Monday

It’s Monday and I feel like I have been here for weeks. I have been here about 36 hours.

Gigi is coming in Tuesday night and I can’t wait. I miss her very much.

Terry and Michael called and asked that I meet them at Cheney bay to accompany them on their turtle walk. I didn’t exactly know what that was but it sounded fun.

Basically we walked along the shore looking for evidence of turtle nesting. We found a place where a turtle came ashore as evidenced by a large gouge on the sandy wall of the beach. A few feet further was a large impression in the sand where a turtle had laid her eggs. Michael and Terry starting recording the next by taking gps readings, measuring from known coordinates and then marked the nest. There were quite a few nests on this beach.

Afterwards we ate breakfast overlooking the indescribable beauty of the bay there.

So the afternoon we planned to snorkel Buck Island. You need a boat to get there and they own a boat up to the task.

Her name is Origami. It a portable boat made of some kind of foldable composite with a 5 HP motor attacked. This is not what most people would use to venture to another island in the peak of hurricane season.

After we got loaded and situated the capable Captain Michael and his First Mate Terry safely delivered me to the back side of Buck Island.

We tied off at one of the mooring spots and had a ceremonial rum and beer before we departed into the ocean.

We plunged overboard and were immediately delivered into a fantastic underworld. I was greeted by a good size grouper. A grouper is a beautiful fish and looks exactly like a fish should. A picture of a grouper should be the standard for all fish to aspire.

Next we saw large schools of squid and beautiful big thick clouds of blue fish swimming in large schools. We followed a sea turtle for quite a while. The saw an occasional barracuda and many hard working parrot fish as we swam against the current.

Finally we found a cut through the reef that let us enter the other side to the deep blue sea. The view was both breathtaking and frightening. The water was very deep and very clear. We swam along the reef for a while then Terry and I decided to head for safer and more familiar waters.

Michael stayed back and located a large nurse shark. We all went over to see a shark that I would guess was as large as a man sleeping on the bottom. Okay…now I have seen one and I was ready to look at friendly fish again.

Finally we worked our way back and boarded the boat. That grouper I saw at first was still below the boat a few hours later. I was fully exhausted but the day was not over.

We went over to the deserted beach and ate lunch with a ceremonial rum drink and lunch. (I am only trying to do as the natives do, drinking all this rum. I didn’t want to insult them you know).

Then we walked along the shore and saw 5 good size sharks feeding just offshore maybe 10 feet away in a foot of water. They were barely submerged.

We went away from the sharks and snorkeled some more. I followed a large flounder and swam in some school of fish.

By the time we loaded and arrived on St Croix my body was exhausted and I literally fell out of the boat trying to step out. I landed flat on my back in 6 inches of water and the ever cautious Michael screamed, “Man overboard!”

I felt like I had barnacles on my toenails, krill in my teeth, and my skin was dry and leathery from the salt and sun. Man that was fun.

I slept deeply last night.

6 comments:

Jahooni said...

I am very very jealous.

MELackey said...

Man, If Sheklly and I ever go to St Croix, we're going with you guys.

MELackey said...

oops, that's if SHELLY and I ever...

TerryC said...

This is our life, Reg. You're just really lucky Gigi's coming in so we'll go easier on you now. ;)

Reggie said...

Mark...we are always looking for fun couples to share the fun in the winter. It's great to have great friends on the island too!

Michael said...

Terry wrote a parallel version of this same story, but both she and Reggie forgot a key detail.

As soon as Reggie landed on St. Croix he pulled out his "Pacific Life" Palm Tree beer bottle opener and hung it around his neck so he's be prepared to crack open a cold one at a moments notice. It's a cute opener, we were jealous.

So he's been wearing this opener on a string around his neck everywhere he goes, downtown, to bars, to the beach. He had it prominently displayed all Football Sunday. But on our way to the boat I noticed no opener. We queried him about it. "Damn... I forgot my opener when I most needed it!"

"Not to worry", I told him, "I've got my trusty Green Fish opener on my keychain".

When we're bobbing around in the boat out at Buck, ready to open the first ceremonial beers, we discover I'd left the keys in the ignition of the Land Rover, back at the Yacht Club, and none of the beers we wanted were twist caps. I ended up opening them off the edge of the outboard.