is enough worrying to keep me from sleeping too soundly.

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