Em and I went out early on Tuesday. Early = ~ 830 AM. Went to the area East of our "villa." To the three posts, and the abandoned building. Very close to shore. Then to the area right by our three kayaks. About a hundred or so yards out.
I was startled because I was looking at Em, and then I looked the other way, and it was swimming away from me. Here, Dale is pointing at it.
An eel? Not sure what this is.
Cute little fish.
Dale swimming with a school of little ones.
We were swimming about an hour or a little more, and then got out and we see horses on the beach.
After lunch, Dale went out to snorkel, while Em took a long walk. The others rested in the "villa." Here is a video of the little stick fish that I found.
After they came out to join us, there was a stingray in the water very close to shore. Here is a "mistake" video of the shadow moving along the surf. It's just a couple of seconds.
A video of another stingray. I got a little bit too close, I think.
Today is our last full day here. A quick wrap up of yesterdays events. After a quick breakfast, we got to Taylor Bay (the medium sized, very, very shallow beach) at about 10 AM. Spent about 2 hours there, doing nothing. But that is what they wanted. The ocean is like a huge swimming pool, 3 feet deep for hundreds of feet all around. Nothing else to do.
Here is a selfie video @ Taylor Bay:
The beach has fine sand, but there is a rocky surf that one needs to watch for,
There is a pretty narrow beach, not the expansive type,
Rocky cliffs on one side,
Expensive villas with docks on the other,
There are some smaller beachfront villas (by the way, a huge chunk of this beachfront was once owned by Dick Clark),
Basically, nothing to do but this:
We came back to our "villa," had lunch, and then everyone got sleepy. Except me. I had a date with the ocean.
A funny shaped fish,
I found a cousin of Kink's. Cheek is his name.
I saw a tiny turtle.
Later, we went to Garam Masala, Indian cuisine at the Regent, in "town." Connie's Fish Tandoori.
Em's mixed vegetables
Sam's Prawn Tikka Masala.
My Mixed Grill.
The food was all excellent! Would go there again. This place would do well anywhere in the world.
Saturday PM after a quick lunch in our 'villa," we went out into surf. I saw another stingray. It was resting in the sand.
I looked away for a second, and then it was gone! I actually saw it slithering about and it got sand over it. So, it was hidden. Would never have noticed it. Can you see it in the picture below? If you don't, then look at the grass pattern, and look at the corresponding areas. You can see the tail is the only part that is obviously visible. Some sort of protection, I assume. Neat!!!
Some blue fish feeding in the shallow reef.
Emily and Sammie doing a selfie. Connie photobombing them.
Emily doing a selfie.
Sunday AM we awoke with anticipation of our Snuba outing. We met Jodi at the Coral Gardens on Grace Bay, and quickly went through the basics of Snuba. The three of us were attached to air lines which kept us alive down below. There were two five foot rafts on the surface which carried all our equipment. This allowed us to maneuver wherever we wanted to go. The rafts just followed us as we swam underneath. Jodi was self contained on her Scuba gear. We saw a bunch of things. We saw three turtles, including two Hawksbills. Here is a turtle "scratching her back" on an underwater "twig." Click on any of the pictures to see full definition pics.
Here we are trying to keep up with Timmy the turtle. Dale is having a really hard time keeping up. Fast turtle.
Here is Emily trying to fly. Not too bright. We're underwater.
Sammie let some bubbles come out from her behind. Emily does the smart thing and tries not to breathe while holding her nose. Dale is even smarter, and stays away.
We saw a bunch of things. My camera isn't rated for the depths that we went to, so I didn't bring it. We saw a forearm sized sea urchin, a couple of huge lobsters inside a coral grotto, a barracuda (actually they saw it; I missed it), and a bunch of little shrimp. Probably a bunch more stuff that the kids will remind me about later (and I will edit this post).
A great experience!
After resting a bit, we went shopping for groceries and supplies at Graceway. Then lunch at Sharkbites, where we had our first meal here. Connie had two salads, a Conch salad like we had the first day as well as a caesar salad. Sammie had conch and chips, like I had the first day. I had a Conch sandwich, below, while Em had the veggie wrap, also seen below in the background. The conch sandwich was impossible to eat, so I ate the tomato and pickle first, then ate some conch, then put it together with the tarter sauce. Mmmm.
Afterwards, we went out into Smith's reef again. I was in the reef about a hundred yards out from the kayaks at our complex. A bunch of people were already on the beach, lounging under the umbrellas. It was windier than the other days, which made for a bit rockier swim. But it wasn't bad. The others would join me later. I was circling the reef, when I saw a bigger-than-usual movement in my left field of vision. A cute turtle. This was another Hawksbill, with two tags on her (his?) rear legs. Toward the end of the video, you can see it going up for air. This one also got bored with me and sped off, leaving me in the dust. The video quality is ok; just the operator is getting rocked about on the surface.
Here is another flock of blue fish engaging in some weird eating behavior. They would go and eat in a bunch of coral, like mad. Then, they would swim gracefully to another spot and then repeat their frenzy.
I saw Kink again!
Then, while in the sea grass, I turn to my left, and gasped! I see a four foot fish. Barracuda. Their teeth are pretty sharp and ugly. Actually, they really aren't that vicious. Attacks on snorkelers are rare. Nonetheless, I did NOT try to get a picture of its teeth! Sorry, but get your own picture.
Sorry for the poor, shaky, video. Again, my excuse is that the water was very choppy from the wind.
We were still full from Sharkbites, so we rested in our "villa," afterwards. I was sleepy and nodded off on the computer, while reading about the dominant Giants!
Some downtime in our "villa," so a quick update. Connie didn't want to get up early, so Sam, Em and I took the 5 minute walk to the beach. Sam wanted some acclimation to deeper water in preparation for Snuba tomorrow AM. We went to a couple of the reefs to see the fish. Wanted to post a pic of the turtle we saw.
Fast turtle. Not an oxymoron. In the time I switched to video mode on the camera, it was gone. Too bad. More later.
Wednesday AM, first full day here. I wanted to get a headstart on snorkeling, and I couldn’t wake anyone up. It was already about 7 AM, never mind that that’s 4 AM PDT. Everyone should be awake by then.
Had a hard time finding the reef. There seemed to be patches of reef scattered among the vast stretches of sand and seagrass. Explored a bunch of areas. But it was hard to find.
After breakfast, we drove to Graceway Gourmet, another branch of the Graceway that we went to on Tuesday. A bigger deli, but overall, otherwise, smaller. Got our lunch (salads, sandwich makings), and ate just outside our “villa,” poolside.
That afternoon we went out to snorkel some more. Connie went out too. She learned how to Kayak. Here is Sammie managing her kayak.
Here is Connie with Emily helping her.
Here is a video of Connie snorkeling.
Later, in the afternoon, we drove around the island. Went leeward, then to Taylor Bay, which was beautiful. You can walk hundreds of feet out into the bay, with the water only to your thighs.
We decided to eat at Three Queens. Home of the Conch Festival. A real small place in an area called Blue Hills. Hard to describe, but we got there about 7 PM, and they only had two items on the verbal menu, grouper and conch. Nothing for Em, so we decided to eat elsewhere. We went to Tiki Hut, pretty close to our “villa.” Live music, and I got the baby back ribs. Veggie dish for Em. Connie got snapper. Sam got the roast chicken. Overall, good, but not great. Very touristy.
Thursday AM, Em and I went out early, about 730 AM, and snorkeled more around our beach. We saw much more, including a large reef right out at our access point. Here is a starfish in the seagrass, and a bunch of fish.
After we got out, and after breakfast, we went out into the touristy area of Grace Bay. A couple of small malls. A cigar factory.
We couldn’t decide on a place to eat lunch, so we had leftovers at our “villa.”
Everyone was tired, so I went out alone to snorkel our area. Found some more new areas of reef.
Thursday evening is the island Fish Fry. Like a little street fair, with vendors selling jewelry, and local restaurants with booths of street food.
Only Sam and I were really into the food, so we got takeaway food (grilled fish, cracked conch, and conch salad), and Connie/Em went to Green Beans for a salad.
Here is my salad being made, above. Look at those pieces of conch in the clear plastic container on the far right. When we were at Green Bean, we spied a head photo thingy.
Neither Sam nor Em wanted to pose. We ate in our “villa." Delicious Cracked Conch below!
Em, Connie and I then went out to the beach to watch the sunset. Really beautiful. That is Em showing how wide the Atlantic Ocean is.
No snorkeling, but Em went swimming in the seagrass area, and she found a conch. We named it Kink. Kink Conch.
I carried it to show Connie, then we put it back in the ocean. Connie wanted to harvest it to eat. Selfie with Connie at sunset.
Friday AM, I could not awaken anyone. So, I went out by myself to snorkel. Found several new areas to snorkel. They were very close by too.
I found Kink again, in the seagrass!
Then I see a sting ray again. This one also had a helper fish. This time I had my camera!
Here is a video I did.
Since I am alive to post this, I must have not met the same fate as Mr. Irwin. Stingrays are actually very docile creatures, and they don't attack, unless you are a Steve. They are venomous too. I just hope we don't run into a Lionfish. Those things are nasty. And they are wrecking much habitat in the Caribbean. Some more pretty pics of fishies.
Here is a cool picture just at the surface when I was at a very shallow reef near the point at Turtle Cove.
After I returned, we had a quick breakfast, and then left to find Sapodilla Bay. The kids are into vast shallow waters. It was ok. I had our “villa” issued cell phone in the pocket of my swim trunks, though, and I walked out into the water. %$#^&!!! Well, that was a mistake.
So we drove the short drive to Taylor Bay again. Connie and the kids went way out into the Bay. Really pretty, but it was really hot!
The little dots far toward the horizon are Sam, Em, and Connie. It was very hot! I think I said that already. We all wanted to leave to go to some cool AC place. We decided to go to Graceway, and get some food for lunch. Then home for a siesta. Dinner Friday. Caicos Cafe. Ziggy contributes to the Provo forum on Tripadvisor as a local expert. He's also a NYC food critic. Our meal was partially disrupted due to flying, biting insects, which leave welts on our skin. But a bunch of whiners will not sway my judgement. A very good meal of seafood. We arrived a little early, 15 minutes prior to opening at 6. So we walked around a bit. We found one of the original Pirate of the Caribbean while roaming around. Notice that Emily is so hot, wearing a long sleeved shirt, that she is sweating profusely. Later, during dinner, Connie sweat more than she does at Yoga.
Here is my mixed grill. Clockwise from top left, Grilled Grouper, small scallop, calamari, grilled shrimp, baby octopus, Salmon.
Perfectly cooked. The salmon was really fresh and not overdone. Below, see Connie's grilled grouper, Potato au gratin, veggies.
Grouper Ravioli for Sam. The ravioli was also not overcooked.
Emily's spinach salad.
Ice mousse. Really nice.
Key lime pie. Those big green things are candied sugar. Crunchy.