Monday, January 23, 2012

Skin Deep

The Caribbean highlight reel continues: At the island of St. Thomas, we decided we should try a little open-water snorkeling, which is a tourist staple, of course. The idea here is that you pays your money and you get ferried a few miles out to sea where your (hopefully) expert Captain outfits you with fins, a mask, a snorkel, and a lifetime of experience before throwing you overboard to meet some fish.

As often happens in my family, there was disagreement in selecting an appropriate excursion - the majority of these involving a leisurely half-day on a catamaran with complimentary rum and sunburns. This is where my wife and daughter wanted to spend their time. My son and I felt the need for speed and were more interested in the Captain Nautica rock'n'roll powerboat snorkeling excursion.

So, we split up for the day - the ladies reclining on their catamaran while the The Boy and I signed on to Captain Nautica's crew. In the end, I think my son and I made the better decision. We started early in the morning and, since we were taking a very fast powerboat, we were able to make the 18-mile journey to Turtle Bay, Buck Island long before any other snorklers. As a result, we had some ocean and Green Sea Turtles all to ourselves.

Our boat disgorging snorklers (The Boy is furthest on the left).

Swimming over some curious turtles.
Curiouser yet.
The Boy, his turtle friend, and a bad re-enactment of 'Free Willy'.
After 45 minutes or so in the water with these creatures, we dragged ourselves back into the boat to make a second stop on the opposite side of Buck Island where there was a sheltered bay. There we attracted various smaler fish with bits of melon rind, saw a shipwreck, and even got Barry the Barracuda to pose for pictures.

The Boy summons his horde.
Gliding over a shipwreck.
Clever Barry waits under the hull of our boat.
In contrast, the ladies barely saw just one turtle and only got to snorkel in one location. That said, they got all the rum they could drink. And that ain't bad.


David said...

Awesome. Snorkeling is woefully underrated fun. But turtles? That is the most ut.

So, how did you get the pictures? Special housing? Rental camera? Or was it the result of another secret project?

Crazylegs said...

Thanks, man. You're right, snorkeling is underrated funtimes.

We just used one of those disposal underwater cameras (Fuji brand). You can pick them up at Henry's or even Shopper's Drugmart. They're just a cardboard disposable 35mm camera with a plastic housing. I took it to Black's for developing (took an hour or so). The only downside to these is that aiming the thing is kind of 'approximate' since a viewfinder and a divemask are not compatible. The little digital underwater cameras would be better, I think, since you'd have an LCD screen for aiming *and* they use blue-green filtering for a much clearer image.

And as for secret projects, we need to finish the current one before taking on anything new (and we're just a few hours away from 'done' now). Although I do have a few ideas that might be fun...