Caribbean 2015:
Day 6 - Jost Van Dyke, BVI


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Caribbean 2015: [Day 1 - St. Maarten] [Day 2 - Saba] [Day 3 - Anguilla] [Day 4 - Virgin Gorda] [Day 5 - Norman Island/Soper's Hole] [Day 6 - Jost Van Dyke] [Day 7 - St. Kitts] [Day 8 - St. Barthélemy] [Day 9 - St. Martin] [Day 10 - St. Martin]

Wednesday, December 16, 2015: Here's a glimpse of sunrise out of our porthole.

We were still anchored off of Soper's Hole.
As was our routine by now, we headed up to the Tropical Bar after breakfast to get our morning sustenance.
There's our destination in the distance: Jost Van Dyke.
We were still enjoying our beverages when the music started up ...
... so we bolted up on deck to join in the spectacle.
Being on a boat is pretty great.
After sail out was story time.
Not much later, we were approaching our destination on Jost Van Dyke: White Bay.
Looks pretty -- let's go there!
We checked out the water sports board to make sure that good snorkeling was available and were glad to see that it was.
So we grabbed our stuff in our cabin, admired our new towel animal, ...
... and jumped on a tender into shore.
Here's a shot of the whole bay.
This was our only wet water landing.
We dropped our beach bag by the sports team and took off down the beach to the rocky outcropping in the distance.
We decided to snorkel most of the way there and it was well worth doing.
We could have easily missed this peacock flounder but having seen smaller versions of this in French Polynesia, we could tell what it was pretty quickly. These clever fish can change their color to match their surroundings. We saw another one the next day who was much darker because he was on a dark rock.
In the shallows, we saw lots of tiny fish, like this juvenile beaugregory damselfish and ...
... these little French grunts.
Here are some of the ubiquitous sergeant major damselfish and a cocoa damselfish in the lower left.
And now, some closeups for your viewing pleasure. A moon jellyfish, ...
... a doctorfish, ...
... and a leather star urchin.
Here's a pair of bar jacks.
Tom's hiding behind a school of silvery fish, perhaps anchovies.
Sergeant major damselfish, stoplight parrotfish, and a leather star urchin.
Here are some more doctorfish. These guys were browner than the bright blue ones we had seen earlier.
So, yeah, Debbie's obsessed with sandperches and she spent several minutes hovering over this one trying to get a good photo. Meanwhile, Tom was desperately trying to get her attention, because right behind her was ...
... this guy, a Caribbean reef octopus. No way! Way!
Behold him in all his octopus glory.
After a few minutes of posing for photos, he decided to take off.
He didn't go far though -- he just picked a nearby rock, ...
... moved himself into position, ...
... and got his camouflage on, complete with texture and pattern change. So cool.
We snorkeled back to the shore, but stopped for a minute to pick up this little clam, admire him, and then put him back.
On shore, we grabbed an empty table in the shade next to the Soggy Dollar bar and had some refreshments while we dried off a bit.
Tom dubbed these two German passengers on our ship "Boris and Natasha." Every single place we went, she would strike dozens of poses while he took dozens of photos.
She provided him with helpful tips as to where he could photograph her next. When the photo session was over, she reclined with a book by herself in the middle of a table for eight, while he went down the beach to be alone as well.
Meanwhile, we were getting hungry, so Tom got a menu from the bar.
So many great options to choose from.
We went with conch fritters, fish and chips, and a couple of beers. Good choices, all.
This was our absolutely perfect view.
After a while, we decided to head to the other snorkeling location recommended by the sports team.
It was down the beach to the rocky shoreline in the distance. We passed several more cafes and bars along the way.
Once at our snorkeling destination, we started seeing great stuff right away. This big guy is a black margate.
Here's some interesting coral or anemones or something we can't identify.
Here's a scrawled filefish, one of the coolest looking fish in the ocean.
We passed a rocky section that was just overrun with adorable little French grunts.
It would be nice if rainbow parrotfish weren't so shy so we could get better pictures of them.
Here are a pair of blue tangs and a pair of redband parrotfish.
Here's another angle on the redband parrotfish.
This boulder brain coral was gigantic and perfectly formed.
This pretty fan coral sways back and forth with the waves.
These French grunts hung out around another brain coral that resembled a globe.
This guy is a whitespotted filefish, despite his lack of white spots.
Check out the gorgeous tail on this stoplight parrotfish.
Female hoosierfish checking the camera.  Yep, it works.
After we finished snorkeling, we headed back to the ship. As tempting as the tiny pool was, we were done being wet for the day.
When it was time for sailout, cruise director Peter asked all of the women on deck to help raise the sails.
We had to wait patiently for the woman on the lounge chair to tuck all of her parts into her bathing suit and move, but that just gave Boris more time to photograph Natasha, who was right in front of Debbie on the rope.
Raising a sail is a little harder than it looks, ...
... but the ladies were successful, ...
... and Peter kept encouraging them until that sail was all the way up.
Having an excellent musical accompaniment helped too.
While heading back to our cabin, we noticed a few more people had bought raffle tickets for the map raffle.
Since we had signed up, a few more embellishments had been added to the map, including a sketch from Charlie, the piano player/singer, who comprised the entire entertainment staff on the ship.
Cruise direct Peter wrote a lovely little note, ...
... the captain added his signature, ...
... and Jay Jay offered some words too, on what was going to be his last trip before heading home.
Down in our cabin, our porthole was getting splashed as we were heading southeast at top speed past St. John, USVI.
We tried again to get an underwater shot but failed.
Hors d'oevres this evening featured delicious Bananas Foster, along with the usual assortment of finger sandwiches, fruit, cookies, etc.
Also in the Tropical Bar, the cabin stewards were getting ready to give a presentation on towel animals, ...
... and there was a sale on clothing from the Sloop Shop. Readers who are used to larger cruise ships will be surprised to learn that this was the full extent of the shopping sale for the entire cruise - one hour only. The Sloop Shop itself was smaller than our cabin.
Just off to our right, we were passing the Indians again, but this time we could see that they were four separate rocky pinnacles. That's Pelican Island to the left of it, with Norman Island in the background further left.
The sky was pretty as seen from our porthole.
On this evening, we didn't get a photo of the dinner menu options, but we did take a photo of Debbie's turkey breast entree because of the beautiful presentation. Remember this because we'll return to this point of fact in a later story the next day.

After dinner, our cabin steward had found another creative way to turn down our bed for nighttime.

Day 7 >


Caribbean 2015: [Day 1 - St. Maarten] [Day 2 - Saba] [Day 3 - Anguilla] [Day 4 - Virgin Gorda] [Day 5 - Norman Island/Soper's Hole] [Day 6 - Jost Van Dyke] [Day 7 - St. Kitts] [Day 8 - St. Barthélemy] [Day 9 - St. Martin] [Day 10 - St. Martin]

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