T and C Day 4: Snorkeling, SUP & Sun

Well here we are at Day 4 already!  We woke up this morning to a beautiful sunny day.  Here is a picture of the view from our balcony.  I have made it the wallpaper on my phone, and it really looks like one of the pre-loaded wallpaper pictures that come installed on your phone.

We got another early start to our day.  I got up around 10, and Heather about 1/2 hour later.  After leisurely getting ready, I went down to the gym to work out and Heather went down to the beach.  Or wait a minute, I may have gotten that backwards, it’s hard to keep things straight in this tropical heat (ok, very impressive that my wife is working out in paradise!).

On my way to the beach, I stopped by the front desk to ask where I could rent snorkel gear.  I found out that the resort has kayaks, stand-up paddle boards (SUP) and snorkeling gear all available complimentary, which was great news!  So I headed on down to the beach and grabbed a couple chairs and an umbrella.  The temperature was the normal upper 80’s with humidity.  With the bright sun, it is really great to have the umbrella to provide shade.  While I was waiting for Heather to finish her workout so I could head out snorkeling, I spent my time reading my book.  I’m not really in to the latest trends in literature that the masses are into, so I’m reading this little known story called “The Hunger Games”.  It’s really a decent read, too bad more people haven’t heard of it.

Heather soon showed up and I went and grabbed the snorkel gear.  In case you can’t tell, I was pretty happy about it:

I put the gear on and swam on out.  They have buoys probably 200 feet out in the water.  Boats aren’t allowed inside which makes it great for snorkeling.  You don’t have to worry about getting run over by the many boats flying by.   I swam on out to the line.  Periodically the sun would go behind a cloud and then come back out which is really a neat effect.  It is kind of like someone turning the light on and off.  Even though the water was beautifully clear, there wasn’t a whole lot to see.  I basically saw a conch shell, and that was it.  The sea floor was pretty much just sand.  On swimming back in though, it got a bit better.  I saw a stingray in about 9 feet of water with a one foot fish hanging out above him.  I kept about 10 feet away from him and could have gotten as close as I would have wanted, but I remembered how the crocodile hunter died and thought better of it.  His stinger was quite long!   I also saw about a two foot fish swimming by that I thought may have been a barracuda.  Don’t those things bite by the way?   I definitely was surprised to see more fish closer into shore.  All in all was a great start to my snorkeling.  We are planning to do a snorkeling tour later this week so expect to see much more interesting fish and coral.

After the snorkeling, we hung out in the water for a while.  This time a large school of fish that were probably 5 inches long started swimming around us, in only 3 feet of water.  Again this sent Heather running for shore.  Not sure how she will do with real snorkeling!

Next we decided to do some standup paddleboarding.  We did this in Maui and really enjoyed it.  Here it was much more difficult.  The water by this point in the day was really choppy, and while Heather’s board was a long one, mine was only around 8 foot.  Suffice it to say we got a good workout in.  Heather did great and didn’t fall in once.  I, however, spent a lot of time plunging into the water.  SUP is really pretty easy, assuming 2 things, 1) calm water, and 2) a long board.  Then it’s just a matter of getting on the board on your knees, standing up so you’re well centered on the board, and then really focusing on the horizon.  If you start looking down, you’ll usually fall over.  We look forward to doing it another day when the water is calmer.

We hung out a little longer on the beach and then decided to go back to the room.  I took a nap while Heather watched some Law and Order (one of her favorites).  We then headed out for a late evening walk down the beach to find a place to eat.  It’s really neat at night along the beach, all the hotels have nice restaurants and set their tables either out on their patios, or out on the sand.  You can just walk along and find a nice one and have a great dinner.  We ended up going to Bay Bistro, where the chef has won a number of local competitions for best Conch dishes.

For Heather and for the rest of the foodies out there, here’s the rundown of our meal.  We started with Conch wontons which were very good.  Heather then had a carrot/coconut soup and I had a salad.  For our entrees, we shared a coffee soaked tuna, and a conch and mushroom crepe.  The tuna was unusual (which is a polite way to say I wouldn’t order it again), but the crepe was fantastic, though very rich.  We wrapped it up with a banana butterscotch tort and then a nice walk home along the beach to a mostly clear night, though with occasional flashes of lightning way off in the distance.  Just another tough day in paradise!

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