Swimming with Sea Turtles

Trip Start Feb 18, 2012
Trip End Feb 25, 2012

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Celebrity Ecclipse

Flag of Virgin Islands US  ,
Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We made port in the morning a little bit of clouds and some rain in the distance suggested periodic showers.  The island capital of Charlotte Amalie is our destination and today we took the plunge and booked our first excursion for a catamaran ride to one of the nearby reefs, snorkeling and lunch with Cool Boats.  We knew this was going to be a fun and rowdy crew when we were introduced to our "cruise director" Melissa and our other mate, Andrew.  Apparently "Melissa broke the engine" to the boat we were going to have so our group of about 30 went out on a catamaran - perfectly acceptable.  The weather cleared for the morning and we were on our way to the atoll.

After a quick run out to Buck Island we pulled up in Turtle Cove - named of course for the sea turtles - and we were on our way with gear in tow.  Melissa led us out about 20 yards where we found our first two sea turtles, who Bill named "Fred and Wilma."  While the group went in one direction towards the reef, a sting ray caught Bill's attention and he followed it using our underwater sea fans to power along.  (It was good that we had those getting back quickly would have not happened!) The fire coral in the reef was also very spectacular, including some small brain coral.  Our snorkeling was altogether too brief when off we went to another cove for lunch and beach.  There was a little beach stand which served up the best burgers - juicy, well-seasoned, and as big as your hand from wrist to fingertip - a welcome meal.

Our return to Charlotte Amalie was uneventful and we spent the afternoon just wondering the shopping village near the port and back on our boat.  It was a beautiful evening and we enjoyed dinner with Harry and Elizabeth, and we had some catching up over the past two days of cruise life.  Tomorrow: St. Maartin!
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