Jewel Cay Day 3

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February 25th 2011
Published: March 5th 2011
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Diamond CayDiamond CayDiamond Cay

from the deck at Captain Morgan's.
It is so peaceful & quiet here. I slept like a baby! Also helps to have a comfy mattress. 😊

The usual morning, up early, baleadas at Mayra's, set up gear, waited on dock. Loving it! My arms are sore from carrying tanks & weights & gear. Whew. It's a workout on land. Weightless underwater though!

Today we started our morning with a longer than normal boat ride, about 25 minutes instead of 10-15. We headed to the Southeast side of Utila to dive the Halleburton Wreck Dive. We dove to 100ft & sat next to a huge freighter ship that was sunk off the shore of Utila. In the sand we did another game where we drank out of an apple juice can with a straw. On the boat Naja had gone over the steps of how to drink the juice without drinking ocean. When we got down there I was totally "narked out" (as they say in dive lingo) & when Geoff handed me the can I drew a complete blank on the steps involved in drinking. Naja noticed & sat in front of me & walked me through it underwater. It is a trip how slow your mind works at those depths! For a second I honestly had no recollection of how to use the straw & in what order. Crazy!! But I got my sip successfully & passed it on. Then we went around the freighter. It's been there 13 years so it was intersting to see the coral that has grown on it & how slowly coral grows. There was a lot of life but on a much smaller scale than the reefs. It was fun to swim around the ship & see into it. We saw a couple really big fish hanging out, a big Snapper & Puffers & lots of little baby fish. We couldn't go into the wreck which was tempting, but you could look in all the holes & doors & hatches. It was pretty cool. I could see how diving through sunken ships would be really fun & challenging.

Back to the boat & off to pick up the other group of divers we had dropped off. We've learned a new entry into the water on this trip. The James Bond Entry. We sit on the edge of the boat with our back to the water & fall in backwards with our knees to our chest. It is super scary the first time but so fun after that! Their dive boat isn't super big so once you have your gear on it's best to get in the water & out of the way. The water was a bit more rough out on this side of Utila since the wind seems to always blow from this direction. But not too bad & pretty comfortable compared to the big waves from yesterday.

Our next dive was just a fun dive called Sting Ray Point. It was fingers of coral & sandy bottoms. We saw a baby sting ray & just a ton of life. I love love love diving! It's always a new adventure. It's always fun to get to the surface & listen to Liz & Mike talk about what we saw. They know all the names of all the coral varieties & sea life in general. Such a good pair to have around for diving! My new favorite sea creature is the Flamingo Tongue Mollusk. I am in love with it & look for it everywhere now.

Back home we got a grilled ham & cheese from Mayra's & headed to our room to nap. Diving really takes the energy right out of you. I have to guzzle loads of water after because I get super dehydrated & headachy. Oh well, water always cures it! We read & napped & went for a snorkel around the dock. The snorkeling is fabulous just right there. The reef surrounds the cay & is flat for a bit around the dock & then drops off to 35 feet (since that's what we were at on our night dive there) & is spectacular! It is so alive & full of creatures. There were literally at least 20-30 Parrot Fish swimming around the area. Big ones! I could spend all my time with my face in the water. There is too much to see. But, sadly, eventually it gets chilly especially as the sun is setting, so we had to head in. Dangit!

I bought some things to make an improvised version of Pasta Carbonara, minus the proscuitto. The kitchen was kind of a zoo at dinner time but I worked my way into two burners & got the job done! The couple from Finland & I made our dinners together, but seperately. Teamwork in these tiny shared kitchens with minimalistic supplies. Only one big spoon in this one! We shared our dinner with Mike & Liz since I made enough for a group, as usual. It turned out pretty good. I used eggs, peas, garlic, onion, oil & this butter/cream/sour cream mixture they call "crema." Nice!

After dinner, the dive masters & several people staying at the hotel were starting to party pretty hard. One of the dive masters in training had to do a "snorkel test" which included putting on his mask/snorkel & putting the snorkel in his mouth while several people poured a bunch of random booze into it. Ugh! It was pretty funny to watch though. I would have puked. People were pouring rum, beer, soda, water. Yikes-a-roo. Jason, one of the dive masters, decided we should play Kings (a card/drinking game) which immediately turned things up a notch. Everyone was drinking & laughing & it was really really silly & fun. One of the rules became saying "in my pants" after each & every sentence anyone said. Ridiculous. We were all laughing so hard there were tears. We went to a little restaurant bar next door, the Harbor Cafe, & continued with the beers & Kings game. I didn't last the whole night. I turned in earlier than most (as usual, old lady!) but that's ok. I like my sleep. 😊 Geoff stayed & played & apparently there was another round of snorkel tests for Jason & a few of the others & things were pretty rowdy.

It's nice the way they have Captain Morgan's set up though. It's on one end of the Cay & surrounded by a little fence. When you walk out of the fenced area you walk right into the little town. The town is super duper religious. There's 4 churches that I counted (although I was told there are 6) & there has been some sort of church service in one or all every night. I think there's only about 500 people who live on the Cay so that's a lot of church per capita. So, walking from drunken-ville (aka the hostel) into town is always a stark contrast from one another. It's a good system. Keep the rowdy kids on one end, everyone else on the rest of the island. The locals basically only have to deal
A school of Flat Needlefish A school of Flat Needlefish A school of Flat Needlefish

right below the dock.
with us when we walk into town to spend money on food & beer. Which I doubt they mind too much.

Tried to read but fell right asleep. It's so quiet & we have a wonderful little breeze that flows through our room with all the windows open. Ahhh...

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


Flamingo Tongue on Fan Coral.Flamingo Tongue on Fan Coral.
Flamingo Tongue on Fan Coral.

Kassandra's favorite!
Juvenile Spotted Drumfish.Juvenile Spotted Drumfish.
Juvenile Spotted Drumfish.

You're gonna have to look closely (it's right in the middle).
Spotted TrunkfishSpotted Trunkfish
Spotted Trunkfish

(lower righthand side)

7th March 2011

so tickled!
Kassandra & Jeff - can't tell you how great your blog is - I truly think you should publish - it - totally enjoyable !!! Love & safety - Tarsi

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