Day 10 |
Apr 13, 2012

Tobago Cays 

By Claire Allum, Archaeologist

Co-ordinates: 10° 02’ 11” N 060° 30’ 61” W
Weather: overcast but bright and hot with a strong breeze
Air Temperature: 28 C / 83 F

At 8:30 am I was in a Zodiac with other members of the Expedition Team scouting out the snorkeling opportunities and beaches of the Tobago Keys. Expensive-looking yachts and catamarans seemed to occupy every sheltered bay.

The island of Baradol had a long spit of pure white sand extending out from a small beach. A marine reserve for turtles lay along one side of the spit demarcated by little buoys strung together on a rope. As we slowed down, almost immediately, a turtle swum to the surface in front of us. I peered down over the side of the Zodiac and saw two more slowly swimming along the sea bottom. The blue water was crystal clear.

Our next stop was Petit Bateau. As we pulled up to its beach, I was disappointed to see that most of the sand was covered and there was not much room for our guests to sunbathe and spread out on the sand. We took a look on the other side of the island. This was quite different. Gaily coloured T-shirts and tie-died sarongs flapped and twisted in the wind, strung on ropes and tree-branches along the back of a deep beach. Stephan, a friendly local, greeted us and told us that he sold soft drinks and lunch and that our guests could make use of the hammocks and picnic tables. I stayed on this side of the island for the morning to take care of guests as they disembarked there.

In the afternoon, the Silver Explorer repositioned to an anchorage close to a beach on the island of Myra. It was the perfect spot for the last afternoon of the cruise. There was a small town that had quaint local bars, and there were souvenir shops for last-minute gifts. The beach had lots of thick soft sand and shaded areas with picnic tables. Our Hotel Department set up a small bar under the coconut trees.

We stayed on Myra until the sun started to set. The Silver Explorer looked glorious in the late afternoon light, the sea a glittering pool of quicksilver. As we drove back to the ship it was hard for me to believe that it was my last Zodiac trip of the cruise. Time had gone by so quickly.

In the evening, Ray Stranagan premiered his voyage DVD. He used some music he had been given by one of our bus drivers in Trinidad. It suited the stunning pictures and videos he had taken over the course of the ten days.

The Expedition Team got together for one last time on deck to share a drink and to say good-bye to each other. After that it was dinner and packing. I am sure my belongings grow while I am on the ship. They never seem to fit back into my suitcas