Friday, January 15, 2010
Grand Turk of the Turks & Caicos Islands
The Emerald Princess sailed northwest from St. Thomas to Grand Turk arriving around 1:00pm. The morning started with the usual room service coffee and orange juice at 7:30, breakfast at 9:00 (notice the priorities!!) and three to four laps around the Promenade Deck which is equivalent to about a mile.
MA went off to play trivial pursuit and I got into a Dale Brown novel, Shadow Command. We were signed up for a snorkeling adventure after lunch so off we went in swimming gear, with towels, water and sunscreen. This was the typical cruise ship shore excursion beginning with zero organization, lots of confusion and waiting, waiting, and waiting. Finally the captain of excursion led our group of 80 to his catamaran which had a crew of five plus a video camera diver.
We sailed past the Emerald Princess anchoring about two miles down the shoreline. After a brief explanation of how to snorkel and figuring out the fins, mask and snorkel, the captain turned us loose on the fish. The water was too cool for MA not to mention she wasn’t about to just “jump into the ocean” but I was able to adapt rather quickly to the temperature.
I had purchased a cheap waterproof camera and took the entire roll of film underwater, mostly of yellow-fin snapper. The first five minutes I had to teach myself how to snorkel all over again swallowing several mouthfuls of salt water in the process, but I have to say it was really fun.
We then cruised over to a beach where the catamaran was anchored to the shore. Finally got MA into the water and we swam around the white sand beach for about an hour and then it was time to go back to the ship. Back to the dock, managed to skip all the shops and get back onboard the Emerald Princess.
We went to dinner later and ate with a really fun couple from Long Island, New York: Peter and Ada. Peter is in a distribution business run by his family. He’s also a hunter, has a concealed weapon permit in case of need there in Long Island and is definitely a staunch conservative so we got along very well. All in all it was another great day at sea spent with my very best friend in the world even if she wouldn’t jump off the side of that catamaran! God bless.