Monday, October 18, 2010

Days 5,6 and 7

Day 5
St. Lucia is a lovely island. We did the beach excursion here. I was a little disappointed. I thought we should have gotten more beach time here. I did a little snorkeling here and saw a few fish and some spiny urchins. The water was calm and clear. Lots of residents wandering the beach trying to sell jewelry and fresh fruit to the tourists. Wayne had to ask one man to move on when he sat down on my beach chair! All told, I think we were less than 2 hours on the beach. There were a few complaints from some of the group of passengers on this trip. The water was very refreshing and I’m glad we got to see the beach.
Day 6
Our day at Barbados was good and bad. They have a real set up here. The cruise ship passengers don’t get to the tour buses until they pass entirely through the terminal with all their shops. On the way back after your tour – same thing. They have doors blocked off so that you have to walk all the way through the shopping area, past every single store. At least it was fixed up some since we were here last. They don’t have the open-air vendors anymore.
Our excursion was the turtle snorkel, shipwreck and beach tour. What a frightening day! I headed into the water with my snorkel gear and started viewing fish and a couple of turtles that were drawn by the chum the crew members were tossing into the water. When I looked up to see where I was, I was so far from our boat that it shocked me. We were caught in 3-4 knot currents there and just swept away from the boat. In the meantime, as I’m trying to make my way back to the boat against the current, the crew members were calling us back to the boat (I’m trying! I’m trying!). There were two other boats there getting ready to leave and I was afraid of getting run over. My husband had to tow me back to the boat, also swimming against the current. The last 75 feet or so, one of the crew members towed my sorry behind back to the boat. I am not a good swimmer to begin with, but my husband said that we never should have been put into the water at all. I did see 3 sea turtles, but I’m not sure it was worth it. At the second stop over the shipwreck and reef, I decided not to get into the water again. My husband snorkeled but said the current was just as bad there, and he was glad I didn’t join him in the water. It would have been too much for me. It wasn’t just me having problems – the crew actually had to launch the dinghy to bring some of the swimmers back to the boat. They were also caught up in the current and tired themselves out trying to swim out of it. At the third stop, a beach stop, we weren’t allowed to swim to the beach, again because of the current. I think the captain decided against it because of all the trouble they had earlier. I decided to enter the water, intending to hang around the back of the boat and the ladder. It was an effort to hold onto the ladder, as the water kept trying to sweep me away around the port side of the boat. All in all I do think it was a mistake to drop all of those passengers into a current like that, but I’m thankful that there weren’t any mishaps.
Tomorrow is Grenada and I’m looking forward to that stop.
Day 7
Grenada was fantastic! I love the island – what I saw of it anyway. The people were fantastic. We took another catamaran tour here and loved every minute of it. There was snorkeling at one stop over some underwater sculptures and a reef. Wayne said the reef was a dead reef. It’s sad – the locals told us the reef was destroyed by a hurricane some time back. I wonder why they don’t take their passengers to view another reef instead. Anyway, after the snorkeling there (which I chose not to do again – I was afraid I’d having trouble getting back onto the boat), we traveled to Grand Anse beach. It was nice there and we did a little snorkeling there. Not many fish to view, but we did travel over one area with sea life, and spotted some sort of eel. I’ll have to remember to look it up to see what kind it was.
The hosts on the boat couldn’t have been nicer. I have heard of swim-up bars, but this was the first time I saw the bartender swim out to the customers. Okay – he waded out, carrying a tray of water, a various selection of sodas, and “holiday juice” (rum punch). They made us all feel so welcome, and it made the day a lot of fun.
After returning our snorkeling equipment to the ship, we ventured out into the shopping area. I was intent on purchasing some spices, since Grenada is known as the Spice Island. I am sitting here now, next to my purchases, and the cabin smells heavenly. Nutmeg, cinnamon, mace, curry, ginger, bay leaves, lemon pepper, red pepper and cocoa all combined into a sensory delight. I’ll be sharing some of these goodies with family members.This has been a wonderful trip so far, and I’m enjoying it immensely. No photos today - they are still on my canera.

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