Friday, June 1, 2012

Snorkeling at Turtle Cove


Today was by far my greatest day on the island. I was feeling well enough to get out and do something, and of course, that something had to be snorkeling.


I’m rather fond of snorkeling, as long as I am transported to the snorkeling site in a properly-sized vessel.

Maybe this is too much information, but I ended up feeding the fishies on my honeymoon after we rode in a tiny boat through huge waves to get to the snorkeling location. I can’t really be blamed since it was really windy, which caused the giant waves. And we were in a boat the size of a small and useless bathtub. And they tried (and failed) to feed us warm bologna sandwiches. See what I mean? All of these things combined to make me want to throw up in the sea.

I still get teased by Hubby. And he was shocked to learn that I didn’t toss my cookies during this excursion in St. Thomas.


The appropriately-named Cat catamaran was a sufficiently-sized boat. It was big enough to fool my brain into not getting sea sick. Yes, it’s embarrassing to admit that, under the right wrong circumstances, I can get motion sickness. If my eyes can’t confirm what my brain and body are sensing, then it’s all over for me. I never throw up (unless I’m in the ocean and it just makes sense to share my agony with residents of the sea), but I do tend to feel icky.

As a kid on The Ranch riding in the back of the blue Toyota pickup truck with nine of my favorite cousins (cue the banjo music!), I got to sit up front for the long drives to prevent any motion sickness. No one liked me when I was sick. Weird, huh?


That was a lot of explaining just to let you know that I didn’t get sick on our 45-minute trek out to Turtle Cove.


I always forget this when I’m snorkeling, but I recommend going about a size smaller than your normal shoe size when selecting flippers. That way, they stay on without risk of slipping off during every kick. If I went snorkeling more often, I would probably remember such good advice. So now you know what to do next time you get paid to go to St. Thomas for a week.

There would be minimal complaining from me if I got to go snorkeling more often to help me remember to get small fins.


I sat at the very front of the catamaran. This was also a strategic move to prevent my brain from being confused with the motion. There were big waves to overcome out here, but I kept my eyes on the horizon to prevent the chance of getting sick with all of the bumps. The beautiful wind blowing on my face helped, too.


We passed several gorgeous private residences as we got out of the harbor. Can you imagine living here? Iguanas year-round?!


Turtle Cove was a popular destination. We parked among five other vessels to let the snorkeling commence. I think the cove was large enough for us all, as I didn’t feel like we were cramped by the other boats and their snorkelers.


These buoys are attached to the ocean floor, which was about twenty feet below us. The boats can then anchor to them while parking in the cove. We were told not to touch the buoys since some pretty painful coral can start growing on them as they stay in the water.


This is what we in the snorkeling world like to refer to as “Mask Face.” And I just made that up, since I’ve never been able to consider myself part of that world. We were in the water for about forty-five minutes. Most of it was a guided tour from our catamaran host. She showed us some sea turtles, and I got to see one come of for a breath of fresh air. They only need oxygen every twenty minutes, and he lumbered to the surface of the water while I got to watch.

I also got to see two sting rays glide beneath me. I was happy to hear that they prefer to stay on the bottom near the sand. I kept imagining the sting ray changing course to come straight at me! This could be the iguanas talking, though.

Because me ears were still recovering from being sick (they finally popped this morning), I didn’t risk diving down low to take a look. But my guide did! She brought up a sea urchin to love and squeeze and call him George. While holding him on my hand, he used little suction cups to attach himself to me. It was creepy and cool all at once. I had to pry him off to hand him to the next guy.

Not that I eat sushi or anything, but I would probably abstain from sea urchin from now on if I did. We had such a deep personal connection in Turtle Cove that I don’t think I could ever eat one.


It was a really nice snorkeling afternoon. I don’t think it qualifies as the best snorkeling I’ve ever experienced, but I got to see a few new things and enjoy the perfect water.

Am I the only one who swims through a warm section of water and wonders if someone else was recently in the same spot relieving himself?


I got to help raise the sails for our return trip to St. Thomas. This is Mary and Joe, our guide and boat captain. They were funny and made the day even more enjoyable.


While we were in the water, a few boats left and a few more arrived. This place was hopping all afternoon!

And this is their off-season?!


This very sail was raised by me. Workout for Monday? Check.


I was the only creepy lady on the boat who asked for a non-rum drink. Mine tasted way better, by the way. So tropical and refreshing after being in the salty water! I could taste some coconut and pineapple juice. It was delicious!

While disembarking, I saw a bottle of Sunny D at the bar. Does everything just taste better when you’re in paradise, or what?! Come on!


The wind took us home. It was wonderful. The radio blared some Caribbean music while the dolphins swam around us. Just kidding on the dolphins. But that would have been really cool.


They even gave us some snacks for the ride home. I had some blue tortilla chips and fresh cantaloupe and pineapple. Though it tasted wonderful, I’m pretty sure that this didn’t come out of a Sunny D bottle.


This was my favorite picture of the day as we are sailing back to St. Thomas.


I was one happy camper. But that’s because my back didn’t hurt yet from my snorkeling sunburn. It was a pretty fun day, all in all.


There was a cruise ship in the harbor every day of my sojourn. I guess during the busy season, they get about four a day. Can you imagine? I didn’t know that many ships existed!


I climbed twelve-million stairs to get back up from the dock. This was the sight that greeted me. See how busy the spa pool was the entire week? They won’t notice if I just help myself in, right?

I didn’t. But I wanted to do it.


This is the courtyard leading from the hotel to the pool area. The lighting was perfect this evening, so my camera was whipped out to chronicle the beauty.


Though I didn’t spend any time in the water near the hotel, it was very peaceful listening to it. I love how water sounds in any form. It’s always so relaxing!


If you have to eat dinner on a tropical island in the Caribbean, you might as well endure a lovely view with a sunset and mountains by the harbor. The airport is over that mountain, in case you’re wondering why it looks like heaven over there.


See? I wasn’t even lying! Twelve million steps to make it back to the hotel from the dock! And, if you look closely, the iguanas are waiting in the trees to attack each unsuspecting passerby. I knew that they were there and was armed, so they didn’t come near me.  This time.


With a beautiful view to endure while eating dinner, I enjoyed a dang chicken quesadilla at the hotel lounge on the fourth floor. It was pretty good, but there was too much chicken. I doubt that they get that complaint very often, so I kept it to myself!

Snorkel Day was my favorite. It felt great getting out to explore other parts of the surrounding areas. And the punch wasn’t half-bad, either.

1 comment:

  1. Aww, Micah. Is this what you've become? An iguana hating, Sunny D slurping, tropical snorkeling fool? Think of me today- we're branding cows for the second Saturday in a row! :) xoxoxoxoxoxo


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