St John Day 4

1 12 2007

We got up early today and went snorkeling at Watermelon Cay. The coral there was amazing – I have seen coral displays in museums and on the Travel Channel, but I never understood that it is virtually its own ecosystem until today. There were so many different kinds of coral and a variety of fish, including barracuda.

The swim to Watermelon Cay and back was quite tiring. We decided to go for lunch and then return to snorkeling.

The last area we picked was not the best choice – Jumbie Bay. The National Park’s brochure said that we might see nurse shark and lobster – no such luck. The waves were breaking on rocks nearby the coral area, so I didn’t feel safe. Plus I think I saw a jellyfish, which I think might be dangerous. As we swam from one side to another a man appeared. He was wearing plaid boxer shorts and rubbing sand on his body, I think he was taking a bath in the Caribbean Ocean. Then he disappeared into the woods, not via the trail we arrived on. Strange! Always an adventure!

I wouldn’t say that the USVI are third world, but there are some strange things here. A popular past time seems to be sitting outside. Just sitting – it is done by people of all ages. We were at a market and two men had a checker board set up behind their car in the parking lot. Anyone want to meet me at the Super Walmart for a game of National Park monopoly behind my Cavalier? Also last night I saw a commercial advertising marriage – “Marriage Works!”. An Internet search shows 25.1 marriages per 1000 people in the USVI. I think marriage works, I guess it just isn’t that popular in the USVI!

It was a bit disconcerting to hear “It’s beginning a lot like Christmas” this afternoon. I guess since in Illinois it is only 85 degrees in the summer, not in December. This is their holiday season in the Virgin Islands. There is not snow at Christmas!

Several people have kept me posted on the icky weather in Illinois. I think winter travel to tropical places is definitely the way to go. Though now I am worried that my plane might not arrive in Chicago tomorrow due to icy weather conditions…

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