Caribbean Cruise!

Peter and I have been away the past week, on a Caribbean Cruise. It’s been a crazy busy year because of Peter’s new job which has included lots of travel and my where-to-live-next-trips. It seemed like a cruise was the way to be together and relax for a bit. We chose Holland America’s Westerdam and hoped for great weather and lots of fun things to do.

The first stop was Grand Turk, of the Turk and Caicos Islands. Here is the view from shipboard. There’s not much to see, but the temperature was wonderful and the sea such a lovely color!

Grand Turk view

Happily, we’d signed up for a little excursion, which we enjoyed very much! We were driven to one end of the island, where we received instructions on how to paddle a kayak, and we set off down a little river. The kayaks had glass bottoms so we could see what was below us but the river was so shallow and clear it really wasn’t necessary! We had a great guide who told us all sorts of interesting facts about the watery wildlife.

Grand Turk guide

One of the first things he showed us were hard to see at first. He kept talking about jelly fish and pointing in the water and I was seeing nothing that looked like the jelly fish I have seen. In this photo, look for the lovely 8 pointed green star-shaped things; there are at least two. They are jelly fish! They have hairy tops so they look like algae or plants and underneath is the part that puffs out like jelly fish do. We did see some swim and they look odd, with their waving branches on top and their bottoms puffing in and out to move.

Grand Turk jelly fish

The river has two kinds of mangroves growing along it. One of them has these roots growing in the river by the shoreline which is how they get their nutrition. I thought the spikes and algae made such a lovely pattern and it’s a safe place for tiny fish to hide from predators.

Mangrove roots

This little pond was set up to show us what little beasties live in the waters of the river. The sea washes in, so they are all salt water creatures. The guide said that sometimes you can see stingrays or sea turtles, which would have been very fun! The long dark things are sea cucumbers. The guide said that some people ate them, but he never had. We groaned because we ate them when we lived in Asia – and found them absolutely revolting!!! The only thing to do was to chew them quickly (and they are very chewy and plastic -y) into small enough bits to swallow. You can also see  two types of sea urchins as well as the funny jelly fish guys. There were beautiful conch shells everywhere but they were not allowed on the ship.

Creatures

We were required to have some margaritas and lunch after our strenuous kayak trip and then it was time to get back on the ship!  ;-D

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