Sunday, April 2, 2017

4-2-2017 Sailing & Snorkeling Trip

We checked in at Raggamuffin Tours, then headed to Crepes & Dreams for breakfast.

Cara and JoEllen both had a mix of juices (watermelon, orange and pineapple) - yum!

Cara's fresh fruit crepe

We first walked to a dock on the back side of the island, where the tarpon fish hang out.

Several of us tried our hand at feeding the huge tarpon. Here is JoEllen's turn.

Then we boarded our sailboat, the Ragga Queen.

We had to wait just a little bit while they added fuel to the boat and brought our lunches.

Jessica and Erin worked on their tans.

It was a windy day, so when we did get sailing, we flew!

Eric and Cara made friends with a couple from Wyoming.

Our first snorkeling stop was at Coral Gardens. It was a good warm-up for those that had never snorkeled before, but it's not
our favorite place, so we were glad we started there and didn't end there.

The guide brought close (then released) a conch. Inside you see a little bit of dark brown, and that is the animal itself.

You can see some small black and yellow striped fish in front of the coral - those are Sargeant major fish.

We continued to other spots closer to the barrier reef.

Our next stop was Shark Ray Alley - here you can see a nurse shark.

Here's a video of nurse sharks and black jacks (the big fish) at Shark Ray Alley:

Rays at Shark Ray Alley

Our guide getting up close and personal with the rays.

Here's a video of rays we saw at Shark Ray Alley:

Brian gives Shark Ray Alley two thumbs up!

The whitecaps you see are the waves breaking on the reef.

Our last stop was the Hol Chan Cut, which is one not very many deep channels through the barrier reef. The boats anchor in
shallower water, and you start snorkeling there. Here you can see two nurse sharks hiding their heads under the coral. In this
area we also later saw a large spotted eagle ray, but, of course, the GoPro battery was dead at that point.

The water gets deep as you enter the cut. You can see another nurse shark at the bottom here.

Either side of the channel is lined with a wall off coral. We saw all kinds of fish here, as well as a Moray eel. (Only got a 1
second video of the eel, though - hardly worth posting.)

The guide knew of a small "cave" in the coral here that one could swim through. He did it first, and a few people followed after, including our friends' older daughter, Jessica:

Our Captain, Jerry, had the most infectious laugh. You couldn't help but smile or giggle when he started laughing, which he
did a lot. The staff was great - fun and funny! What a wonderful trip!

We went over to the west side of the island each night, hoping for a great sunset, but it was always cloudy.

We got some nice pictures of our friends, though.

After getting back and cleaning up, we walked around looking for a place for dinner. Maggie's Sunset Kitchen was popular, so
we figured it was a good place and went there. 

There was even a guy playing the saxophone (very well)!

An ode to Elvis Presley on the side of the bathrooms - why not!?

Cara's Curry Vegetables with cole slaw and baked potato

Brian got the whole fish with rice & beans and fried plantains.

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