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Central America Caribbean » Aruba September 30th 2019

So the big question is: will the Red Cross be satisfied with David's rash when we go to donate platelets on Thursday?? Today was a full day. 4 hours in the water. No wonder I'm feeling rather floaty. Just 23 turtles off the Boca Catalina entrance, and then we swap toward the hotels to see if we could find that frogfish. No, but we saw a southern stingray and a bandtailed sea robin (or flying gunard - we can't tell which is which), and a pair of porcupine fish and 3 miniature flounders. After pancakes at Linda's we had only about an hour at home before going to Arashi at 2. The lock on our door was being fixed, so we were lucky to get in and showered to be at Francis and Nelson's home for ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba September 29th 2019

Not much of a post today as we wind down our lovely vacation. Enjoyed photos from England, not believing little Hettie is going to be 4 in a few days and had a lovely party. Attended our usual church service and loved the fact that our second most favorite song by Synache was included - Waymaker. Then returned home for the usual lunch, and off to Mangel Halto for yet another drift snorkel. Sadly the water clarity was not so good as the other day, altthough we saw FIVE ocean trigger fish all together. David just have chased them for a good 15 mins just enjoying their easy going frolicking. We had a leisurely afternoon after that. Had a mispel ice cream for snack and stopped at the famous Bright bakery - what a selection. The ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba September 28th 2019

Dear friends and family,It's really been fascinating how much quickly these days are whizzing by when compared to at home, which seem so full. It is dark (sun goes down around 6:30) and hot on the lanai, with stars shining, and more Peruvian pan pipes playing. The wind has picked up, but not much. It got to about 94 today.Basically we awoke bright and eager for adventure - so took a short walk on the beach. Had interesting chat with American couple just retired who own a home nearby in Aruba, and have been coming for years. they had owned with Blue Green but sold all but one week, so that they can still come out every day and sit on Eagle Beach. they had decorated their pallappa hut with flags from all the states they ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba September 27th 2019

There was hardly a cloud in the sky, and the winds were up almost to normal, so the day was lovely. The first photo is the view from our "no view" room. Surely good enough to enjoy breakfast on the balcony. We had promised to pick Jess up at her new digs and do a drift snorkel at Mangel Halto. To give you some background. Jess is around 30, traveling on her own, and we met at Mangel Halto and again at Arashi. She has no car and is very interested in snorkeling so.... Today was a great drift, with the beginning of a current right from the start. Another ocean trigger fish! Just for fun we hopped in again at the end of the mangrove area and did a little circle. then off to pick ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba September 26th 2019

Dear ones, the days are flying by even faster than they do at home. Why is that? I'm sitting out on the sunny lanai (yes, hot at 6 pm in almost direct sun), with the loop from the Peruvian restaurant across the street paying Titanic on pan pipes. We did our early morning snorkel at Boca C, with very flat sea, but unfortunately the biting things are still there, so we moved closer in after just 4 turtles. No bitings in shallower water. I got some closeups of sargeant majors who seem to be saying "did you bring any food for us? and the French Angel fish came over too. Note the 3 cowfish photos - the same fish, 2 different colors!! The photo of Mr. Bluehead is for Megan. 2 hours of lovely relaxed snorkeling ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba September 25th 2019

After posting our blog for yesterday we headed out to Arashi. Instead of yesterday's stormy roughness, today was a millpond and perfectly clear. We saw that they had brought in a giant crane to drag out that beached motor boat. It was a rental - ooops! The snorkeling was amazing. We would have then gone to Linda's for pancakes, but a storm had come up fast, with rain and lightning, and the temps had really dropped and Jean was too cold. After a bit of a rest, we headed out again - to Arashi. After all, it was perfect this morning, so maybe it would be in the afternoon And it was. We actually found Jess under one of the palappa huts, and she came out to the coral with us - except that - without ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba September 25th 2019

Actually it's Wednesday morning, and we have discovered that the wifi is ok out here on the balcony/lanai, so we are here looking out from the 3rd floor studio to a totally no-breeze day The banaquits in the coconut tree opposite MAY come to get my little offering of muesli. We'll see. Yesterday we decided to give the turtles a break, esp with David's bites being very itchy and "angry." Mine are hardly noticeable by comparison. Instead we kept on real clothes and visited the bird sanctuary and nearby lagoons. The usual waders but no hoped-for roseate spoonbills. then we drove over to the usual snorkeling places and found the waves crashing high at Boca! No one was in the water, but we did see a new "Octopus boat" in the water. It is A ROUND ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba September 23rd 2019

Sunday was a full day, of course. After walking beach and going to church and finally getting online, we met Francis, her husband Nelson, and her friend Gerardo, at Mangel Halto. Gerardo was our nervous guide, worried that we wouldn't get down to the end before the sun set, but in fact it took only about 45 mins, even tho there was absolutely NO current, for the first time in our experience. It was nice, and we vowed to return, before the currents came back. I found a dive knife and had to carry it back. After the snorkel, we all enjoyed agua munchi ?? which is like a mint lemonade - Megan should remember it - on the beach, and then they insisted we return to their home for nibbles: dates, nuts, watermelon, and hot ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Aruba September 22nd 2019

https://youtu.be/69NnohVUkUQ Hi there, friends and family, We had an uneventful drive to the airport in Pgh, arriving at the parking lot before the 4 am shuttle. Uneventrul going, but upon unpacking the car, Jean asked "where's my 31 bag I always carry on the plane?" It's no doubt just inside the family room/garage door. Panic as we tried to remember all that was in there, and did we need those things: earphones and reading materials/kindles/Ipads for the travelling, locks and keys for the still-to-be-locked (PTL) suitcases, thumbdrives (uh oh) for Jean in case there's LME work etc., binoculars (what's that bird over there?), mints and snacks for the trip (oh well), half our cash (oh well, $3.50 charge at the ATM). The good news is that our panic didn't last long, we hadn't accused the other ... read more

Wow, today could have been THREE days, we did so much. Bella Felton stayed overnight with us, so we opened up the bed and the girls had 2 pillows to separate the self-described restless kickers. They did great. Only chatted about 20 minutes, they were so tired! Up around 6:30, a meager breakfast, and off to turtles by 8. only about 7-8 of them :) AND a spotted eagle ray (with stumpy tail, evidently well known in this area), AND an eel, AND a flying gurnard (guess that's what they are that we've been callling band-tailed sea robins. Most rare. Everyone's equipment worked well. Megan's flippers were rubbing, so girls went in before the daddies and Jean. We overturned what looked like a conch shell and unearthed a nest of brittle stars!!! A new discovery - ... read more

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