Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saturday April 2nd, 2011 - Day 4 -- Aruba

Arrived in port at 7am.  Up early for breakfast and to meet for our excursion, a sail and snorkel trip.
We walked from the ship to the powered catamaran, then sailed for 30-40 mins to our first snorkel spot.  We sailed along the coast, passing beautiful beaches with grass thatched roofs.  The water went from blue to blue green as the sun peeked through the clouds.  The wind was strong and constant, giving the windsurfers and kite boarders plenty to work with.
The weather was warm but not necessarily sunny....occasionally sunny.  The water was colder than I expected, but fine once you got used to it.
Our first snorkel was near the lighthouse.  There was a fair amount of chop and a good current as well.  The bottom was 10-15 feet down.  Visibility wasn’t that far, probably because of the lack of sun.  At this location I saw a school of squid, some tube coral or sponges, 2 kinds of puffer fish and some “horned” fish I will have to look up later.  There wasn’t a lot of bottom structure which seemed to limit the amount of fish we saw.  It was easiest to pick a rock formation and just hover over it, waiting for things to move from the rocks or come into view.  Saw some very large black vana here.
Our next location was over the wreck of the Antilles, which had been a 400’ long german freighter that was sunk by it’s own captain.  The ship was under attack from the british and inside of being captured and made into a battleship by the British, the Captain chose to sink the ship.  The captain and crew were able to jump from ship and made it to shore, where they were taken captive until after the war, when they were released.  Most resettled in the area, among the ABC islands, some returned to Germany.  
This ship is by far the best I’ve snorkeled over.  It was approx 40-50’ down, but it was massive and still looked like a strong ship.  The fish life around the ship was terrific.  We were occasionally swarmed by schools of minnows, so thick that you couldn’t see below or through them.  The ship had beautiful tube sponges growing on it and many fish swimming around it.  The fish size got bigger and bigger the farther down you could see.  What a cool place to dive!  The current here was very strong.  
I finally tried going under water with my dry tube snorkel and found that it was very doable.  When look forward to refining me technique.
We sailed back and had rum punch while treated to the beautiful scenery of Aruba waters.  This is where my camera started it’s agonal breaths.  Hence no under water photos will show up here.  Very sad.  The only place on the trip that really wanted pictures.  I have a replacement now and it’s waterproof.  I might have to get in the water in Cabo.
Upon returning we had lunch and then split up for the afternoon.  I meant to go swimming and relax by the pool.  However I was so sleepy that sitting in the recliner and  going to sleep sounded like a better idea.  I snoozed off and on in the lounge chair, in the lotus room, with my chair facing a glass wall of windows.  The lady next to me said they had seen dolphins earlier.  I couldn’t keep my eyes open long enough to see any wildlife.  
Had dinner in the dining room:  
Appetizer: Pineapple marinated in margarita dip.  Delicious! Iceberg quarted salad with hard boiled egg and bacon chips.
Main course: Seared diver scallops with orzo and a yummy sauce.
Dessert: warm fudge brownie topped with vanilla ice cream.
After dinner we split up again and I went to the comedy and magician show, did my laundry and then headed to the country show down to try some of my line dance moves.  Did one dance and gave it up for the night..
I’m going to go fold laundry now then go to bed.  Dad’s out dancing with one of his ladies.  Apparently she’s a non-stop dancer.
Tomorrow we are in Cartegena, reportedly one of the hottest places we’ll be.  I feel we’ve been lucky in that regard and hope it holds true for tomorrow too.  We will take a taxi into old town and walk about the tourist places there.
Hasta luego mis amigos!

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