Monday, June 20, 2011

Underwater world, briefly

We got an underwater camera a few weeks ago (see: “Why you tink day way?”) and were so excited to photograph all the underwater beauties we’ve been seeing since we splashed into Bahamian waters months ago. Our excitement was short lived however, since the camera started leaking days after we got it and went belly up and died not long after that. So… enjoy these photos…. they’re the last ones we’ll have until we get a replacement camera.

A hungry crab and a south end of a northbound turtle....

 Staghorn coral and schools of little fishes are everywhere....

My fish photos are as elementary (read: unsuccessful) as the dolphin photos I took in the fall, so you'll have to take my word for it that this parrot fish was much prettier than it looks in the photo.

Great color fins for underwater photos!
Peacock flounder... how's that for camouflage? 
Camo is wearing off a bit here...
We spent a few peaceful days on Jost Van Dyke before we left the BVI and it was a completely different scene this time. Seems the owners of those power boats with multiple outboards have to work during the week to make enough money to fill those tanks. (see again: “Why you tink dat way?”)

From there we sailed back over to St. John for more swimming and snorkeling and finally, some hiking. The weather has been great lately, though all the rain has little bite-y things out in droves. We hiked a few trails from Cinnamon Bay – a loop trail that took us around the ruins of old sugar and bay rum processing factory. 

Looking for Indiana Jones
The bay rum trees have beautiful bark and root structure and the air is heavily/heavenly scented with their leaves. 

The trees are home to some cool critters and some really creepy critters.

Female Golden Orb... yes, she's really that big, about 4 inches long. Wow and ick at the same time.
About 6" long, the extremely creepy gongolo millipede. Bonus: It spits a liquid that will temporarily blind you.
Not the greatest photo, but I couldn't believe I got two critters in one shot!
We started off on another trail another day and came across a trail that branched off up a hill to the America House ruins. The trail map said it was a ‘moderate incline’. ‘Moderate incline? Really? I’d call it a 'moderately vertiginous' incline, though they didn’t rate any of the trails that way, so maybe it’s just me. 

Nice views at the top though…

Francis Bay on the left, Maho Bay on the right... and Saralane in the center just above the treeline!
Cinnamon Bay

One nice thing about this part of St. John is that there are a bunch of nice anchorages that are good in all different kinds of wind. We spent time in Caneel Bay, which has pretty good free wifi out on the boat, Hawksnest Bay which is absolutely beautiful, and where we witnessed some idiots taking small conch to break open and eat, Cinnamon Bay, which has good snorkeling and where Kenny Chesney has a home/castle and Francis Bay and Maho Bay, where we were treated to the sight of dolphins. 

Very cool sundial at Maho Bay eco-lodge.... it's 5:00 somewhere!
Francis and Maho are the best spots to stay clear of the wakes of the ferries that buzz back and forth going at least 75 miles an hour according to my dad who rode one over from St. Thomas to Tortola. (See yet again: “Why you tink dat way?”) Having been on the receiving end of the ferries’ wakes, I’m inclined to agree with him.

Saralane sits in wake-free Maho Bay. Just to the left of the top of the mast is America House ruins. Moderate incline, eh? 


Cindy Barnard said...

Big all looks fabulouso.
Specially loved the turtle pix.

Leslie said...

Wow! Wow! Ick!

Love the underwater photos. You should do more of that when you get a new underwater camera.

Love the roots and barks of those trees you saw on your hike.

Could really, really do without the creepy critter photos.


Miles said...

D'oh! Beaten to the first my mother! Love the underwater pics, never can get enough of the turtles. Sorry those will be the last ones for a while. Be sure to go by Skinny Legs in Coral Bay for some bad food, expensive beer, and flies. "But everybody loves the place!"... If there is any glass blowing going on right now at Maho, you HAVE to go watch. It's really interesting and educational. I already have a project in mind where I want to recreate that sun dial. Maybe bring a screwdriver with you when you go to inspect it again... Do say hello to our beloved Maho Bay Camps and find out the latest on their lease renewal. And people, follow me on Twitter! @southforkstudio

Miles said...

Stalliano Valenzuela walking out of the water at Little Maho Bay...