Co-ordinates: 18° 28’ N 64° 45’ W
Weather: blue sky with a few cumulus clouds
Air Temperature: 26 C in the morning
I had a quick breakfast before heading out for a Zodiac trip to Jost Van Dyke. But I wasn’t let off at the lovely white beach I could see from the ship deck, but at a jolly-looking red and white catamaran that was moored in about two meters of water offshore. I was to be on No Fear for the morning, enjoying a sail around the island and snorkeling at a couple of tropical reefs.
Guests joined me at No Fear and spread out on deck. As the catamaran cut its way through the crystal waters of the British Virgin Islands people slathered on suntan lotion and its fruity scent permeated the air. By 10:00 am the sun was very hot, so I was grateful for the fruit punch on board and the shade of a central canopy. By 10:30 we were in the water snorkeling at a small reef near another beautiful beach.
The second reef we visited was even more interesting—they saved the best for last. I snorkeled along the rocky edge of the island and found the best coral on the some of the large igneous boulders that had fallen from the rocky shore into the water. On the way back to the catamaran, I noticed some pelicans sitting on rocks. They were watching snorkels as swimmers kicked past them—I’m not kidding—I saw their heads move!
On the way back to the ship we saw a waterspout. Of course my camera was deeply buried in my backpack packed away in a cubbyhole beneath the stairs and underneath clothes, fins, and snorkel. By the time I got it out the waterspout was dissipating but I still got a fairly decent picture.
As I began to feel hungry, the catamaran turned back to the ship and took us to the beautiful beach—White Beach—that I had seen from the ship in the morning.
While we had been snorkeling, the Hotel staff had set up an elaborate seafood barbeque and bar on the beach. I had a lunch of salmon, shrimp and salad washed down with an ice-cold beer.
My afternoon was spent helping to load and unload Zodiacs and watching swimmers. Near the end of the afternoon I got the opportunity to explore along one branch of the shore and discovered a path leading to another bay and arrows indicating the way to “Ivan’s Stress-Free Bar.” I never got there. I hadn’t brought shoes with me and the well-trodden path ended in a pebble beach, which my unshod feet couldn’t walk on. Nonetheless, I got some lovely photographs of cacti, waves crashing onto rocks, an abandoned beach camp site with an old pink sofa, and the Silver Explorer anchored off the coast.
That evening I listened to a recap on waterspouts by Claudia, a description of how granite is formed by Juan-Carlos and an amazing description by Robin, our marine biologist, on coral studies she had done of the coast of St. Croix Island in the 1980s living in a submerged tank for 14 days with 3 other scientists.
Just before dinner I attended a cocktail party for First-timers—guests who are on a Silversea voyage for their first time. All of us compared slight sunburns from the day. The doctor had come ashore with us and made sure that everyone behaved sensibly in the sun. After that I had dinner before writing this log.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow. I get to see a volcano!!