Friday August 25, 2006

Friday August 25:

Our last full day on the island had arrived. I’ll be honest; I was ready to go home. I really hadn’t slept well all week and it was still too hot. The house had lost some of its charm and had become a humid death trap.

We didn’t have much planned other than one last snorkel trip and a trip to town to do some shopping. We’d picked up a few things during the week, but needed to do some more shopping. The morning was still hazy and evil and we didn’t do a whole lot of anything.

Then, a miracle happened. A breeze picked up. The haze blew away. St Thomas was visible again. We all had a spring in our step. As a result, we did absolutely nothing about it. We stayed at the house and did the old “Read, Flip and Dip”. I must have made something for lunch because I seem to recall eating. But, it was mostly quiet. Some time after lunch, I was standing up on the benches on the deck watching cars go up and down a distant hill. I grabbed my Mr. Dork fanny pack and announced that I was going for a ride. JewelrySlut agreed to go along. We went back to town and drove up Contant Hill. It’s a more residential neighborhood on the eastern side of the town and afforded a different view of town and of our house. We puttered about a bit and looked at some new sights in town.

When we got back to the house, it was about 3:30, so I mustered the crew for one last drive over to the North Shore. ChurchBomber had voted that we go back to Trunk Bay. We weren’t really in the mood for any hiking, and Trunk, when empty, is a cool snorkel spot.

We hit the beach as all the day-trippers were leaving and there were maybe 30 people there. We geared up and headed to the right side of Trunk Cay. It’s the less-popular side, but I’d read about Charlie the barracuda who is often seen there. We had the side of the island to ourselves and I did manage to spot Charlie. The reef isn’t as colorful on the right side and the water was oddly cool, so we swam around to the more popular left side. The underwater trail that I had mentioned is on this side and the reef is very good. The 4 of us were all in one general area, but were off in our own worlds. Since JewelrySlut and I didn’t have flippers, I actually found maneuvering to be a lot easier. I was able to float in through some real shallow sections to get to more secluded pools and caves. It really was a lot of fun. Every now and then, one of us would pop to the surface and beckon the others over to see something of interest. As we were starting back to the beach, we hit pay dirt again. There was a lone sea turtle having dinner next to one of the reefs. We just hung there for a while watching it eat. At one point, it surfaced to breathe and was about 2 feet from me. I’ve got to say that the sea turtles were the snorkeling highlight of the trip. The fish are very cool and the coral growths are unbelievably bright, but the turtles were just awesome. And we’d seen 3!

As the clouds rolled in, we packed up and went back. By the time we were about half way back to town, it was pouring. We decided to pass on JJ’s and just head to the house. We arrived right in time for an all-out deluge. It poured for about an hour. So, we all got cleaned up and dressed and then went back to town. We had shopping to do and needed something for dinner. I’d finally run out of food. We hit Freebird Jewelers and picked up some loot. I got another pukka-type necklace and some pirate treasure for Shmuppie. The kid had managed to score 2 pirate shirts, a treasure map and now some “authentic treasure”. JewelrySlut had wanted a petroglyphs bracelet and I’d been arguing with myself all week whether or not to get a St John Hook bracelet. Part of me thought it was cool; the other thought it was gay. I decided it was cool and grabbed one.

The bracelets are famous on St John and most of the Caribbean. The story is that fisherman stopped wearing wedding rings out of fear of losing a finger if lines or hooks or fisherman things got snagged on a ring. They took to wearing the bracelets. They have a hook clasp, and in the beginning, while at sea, you pointed the U-hook’s open side off your wrist to send your love home. When in port, you switched it because your love went back towards you and your home. Now, they’re dating symbols. Hook towards you = you’re attached. Hook out = “Buy me a drink and I’ll blow you”. So, I have a hook bracelet. I like it.

We hit St John Spice yet again and loaded the car up and drove across town to Mongoose Junction again. JewelrySlut had seen some earrings in a store there and wanted to pick them up. I also figured the chances of finding a place to eat for under $35 per person was higher there. Well, the store was closed. Then, we decided to go to Morgan’s Mango. I’m still not sure why we did that. We’d gone there in 2004 and really liked the food. But, the service was just appalling.

They failed to disappoint this time out. Our waiter didn’t know the specials or how to pronounce tough words like “scallops”. MerlotMan ordered a glass of red wine and they brought white. When we sent it back, they never came back with another glass. I finally grabbed the waiter and asked for the wine. He brought the white again. MerlotMan was ready to burst into flames at this point. Finally, we got the wine and our food. As usual, the food was very good. JewelrySlut and I split half a chicken and a grilled shrimp salad. It was simple and very good.

Sated and still wondering why we’d eaten there, we went back to the house, did a little packing, drank some rum and all went to bed. Saturday would be a hectic day and my stomach was already churning in anticipation.

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