Monday, January 14, 2008

Our adventurous day at Half Moon Cay

Richard and I both agree that our favorite part of the cruise was our day at Half Moon Cay. This is an island either owned by Carnival Cruise Lines or leased by Carnival from the Bahamas. The island is not only awaits to amaze "cruisers."

There is no dock for our boat so it is anchored (see picture in previous post) and we take tenders to the island. We arrive and can arrange excursions for the day, or we go up a rise and over to white sand and blue, blue waters.

The lawn chairs are out and the deck crew is there to bring you drinks at your request (and your credit card's expense). It was such a beautiful day- it might have been around 82 or so and so clear!

The water in the lagoon was very cold, as in freezing cold. Part of the entertainment was watching everyone try to take a few steps in. Of course Richard talked me in up to my waist and what a show we got as angel fish (6 inches or more) swam around our legs. Oh my! Look closely in the picture.

This picture is taken at our feet while standing in the water!

At noon the boat has prepared and delivered a BBQ lunch (not like BBQ in the south), more like a very large picnic buffet. We take an open tram to where the buffet is set up and fill our plates. We are eating at covered picnic table areas with other "cruisers" and enjoy ribs, jerked chicken, cous cous, sauted squash, and fresh fruit.

We have an appointment at 1:00 for snorkeling. NOW, I'm not nearly as adventurous as I used to be, or even as I used to think I was. However, I married a lover-of-life so he has talked me into snorkeling in the ocean. Did I mention the temperature of the water?

We load up with about 10 others and are distributed gear (snorkels, masks and fins). At this point the guide gives us the opportunity to stay on flag...because there are swells up to two flag...and ground something or other coming flag ...I don't even know what this all means.

Richard is avoiding a direct look in my eye, but eventually explains that the water is rough and then proceeds to assure the guide we'll stay. As we pull out of the lagoon and go around the island the beauty continues to amaze me.

My motion sickness patch doesn't cover excursions taken against the guide's warning; I'm feeling a little dizzy. I am not going to quit now (not that I had a chance anyway, in the middle of the ocean) so I follow quickly as Richard decides we'll be the first ones off the boat. I've always told him I'd follow him anywhere...and this proved that point.

Sometime during the ride
I pose for this picture...
and the thumbs up was
purely for humor I assure you.

The water temperature became a non issue as I jumped into the SWELLING ocean. I am scared but my hero husband assures me that I'll be OK. It took a few minutes to get the hang of not swallowing all that salty water that comes down your snorkel when a SWELL comes over your head...and the reward was amazing. I saw things I'll never forget. I wished I was a painter (with a photographic memory) so I could capture the wonder under the water. There is a God who lays out all the sand and painted the fish the most dazzling shades! It was SWELL.

THANK YOU to the friends who slipped us money for an "excursion you wouldn't go on normally"...A memory was made!

Doesn't it look like there's a large fish behind Richard as he's boarding the boat?
If I had seen it then, I would've rushed him on board instead of making him pose.

After our adventure I insisted we go back to the beach and take some sun rays from this fantasy island. It was one of my goals to come back to Clarksville with a little tan. Richard rested (slept off the rocking boat) under a covered cabana and I read and soaked up sun from one the most beautiful places in the world!


Ashley said...

I am SO THRILLED to see pictures and hear stories from your cruise!!!! GOD IS SO GOOD to provide this wonderful vacation for you!!!!

And yes, that giant fish is the first thing I noticed when I saw the picture of Richard. I thought, "Is that a shark swimming behind him??????"

I also laughed when I read your description of Richard (my big brother). It is comical how much we are alike! I wonder if it is "nature" or "nurture", but despite our differences, we two peas certainly came from the same pod!

I'd love to hear more stories!

Maranda said...

What great pictures!!! You've motivated me to be more dedicated to my own blog....we'll see how long that lasts! Love ya!

Mom said...

I had a great time reading your account and looking at the fantastic pictures of the awesome vacation. Let's plan a "someday" family cruise. We are so thankful you all got to go.

Laura said...

The absolute highlight of our honeymoon was snorkeling. I was AMAZED by what was under the water. I'm glad y'all got to experience it---even if that water was COLD!!!