Saturday, March 28, 2009

catching up, but not the coming-home day

Our 2pm snorkel was magnificent, though also sad since it was our last time snorkeling on this trip. We went to a different part of the reef and I saw this very l-o-n-g fish go by. I pointed it out to Marc, and he put his arm out to stop me, like you do when your kid is in the front seat and you have to slam on the brakes. I asked him later about it, and he said it was a barracuda. (barracuda! a la Heart, if you're old enough to know.) Not our photo below, but it looked like this:

We were at a part of the reef that drops off to a great depth on the outside - I didn't look because it was very hard to see the bottom, but Marc liked to dive down and poke along the reef, looking closely at fish and coral. Me, I stay near the surface of the water, and always thrilled a little to watch him dive.

We saw this very amazing fish, all black but with the strangest fins, top and bottom. I don't even know how to describe them - I hope this is enough to remind me. But the schools of fish, my favorite of course, were so so beautiful. There was an enormous school of velvety blue-purple fish, I'll bet there were 80 of them altogether. They moved like a flock of birds moves, all at once together shifting here and there, diving down and picking the coral, darting to the left or right. I followed them as long as I could, and nearly cried inside my snorkel mask for the beauty. It's one of those visual moments I'll always remember.

As before, we were the last people back on the boat; we just didn't want to stop. We lay in the sun to dry off, then showered to get the salt out of our hair (kind of hard, since the water is very soft and doesn't get the shampoo out). Marc went back into West End to take replacement photos for the ones I screwed up earlier in the morning, while I read. Here, West End:

walking into West End

the main drag

Tong's - a Thai restaurant

the far end of the main drag

Foster's, a bar and restaurant that always made us laugh because of the
dilapidated look. It reminded me of the entire town of Sweethaven
in the movie Popeye.

For our last dinner, we ate at Eagle Ray's, which is named for the eagle ray - not a guy named Eagle Ray. While we were eating, everyone at the table next to ours, plus the waiter, dashed to the railing and pointed out an eagle ray cruising past. Even though it was dark, we could see the darker shape gliding past us, under water. Of course, we have no way of knowing if it was actually an eagle ray (and note, I don't even know exactly what kind of ray that is), but it was at least some kind of ray, with a very long tail. Do you call those things tails? Stingers. Whatever. Here's Eagle Ray's:

You may think, at a quick glance, that it looks like Foster's but it's not dilapidated and falling apart. We ate on that back deck, and since there never was a visible moon the entire time we were there, it was quite dark. Our food was great, as always, and the music was 1970s, lots of Barry White and Dr Hook; in fact, I can't get the song "Sylvia" out of my head. ("Sylvia's mother says, Sylvia's busy, too busy to come to the phone ... And the operator says, 40 cents more For the next 3 minutes, Ple-ease Mrs Avery, I just gotta talk to her, I'll only keep her a while. Please Mrs Avery, I just wanna tell 'er goodbye")

And here's a photo we found of an eagle ray - I think it really was an eagle ray we saw, given the really long tail thingy:

On our last morning, we ate coconut bread french toast at the Lobster Pot, as planned, and it was absolutely delicious, as we knew it would be. I miss it already.

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