April 29 – May 11
The islands are beautiful. Though quite expensive, even compared to the other Caribbean islands. I am reminded we haven’t hit the Bahamas yet.
View from the back of the boat.
We had two changes of the guard. Addison departed after traveling from St John through the Spanish Virgin Islands and across to T & C. Connie and Keith, my sister and brother-in-law, arrived on the plane Addison flew back on and spent the week in T & C with us. Jack and Maddy, our nephew and niece, joined us the last couple of days, and will stay on for the passage through the Bahamas and on to Charleston. Jack and Maddy were briefly detained and questioned by immigration since they were transferring to a boat instead of having ongoing transportation (return or advancing airline ticket), even though Frank had provided the proper documents.
The highlights of this segment were:
-visiting with family
-diving and snorkeling
Additionally, Addison tried out kite boarding since we arrived a few days ahead of target. Connie and Keith relaxed on the beach, no surprise as they spend a lot of time on the Carolina coast. With only one full day in T & C, Jack and Maddy walked from the opposite end of Grace Bay back to the marina, about 6 miles – youth!
The snorkeling at both Smith Reef and The Bight near Coral Gardens were good. Smith Reef was good but had either a long swim from the easy beach entries or a rocky shore entry.
The Bight was one of the easiest snorkels I’ve ever experienced from the beach, with good entry and lots of critters, including turtles, eagle rays, lobster, stingrays. One turtle had a remora attached.
Frank with a turtle (middle of right edge)…
Connie tried the full face snorkel mask and gave it thumbs up.
Addison, Frank and I tried a sunset snorkel.
A little fish that attached itself to me for about 1000 foot swim, staying mostly in my mask – can you spot it in the picture. The GoPro in action.
Keith, Frank and I went scuba diving a couple of days, once at West Caicos and once Grace Bay. We were treated to sharks, eels and lionfish in addition to the other creatures seen during the snorkels. I hit my 500th dive!
We toured around the island a bit, checked out other marina, saw a water spout. The island is, like most, focused on water activities.
Casino nights were interesting. Win some, lose some. One night was particularly interesting, as a ‘guy’ at the craps table continually taunted me about playing on the dark side. Fortunately, Frank was nearby at the blackjack table – close enough for me to call him but not close enough to get prematurely and overly enthusiastically involved. This guy kept calling me the ‘dark lady’, ‘I’m going to make you lose’, etc. As I took a sip of my Marker’s Mark neat, turned to him and ask, ”And what makes you think I’m a lady?” The guy next to me and his girlfriend tried to get me to weigh in on a personal issue they were having. Then there was a questionable call at the table with players fussing at the casino workers, calling for a review of the video tapes. I cashed out. BTW, the taunting guy didn’t last very long on the table, while I continued to take my winnings from the house. And I remember why I don’t play black jack – I lose too quickly. But in this instance the dealer hit at least 6 blackjacks in one shoe – Momma Mia!
Connie survived and thrived on her first marine camping trip (or any camping trip for that matter), even in the luggage department. Keith will be rejoining us for the East Coast trip in June – yeah!