Snorkles and Storms

Sunrise in Oak Ridge
Originally uploaded by apes_abroad.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty amazing. When it rains we get some work done and enjoy the sound of the rain on the roof and in the bay. When it’s sunny we go snorkling and kayaking.

The first trip we made after the awesome Guanja trip we went on with Larry and Karen of East End Divers was with Ed and Julie and their 48 foot catamaran.

Ed and Julie are starting up a Roatan charter business with their amazing, beautiful catamara. But this day they were just taking a bunch of friends on a snorkling cruise. We somehow managed to get invited so we got to spend the day on the Spirit of Free Radical and check out some eastern snorkling spots.

It was a great day. We met a bunch more locals. Among them Melanie and Brent who travel the world as caretakers, which is a pretty good gig. They find interesting places to look after and get free rent! Melanie makes clothes to help fund their traveling and they are really fun to hang out with.

We ended up snorkling at the Calf and the Cow. A pair of super small rock islands. There isn’t much of a tide here. The sea is pretty much always at the same level and has been eating away at the walls of these tiny islands for forever. The Calf has a diameter of mabey 20 meters. But under the water it’s been cut back so far it’s being held up by a thin axle of rock only mabey about two meter in diameter. It’s pretty cool. All sorts of fish hide out under it including the deadly Lionfish, local scourge.

The day after the Free Radical trip we woke up and the water in the bay was super clear. Much more clear than we have ever seen. It seemed like everyone was canceling their days plans and going diving so we folowed suit (although just with snorkles). We kayaked out to the reef at the mouth of the bay and leapt in. The water was _amazing_ there is a big wall that drops mabey 10 meters down and we could see all the way to the bottom.

We tooled around and swam further towards Jonesville than we’d ever swam. The highlight of the trip was a big Spotted Eagle Ray that loomed out of the darkness towards us on the way back. It was an immensly impressive creature.

There had been warnings of a thunderstorm brewing but it managed to hold off long enough that the next day we got another beautiful day of snorkling in so we took kristi and Jeff out to the same spot. kristi and Jeff are also staying with Marcia and Dennis and we’ve been hanging out together watching the sunset with a couple of beers or talking about the many lizards all around the property. kristi and Jeff haven’t done a ton of Snorkling and are a little bit nervous in the water so I stayed in a kayak and played lifeguard for the trip. I only traded off with Sarah breifly to get in the water. But as soon as I did I spotted another big Spotted Eagle Ray! I yelled to Sarah who got the attention of kristi and Jeff as I followed the ray. It dove deep off the wall and I almost lost sight of it but just as kristi and Jeff reached me it flew up the wall and in amongst the valleys of coral. It put on a pretty amazing show for us all before swooping off into the bay.

After that great display we headed back to the Gazebo out on the water by the mouth of the bay and ate our picnic lunch while laying in the sun. Such a great way to spend a day.

The day after that the storm that was threatening started to blow in. That morning we were treated to a big Waterspout! You could see it outside the bay. It was a perfect funnel of water kicking up a big plume on the sea and leading all the say up to the clouds. I wish we’d had a boat and I could have gotten a bit closer of a look. Later in the day the storm blew in for real and *BOOOM* the thunder was unbeleivable. We got a couple of massive bolts of lighting that erupted into a godlike tattoo of thunder *BOOM**BOOM**BOOM**BOOM*. I’d never heard anything like it and have no idea what caused it. It was astounging.

We spent the next couple of days getting work done and enjoying the rain. I love it when it rains here. We don’t get enough of it for me. We go for a swim in the bay most days and I spend the time diving off the boat and doing backflips and stuff. it’s great when it’s really windy or raining really hard and I get to leap off into the rain-pelted sea.


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