Things are going real well here. I’ve been swimming almost everyday. And I’ve seen all but two sunsets. Everything has become a lot more chill now that carnival is over. Cruz Bay –The town that had all the parades and festivities– is nearly indistinguishable form how it looked during carnival.
The other day I borrowed a friend’s Kayak and went west one bay to Cinnamon Bay to Snorkel around a small Island out there. While I was there there I got to pet a turtle that swam up to me and then I saw two Bull Sharks (which I’ve heard are the most aggressive sharks here) They were each about 4 feet long and came within ten feet of me and my friend. I got an underwater film picture of them… I hope it turns out well.
There’s this Iguana down here that hangs around camp. His name is Fred (that is until they realized that he is a she… thereby changing its name to Fredrica) There are many iguanas but Fredrica is the only one who hangs around people. They say it was somebody’s pet and got dropped off here when they didn’t want it anymore. She’s used to humans but still whips her tail when some people get close. But the first time I got up close to her she crawled up on my lap. I think I must look like her former owner or something. She’s done it several more times since.
I hiked across the island to Coral Bay, a much quainter town than Cruz Bay (party/tourist central) On the way there I stopped and snorkeled at Waterlemon cay where I saw this cool bird that let me get real close and take pictures of it. It was around 9:00 a.m. And the only other people around were these sailboats who park there overnight. When I snorkeled here I had the whole beach and reef to my self. I saw two turtles with these long suckerfish things eating the algae off of their shells. I got some good underwater pictures of them (all on film) PICT Waterlemon Cay Reef looks like an underwater coral garden it was really bright and blue. The water was so bright and clear that I could see underwater for at least a hundred feet.
The hike from Waterlemon Cay to Coral Bay goes over the mountain spine of the island. The higher altitudes on the island are more arid with some sort of desert scrub brush, even cactus. It was steep and hot and I got really dehydrated. All of the drinking water here is distilled from sea water so it doesn’t have the natural nutrients and minerals that ground water has in it. So without those nutrients you don’t get as hydrated on it. You have to drink five times more distilled water to get nearly as hydrated as ground or tap water. So I didn’t drink enough water and was sweaty and hot when I ran headlong (literally) into this spider who had weaved it’s web across the trail. It was about five inches across and looked pretty creepy but didn’t cause much of a fuss.
Some of the native locals that work here talk a lot about spirits and ghost that they’ve seen. They say they’ve seen the ghosts of slaves that have died here. It was a pretty brutal slave island and many of them died here either in rebellions against there masters or of exhaustion and sickness. I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts or not but the other day my roommate woke up in the middle of the night and I heard him say â€œHello… Hey!!â€ He said he saw someone leaning against the wall of our tent at the foot of my bed… creepy huh? I came across these ruins of an old slave masters house on a hike. It had a great view but definitely felt a bit creepy. I think all that was left was the foundation. It’s so strange to think that 200 years ago there had been a whole house and plantation here on this spot.
All the sailboats in coral bay were pretty cool to check out. There are a bunch of laid back locals here who just hang out sail, fish and get drunk. A very Jimmy Buffet sort of lifestyle. I got this view of it from the trail coming into town. The other night all of the Maho Bay employees went to Karaoke at a bar right on the water. It was fun, me and my roommate and some friends sang Proud Mary. We met some Rastafarian people and had fun asking them about their religion and lifestyle. They are very pure and much more strictly dogmatic than I thought they were. They separate the whole world into the â€œlightâ€ (which is good: i.e. Love, kindness, nature, humbleness etc.) and â€œBabylonâ€ (which is Bad: i.e. hatred, drinking, consumerism, modernity) I asked them if they have church service and if I could come check it out. The Rasta guy said â€œWe be meetin all da time, look here… we iz meetin’ right now… we don’t got no set time of worship or meetin’… but if you want to come for true and worship… we be over on Saint Thomas in the parking lot beside the K-mart.â€ I thought this was hilarious!
There is a pavilion here in the camp that is up on the hill a few hundred yards. It has the best, and most peaceful, view of the sunset. Since I’ve realized it was there I’ve been there every night at sunset. The sunsets here are of course outstanding. Also, I brought my Baritone Ukulele with me and have been taking it up to the pavilion at sunset. My roommate brought a kazoo and this other guy pounds on a water jug. We’re a regular band. We go up there and jam during sunset. I could see it becoming a popular event. I play some island songs too, Bob Marley, Jimmy Buffet etc. The ukulele is the perfect island instrument.
A few more pictures