The Great Plotnik

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Down to Two

All of a sudden we've only got two nights left. Ten nights seems like a few billion stars, countless, until you're down to two. We decided to keep the boat in Tamarind Bay last night because the snorkeling is so good here, and also because we just didn't feel like moving.

You can reach Tamarind by car so we've seen people on the beach for the first time since we got to Culebra. Someone has a little kayak and snorkel gear rental place set up on the beach and day boats arrive periodically throughout the day. They line their customers up on the deck, all wearing their masks and snorkels and flippers, give them a little lecture about how wonderful it is to observe a sea turtle, then discharge then one by one into the water, and the people swim around for a few minutes, and sometimes they see a turtle and sometimes they bump into each other, and then they are called back onto the boat and the boat pulls away. 

Then a group of kayakers appears off the point, wearing bright orange vests and paddling in lime-green two-person kayaks with bright red paddles, an instructor in the lead kayak barking out orders no one pays any attention to. They paddle into the lagoon and line up on the shore and then they get back into their kayaks and paddle away. And that's that.

We, meanwhile, sit on our boat and note the activity. A few roosters walk along the beach. The wind blows left to right. Then it changes right to left. The roosters walk back in the other direction. 

Earlier, we took our Morning Snork and when these people are all gone we'll take our Afternoon Snork, followed by cocktails. We've seen Spotted Eagle Rays, huge and square and dark, with barbed four foot long tails, and smaller blue-ish sting rays, attempting to squirm and hide themselves in the sandy bottom, which would work better if they didn't always forget to hide their tails, and we've seen our turtles and tropical fish and hard coral and soft coral. We've swam around in this perfect-temperature water, warm and salving. Barb wears yellow flippers, Chuck has blue flippers but no shirt, Debbie only has one flipper and I have blue flippers but swim in my red Turkish soccer shirt. We watch out for each other, because we're not kids anymore and shit can happen. When we get tired we swim back to the boat, a small convoy of four friends caked in ten days of salt.

I love our red backs of necks, dry and burnt. I love our smell. I love how my skin feels. I love how I feel.

There is no fresh water available for boat usage on either Vieques or Culebra, so we observe strict water restrictions. Every few days we pause for a Joy Bath before getting back on the boat alter snorkeling. Joy is the only soap that lathers in sea water, so what you do, while you are still wet and standing on the ladder, is pour Joy over your hair and lather it up. Then you jump back into the bay and rinse it off, and then you climb back onto the ladder and hose a small amount of fresh water over your head to wash off the salt.

We also use sea water to boil potatoes (no extra salt necessary) for a delicious potato salad, and we marinate chicken or chops with spice blends brought from home, and we go to sleep early after complaining there are too many stars and we don't know any of their names, and sometimes sleep comes easy, like last night, and sometimes the sea has been so rolly-polly you may as well sleep on your back because if you sleep on your side you will be pushed onto your face when the boat rolls, but either way the end point is a gorgeous morning in a deserted bay, roosters crowing mightily, cup of French Roast from Martha Brothers, nobody here but us chickens. 


At 5:35 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

some beautiful writing here, but of course you have a lot to work with - see you soon!

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Linda Davick said...

Another world.


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