Archive for October, 2010

Adventures in paradise.

We’ve been debating on whether or not to go scuba diving, or to find somewhere else to go snorkeling at least. Scuba diving isn’t the most convenient thing since we would have to island hop twice to get to the island that offers any sort of diving.

West off where we are staying on the island is a small group islands. Not big enough to live on by any means, but about 4 small rocky islands.

hahaha

When we went snorkeling a few days ago we went to the area between our island and the small rocky ones off the shore with the intention to possibly swim out to the islands and see what was going on there until we got in the water and realized maybe it looked closer than it really was.

Although we had a lot of fun swimming through there, I was still anxious to find something more, we are in the Bahamas for heaven sakes. Nothing much happening on this island though, and no plan logical enough to decide to make our way over to Harbour Island to go scuba diving, so we started looking online for a possible site for snorkeling off our island. Also not the greatest source for information where we are, Rhet decides we should go back to where we were the other day, just to the outer side of the little islands.

We Kayaked out to the islands and around the back side and couldn’t see much so we kept paddling out to sea. We saw a small boat not too far out from where we were and decided there must be some fish by where he was, so kept paddling further. It was not long before it was apparent we had found the reef. Purples and greens shinning through the surface, reef so close in some places it looked like color floating on the surface of the water rather than underneath it. We found a clear spot and jumped it.

The reef was nothing short of magnificent, and even more rewarding to know that we went out there and found it on our own instead of spending hundreds of dollars trying to find the perfect place with the perfect dive.

Where we jumped in was just like a magazine, reef from the bottom of the ocean all the way up to the surface with an area we had to zig zag through where there was a break in the reef, just absolutely surrounded by the gorgeous corals and animals, our kayak in tow.

Almost the first thing we saw when we got in was a stingray, 

Stingray

and it didn’t seem long enough after that we got our hearts beating a little faster as we noticed a barracuda watching us, but thankfully it quickly moved on. Of course though the only time Rhet and I got separated is the only time I ended up with my heart in my throat. The current on the surface was pretty strong since we have had  pretty good winds going since we got here, so as he gets up on the kayak to check out the surroundings he gets pushed right over top the reef where it is too shallow to jump back in the water. I am waiting patiently at the edge of the reef when I notice a r swimming over the reef towards me. In my heart of hearts, I realize it is ridiculous to be scared of this fish, but there is just something so creepy about the void look in their eyes, the way their gaze always seems to follow you, and they just always seem a little too curious for my comfort. So I take a little peak out of the water to check Rhets progress, and start swimming back away from the reef some, maybe the barracuda just needs some space to swim by. So as I start to speed up my pace slightly, trying to be kinda sneaky that I don’t want to hang out with him any longer, I realize that this nasty fish has also picked up speed and is closing in on me. I curiously look above the surface and with some relief realize Rhet is getting closer. As I play through my head double checking I’m not wearing any jewelry that would glitter in the light, and try to think the best position to be in when this barracuda that is chasing me finally decides to bite me, Rhets splashing scares him away. As I see his side for the first time I am thankful he looked smaller from the front as he drifted away.

One of the highlights of the day was a little guy i thought was a nudibranch, but apparently it is a type of gastropod, sea-snail if you will, but not really typical snail shape, it’s called a flamingo tongue, and it was super cute. The one we saw was also on a purple sea fan.

Turtle :o)

The other highlight for the day for me, besides the turtle of course, was on the way home, when I was saying how absolutely perfect it was there, Rhet saying he thought we’d be able to find Egg Reef!, and learning that he didn’t read about the reef out there on a website, or in the little tourist book of information we have, but that he saw it on the map on the wall in the house.  Granddads maps that mom had, that I gave to Elizabeth for Christmas. A set of 3 maps of Eleuthera and the Spanish Wells that she had framed and have up on the walls here, in the Spanish Wells. I think that our adventure would have made Granddad smile.

Blue Striped Grunts I Believe :o)

on and on

A lot has been going on since I arrived in Arizona. Rhet’s house was pretty awesome, quail and bunny rabbits running around all day, and I bought an ultra-violet light to go scorpion hunting at night time. Pretty amazing!

From Arizona we headed to New Mexico and stayed at his Uncle Craigs house, Houston to stay with Tim, and over to the Panhandle to camp in Gulf Breeze, Florida.

Took the scenic route through Florida to end up back in Orlando. We stayed out in New Smyrna, went canoeing, and Stacy got married! Since then just been hanging out, seeing how long we could last unemployed without losing our minds…neither of us seem to be very good at not having a job. So we drove down to Naples a got one since Naples seems pretty perfect for winter.  I am going to be the new Tiki Server at the La Playa. I was thinking working for minimum wage sucked, but I will now be working for about half that. Hopefully it will average out to more after tips though :o)

Currently we are in the Spanish Wells off of the island of Eleuthera. It has been pretty overcast since we arrived but some how have been managing to have fun anyway! Went snorkeling right off the deck yesterday and felt like we got to see so much stuff for just swimming around right behind the house.  When we first went out we found a bunch of whole dead sand dollars sticking out of the sand. Less then 5 minutes after trying to explain what the alive ones look like and how funny they are always traveling in herds it seemed, we went back in the water and found alive sand dollar after sand dollar, and no dead ones, it was so funny.

Later walked down the island a little bit before we got in. Found tons of urchins, a few lion fish (way awesome), saw my very first sea slug!!!! I love those things. A small stingray…. a lobster … some baby sergeant majors, which always make me think of granddad … probably something else really cool i am forgetting… oh yes!!! we saw a bunch of urchins, but only one “mine urchin” and it was super awesome.

Riding our bikes around the island was also a lot of fun. There are tons of banana tress fruiting right now, papaya, avocado, and some citrus, none of which is ripe yet. There are also goats and sheep, can’t go wrong with that!

Wyoming–>Utah–> Arizona

I believe I wrote this entry on September 20th, give or take a day. Couldn’t connect to the internet… and am just now publishing it.

Back to the real world.

Been having a pretty magnificent past few days.

The Bunk House.

Left the ranch on Thursday night and drove down to Salt Lake City. The plan was to stay at a small island called Antelope Island that is in Salt Lake, but apparently they shut the gates in the evening so ended up staying in a hotel instead since it was too late at that point to come up with other accommodations. Drove down to Bryce Canyon National Park in the morning and camped in the national forest.

Bryce Canyon

When we arrived at the park gate I was able to upgrade my Grand Teton/Yellowstone pass into a pass for all the parks, it was very convenient, and I am still excited about that! The park was gorgeous, but just like any national park, I feel like I don’t get the feeling I am suppose to experience by going to the overlooks the map tells you. I’m not sure if its because they are the designated photo stop spots that are have some sort of expectation of beauty and magnificent you are suppose to feel there, or if it is the million dumb tourist in your way from being able to just sit and enjoy. Probably some of both, but putting more money on the later. After camping Friday night, we woke up and went back into the park to do a little hike. I pretty much always feel better about somewhere after taking a hike. Just walking down and enjoying an area off of a turn out always seems to be more rewarding than the cookie cutter view they have set up for you.

Outside of Bryce Canyon was an area I believe was called Red Rock State Park. I didn’t stop, although it seems like somewhere that would be a lot of fun to go back and explore sometime, there was even a Butch Cassidy hiking draw off the road. The whole area outside of the park was really just amazing. Fields of grass filled with cows, llamas, and bison; a small stream winding back and forth following the road, with a backdrop of large rock cliff just shooting out of the ground. I’m sure the weather is temperamental during certain parts of the year, but in that moment it was perfect.

From Bryce we headed down to the Grand Canyon. I had never been to the Grand Canyon before (let alone Utah or Arizona), and Rhet had never been to the North Rim before so it was exciting. For me it seemed like something you needed to see but not my favorite park. We camped in the national forest outside of the park at the greatest campsite of all time. Our campsite was right on the rim of one of the canyons that feeds into the Grand Canyon, and it was pretty amazing.

Rhet and our perfect campsite.

A little bit more wind than you would experience from a campsite not on the rim of a canyon, but an unbeatable view. Went back into the park in the morning to visit some of the less traveled paths in the park, in my opinion, an excellent choice.  It was awesome to go to an area of the park that also educated you about the surrounding plant/wildlife, because as amazing as the Grand Canyon is, it is still just that, a grand canyon (big hole). Maybe one day I will get a chance to hike from one rim to the other, and I am sure I will have something much different to say after that experience.

If you are there, thanks for checking in!

Went a while where my computer couldn’t connect to the internet. Call me spoiled, but there is just something better about being able to do something on your own computer rather than some other random one. Once I was somewhere I was able to get internet, things were too hectic and I was too unsure with what I was up doing to have to write down and explain that I had no idea what I was doing.  But here I am. Newly employed, possibly newly motivated, and always ready for an adventure.