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Published: December 28th 2007
Aboard the catamaran
On the way to snorkel and swim with sea turtles
Our final port of call and southern-most stop was in Bridgetown, Barbados. An independent Caribbean island nation, Barbados gained it's independence from Britain but still retains much of it's British charm. This island is best known for it's white sandy beaches, rums, and for being a playground for the wealthy especially along it's western coast. Our excursion that we chose for the day was a coastal cruise in a five-star catamaran with the opportunity to swim and snorkel with sea turtles. Since our excursion didn't begin until 9:30, we took full advantage of the chance to sleep in this morning. Once we exited the ship and met with our group, we all packed into a bus for the short 5 minute ride to our catamaran. When we arrived at our catamaran, everybody took off their shoes and immediately switched to relaxation mode.
The cruise took us along the western coast of Barbados, past many upscale resorts and hotels. It was very relaxing to just sit back and enjoy the view with a refreshing sea breeze blowing throughout the catamaran. When the staff began distributing the snorkels and masks, we knew it was almost time to get into the
We're not the only one's here
Pulling into Monkey Bay to swim with the sea turtles
clear and refreshing ocean. The spot where we anchored was named Monkey Bay and there were plenty of other catamarans anchored here as well. Once those of us who wanted to snorkel put on all our gear, we all entered the water. We were all looking around in the water in excited anticipation for our first sighting of one of the sea turtles. However, all we could see were some small fish. Although, I did see a few dogfish which are quite popular in American fish tanks. Eventually, I began to be more concerned with getting hit in the face with someone else's fin. I also didn't want to hit somebody behind me with my fin. While I was adjusting my mask above the water, I overheard someone telling somebody that there were turtles swimming around. I swam over and saw a huge Hawksbill Turtle swimming below me a good 10-15 feet away. I tried following it for a little while but it eventually disappeared into the depths.
Everybody returned to the catamaran and we continued sailing up the coast towards another snorkeling spot that would be teeming with fish. We sailed for about 20 minutes before we
dropped anchor right above a ship wreck. Those of us snorkeling got into the water and immediately were able to see the remains of the sunken ship. However, everybody's attention was on all the fish that were swimming amongst us. The fish were literally right in front of our faces. They were so close that I was actually able to reach out and touch a few of them before they quickly swam away. Our guides brought out some fish food which definitely added to the frenzy of the fish. There was nibbling fish and food everywhere that some fish were actually biting on my toes. One fish had such sharp teeth that I swear there was piranha in that water. We had a good 30 minutes to snorkel in these waters before we were back on the catamaran to continue our journey.
On our way to our last stop, the crew of the catamaran served us a delicious lunch of salad, chicken, and pasta. To wash it all down, I had about 3 bottles of the local beer known as Banks. It was a pretty good beer but not as great as the beer in St. Lucia. We
Our group snorkeling
Looking for the elusive Hawksbill Sea Turtle
arrived at our final anchoring spot at one of the most beautiful beaches I had ever seen. The water was crystal clear blue with white sandy beaches and typical palm trees dotting the shore. It was a very isolated beach as there were virtually no other beachgoers present, just a few probably really expensive homes. We didn't do any snorkeling here. It was mainly just a stop to swim out to shore and relax for a little while on one of the many beautiful Barbados beaches. The waters were quite calm and it wasn't that difficult to swim to the shore. However, there were quite a few jagged stones near the shore which were a bit painful to step on. Shea and I just walked along the shore admiring the beautiful scenery and dreaming of what it would be like to own one of these beach front homes. After about 20 minutes, we all swam back to the ship to make our way back to the port. Although we didn't really get to see any turtles, this was in my opinion the best excursion we took part in.
Back at the port, we only had an hour to
do some souvenir shopping. Since this was our last port of call and we hadn't yet done much shopping, we had to do the majority of our shopping at the cruise terminal. Since we were very short on time, Shea and I split up to do some serious shopping. I managed to purchase a lot of local alcohol which was going to serve a dual purpose as souvenir and christmas gift. We made it back on to the ship with enough time to spare. Unfortunately, I managed to forget my favorite pair of blue converse shoes at the cruise terminal while I was on my shopping frenzy. The entertainment for tonight was a guy named Glen Smith who performed a variety of songs while playing the piano. It was pretty boring compared to some of the other shows. Dinner tonight was the second and last formal dinner. Like the other dinners, I didn't find them to be anything special. I was however looking forward to tonights, midnight buffet. At midnight, the dining room was elaborately decorated in ice sculptures and fruit based creations. However, the buffet consisted mainly of desserts. We tried out a few of the desserts before we
No sea turtles to be found
However, there were tons of these Dogfish
headed back to the room to call it a night.
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