I’ve been home for a couple of days, but this is the first chance that I’ve had to get near the computer. Thursday afternoon, we dove in Fredericsted at the pier again . Here’s where we set up our equipment. We just jumped in the water off of the side of the pier. We rented tanks from the cool folks at Scuba West again. They weren’t there on Wednesday when we went to return the empties because they went out diving in the afternoon. Okay, it made sense to me…
If you are not a diver, it’s probably hard to understand sea horses. Divers just go nuts over them. Sure they’re rare, but it’s more than that. They’re usually just hanging somewhere, waiting for a diver to find them and take a picture. Before this last dive, I don’t think that I’ve seen more than one or two on a dive, and they were usually very small and hidden. We found 5 or six of them on this dive. One of them was out on the sand by itself, just under where we were swimming. I won’t include pictures of all five of them, but here are a few just to give you an idea. There’s a yellow one (I’ve never seen that before) John and Mark took all sorts of pictures.
The pier is such a cool dive. Between the columns (each of which is like a small vertical reef) are trash piles – debris and concrete left over from building the pier. These piles of stuff attract fish and other critters. Here’s a short video that John took to give you an idea what it is like there. I’m swimming around a bunch of small fish called “Sergeant Major” they’re the ones with the stripes. The end of the video shows a lobster hiding. Lobsters are nocturnal and are seldom easy to find in the daytime.
The amount of wildlife around this pier is just amazing. I could post pictures here all day. It’s only a pier dive, but it’s the best one that I’ve ever been to. At night, it’s supposed to be better. Next time, I’ll have to try that….
After the dive, we stopped on the way home to see one of the island’s cultural sites. We toured the rum distillery. We were already well acquainted with their products. The housekeeping folks had left us a bottle (how cool is that?), and we had also bought a wee bit more at the supermarket. We saw the vats where the fermentation takes place (Hi Mark!) and followed the path of the rum all of the way through the plant. Here’s a picture of Mark from the tour . He’s standing next to one of the tanks where they store the distilled rum. 85% of the product produced there is sent to Florida for further processing. The rest stays on the island. It’s important that the rum meet the exact specifications, so John took it upon himself to do a little quality control I think that this batch met with his approval. Wow, I’m posting a lot of pictures in this entry.
We ended up spending some time in the little bar at the end of the tour, sampling the different flavored rums, and we even bought a little to take home with us. We went home, cleaned up ourselves and our stuff and headed out for dinner at a really nice Chinese restaurant around the corner (Golden Wok) and then an early bedtime.
The next day, we cleaned up and goofed off before we had to leave for the airport. I put another coat of paste wax on the kitchen appliances and touched up the rust spots that are already popping up on my three-year old refrigerator (one of the pitfalls of beach front housing). We headed for the airport, gave Avis back their almost new Toyota , and checked in. Of course our flight to San Juan left late. When we arrived at the San Juan airport, we were greeted with “Last Call for Flight 1783 to Philadelphia at gate 14!” over the loudspeaker system. We arrived, of course, at Gate 1. We dashed through the length of the airport and arrived at the gate, taking our seats and wondering if our bags made it (they did). The ride home was uneventful and our arrival was as well.
It’s good to have friends thet you enjoy being around. It’s even better if they’re divers. Thanks guys, for a great week.