Day 11 – Ho Hum

Well after yesterday’s unexpected manatee experience any day from now on is just going to seem ho hum. But I’ll take ho hum down here any day though.

Rain greeted me as I went out for morning mediation of clouds.

Came inside and made johnny cake, while Mike created tonight’s dessert of mashed bananas, dilly fruit parfait layered with gingersnap cookies topped with shaved dark chocolate.

We were interrupted though between goodie making and breakfast making by a rainbow!

As breakfast was finished being made of ricotta pancakes the rain had stopped and out we went to enjoy breakfast.

Our plan was to go down North today to the snorkeling spot south of Cape Santa Maria beach and we would explore the other reef by our dream house first. Another great healthy reef. Sadly our camera battery died at our first snorkel spot so no pictures of our second spot, which was a repeat spot anyways.

As we retreated from the water after our first snorkel, people had populated the beach, which was so unexpected because we have yet to see anyone here. There was an elderly couple that been dropped off by boat to have a moment on a desolate beach (well until we popped out of the water, ha ha). The crew set up an umbrella, chairs and drinks for them. We walked by, I’m sure ruining their perfect secluded beach moment.

As we walked two more couples were out walking in the water.

Further down the beach close to the first reef were two women and a kid splashing about. Oh my 7 people on the beach, geez the crowds.

We had lunch and hung our laundry out to dry.

On our way back to our home base, we stopped at Starfish Traders in Glintons to checkout their goods. Their mission is to create jobs for Long Island Natives. We picked up two napkins and a little bag.

Next up was Everglades Souvenir Shop in Burnt Ground to see Pastor Nixon’s amazing shell art. You can learn more about him here: https://madmimi.com/s/7d7fd7?o=fm If we had room in our luggage who knows what we have purchased.

We needed to stop at Millerton School Beach to check the dilly tree hanging with fruit, nothing was ripe. However our main reason was to take the bush trail to the beach to see if the wild orchids and bromeliads were blooming, no nothing was. Location of this trail and beach are easy to find now, walk behind the weather ball.

We headed home very exhausted. Spent late afternoon manatee watching and hoping and having kaliks. Dinner was salad with chicken.

No sunset float for Mike tonight, just a land viewing of the sunset for both of us. It wasn’t much of a sunset, hit the cloud bank that was higher up and didn’t provide us with drama.

So maybe it wasn’t the high adventure of the past week, but I’ll take a ho hum kind of day here over a ho hum kind of day back in New England!

Day 10 – Just One of Those Days

The day started early, 6 a.m. I was outside doing school work and cloud watching. I had to finish a book for my online kids book club and had been putting it off, today was the perfect morning to work.

While completing my work, Mike so kindly brought me coffee and a slice of johnny cake. He had the task of making another pasta salad and cooking chicken for dinner dishes for the remainder of our time here.

After our chores were completed we headed up south to Cabbage Point, a spot we hadn’t explored yet. On the way south, we visited with the flamingos again.

Cabbage Point was a new place for us and we walked a bit. Mike even swam over the channel to see what the other slice of land held and then swam back,

We spent some time beach walking and hanging out in the water. It was picture perfect.

We did drive around a bit to check out a few houses on this beach. We came across a herd of goats, just handing out.

After that we headed up to Gordons to sit under the gazebo and lunch. Guess our timing was off because a retired couple had claimed the gazebo and didn’t welcome us in. We snapped a few photos and set off to our next lunch gazebo spot, Turnbull beach.

We unpacked our lunch and enjoyed a beautiful spot while eating our pasta salad.

We had to stop for beer and while there discovered that Sands beer makes a passionfruit radler. This is a note to us for our return at Christmas, we just need one case of Kalik and a case of passionfruit radler and we are good to go. Sorry no photo of me enjoying it in the car, living the life…

At the homebase, we grabbed kaliks and walked down to our sitting spot. I even brought a book down to read, but the view had me looking around, when all of sudden I noticed a moving blob in the water. I said to Mike, “I think we have a manatee out there.” We grabbed the camera and off we went. At first we weren’t sure what it was and if necessary we knew we could hop in the boat to avoid any attacks. We didn’t see a shark fin and then we realized it was a manatee. We didn’t want to stress it, but it came right up to us, brushed against us like a cat and followed us around. We snapped a few photos and took a video or two. It was a magical experience.

After that we just hung out till dinner, had leftovers and then did our sunset ritual.

You know today was just one of those days, where magic happens.

Day 9 – An Instagram Influencers Kind of Day

So it’s a known fact that we mock influencers. You know the ones that disregard their personal safety, the ones that don’t care about you enjoying a sight while they get THAT photo, the ones that wear the flowy dress with the oh so cute hat that has the other half of their partnership taking the photo from on top of the car or in a contorted position…them. Today, here was made for them, the lighting perfect, locations stunning, little bit of risk taking to get some shots and with the right outfit, WOW.

It began with the moon over the water early this morning.

Followed by a jaunt over to the ocean side to find flamingos, no flamingos but the sun rising over the pond, perfect.

Followed by a lovely breakfast of crepes filled with bananas overlooking the water.

Then a drive over to Harding Beach with a walk.

Which came before the beach walk at Salt Pond Beach.

That was followed by a mid morning exploration at Whelk Cay. We did a bit of snorkeling, which was not instagram influencer worthy, the reef was lifeless of coral and had only a few fish. Also the water was full of garbage and plastic bags. The current was so strong, I was actually motion sick, something that doesn’t happen to me.

After that adventure, we explored the rocks. I was walking above where Mike was, when he yelled “come down here, I found an instagram influencers dream location.” So down I went and yes he was correct it was pretty amazing under the arch. Sadly we didn’t have the “right” outfits, just our swim sun protection outfits on.

Arch photos were followed by exploration of the rocks, Mike figuring out how to safely get in the pool of water (it wasn’t safe, he didn’t) and then lunching out on the rocks.

It was a full morning that stretched into early afternoon that also included doing laundry between beach visits, but really who cares? We returned back to home base, to have that instagram shot of a beer and relaxation.

Dinner was amazing dish of a lentil pepper casserole thingy, but not really up to par with our lunch time view.

The finale of the day was sunset, any sunset here would make an influencers heart go pitter patter.

We are ok not being those influencers, I’ll stick with my coffee with a view influencing thank you very much!

Day 8 – Firsts

Today we had a bunch of firsts. But first coffee and breakfast!

Our first stop of the day was the bakery to drop off two books that the authors and illustrator had signed for the kids of the island. The baker has a little library in her bakery. I am thankful for these friends that sent me signed bookplates to place in their books. That was a first for us, bringing books to leave for the island children.

As we drove through Clarence Town, I yelled “STOP” flamingos. Finally we had our first flamingo sighting, 60 of them just napping and hanging out.

After a few hundred photos, we continued on our way to Rose’s Little Harbor. We had visited once before, but never got in the water. It looked like there might be snorkelable reefs, but the majority of it was turtle grass. We did find a few small coral heads and we had our first snorkel around a sunken boat. Around this boat we also had our first sighting of an ocean triggerfish (sadly couldn’t get a good photo).

We also or rather I had the first sighting of the largest conch I have ever seen, these guys were huge.

We drove up the road a bit and walked up and over the next ridge, scouting a beach location for possible walks. It didn’t look promising.

Leaving our destinations, we watched the flamingos some more. Our next stop was Max’s Conch Bar for lunch. This was our first time eating out this trip, that’s a first, we usually lunch here within days of our arrival. We had grouper fingers and a conch burger. Our sides are always peas and rice and one dish we have johnny cake. Well it was a first for us, no johnny cake today.

On our way back to home base we had the mundane task of picking up some groceries and water.

Dinner was salad with chicken and of course johnny cake.

Our nightly routine of Mike’s float during sunset continues. Maybe some night we will have a first of me joining him for a sunset float, maybe…

Today was full of firsts and one bucket list item, flamingos!

Day 7 – From Deserted to Dessert

Today begin with me cloud watching, followed by french toast sticks topped with local banana and passionfruit. Great way to fuel the body for today’s adventures.

We packed our gear to snorkel over to Guana Cay to spend some time exploring the island and visiting with it’s locals, curly tailed lizards.

After exploring was over, we sat down and had a slice or two of johnny cake and gave a few crumbs to our new buddies.

The tide was going out as we swam across and we made a few more friends on our way over to our starting shore.

It was time for lunch once we reached land. We decided to head over to Boat Harbor Road and have lunch at the gazebo.

After lunch we thought it would be a great idea to kayak over to Evas Cay, another deserted island, we can see from our location. Our first omen that it was a not a great idea, was the snake between the kayaks.

The second omen, the current and winds were opposing forces making it difficult for us to get over there. We prevailed and just walked around a bit.

We finally made it back and had our reward, a Kalik.

We rested for a bit, had dinner and a lovely dessert of dilly fruit and my no bake papaya lime cheesecake before our sunset ritual.

It was a very full day from deserted islands to dessert and everything in between.

Day 6 – Expectations

I read a person’s post the other day about expectations. This person had planned a beach camping weekend with her children and had so many visions/expectations of how idyllic it would be. It wasn’t and she became miserable. However when she let go of those expectations and just let things happen, she enjoyed those moments and had a great time, despite it not being what she expected or dreamed of at first.

Why am I telling you this? Because today we had the expectation of seeing flamingos and Mike kept telling me last night don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t happen. My thoughts rearranged themselves and I let go of expecting to see flamingos, to instead just seeing some new piece of the island and maybe a bird or two we hadn’t seen before and feeling really grateful for that experience.

We were up early waiting the call to see if the flamingos were at the spot, the call would be between 6 and 6:30. By 6:45 no call came so we made breakfast of ricotta pancakes topped with starfruit jam and fresh papaya.

Around 7:20 the call came the flamingos were at the spot. Our host gathered us and off we went, learning some things about the birds and how to stealthy approach the flock.

No flamingos, they have flown off by the time we arrived, but we did see a Yellow Crowned Night Heron and we know the way to the special spot so we can go around 6 a.m. to see if they are there. I wasn’t disappointed, I let the expectations go and really enjoyed the small time birding with our host.

At the house we packed up for the day. Our plan was to go down North and check out “Poseidon” Beach in Burnt Ground to snorkel. There is no beach access but rocks would provide entry. It was one of the best paved and beach roads we’ve encountered so far. Once we arrived we knew snorkeling was not happening, the seas were to active for us to safely snorkel, so we walked around instead.

Our next stop was to revisit Columbus Monument. They are widening and working on the access road. Even though it had road closed sign, we were told on weekends we could go. Word of advice, don’t go, the road is island type closed further in, no way to safely get to the the monument.

Where to next? Stop at the beach and reef at Cape Santa Maria or rather Calabash Bay. We set up our gear and went for a snorkel.

Again our timing was off with the tide, it was going out and an after lunch snorkel was not possible. Instead we walked to the end of the beach were we found our dream house if we win the powerball and another reef to explore in higher tide.

We returned back to the apartment and keeping with our Sunday afternoon tradition, of having a beer in a brewery, we had to substitute a beer at the bar here on the property. We are usually parked at our local brewery at noon on a Sunday, so this had to suffice.

We then lazed about till dinner time, again having leftovers for dinner and discussing thoughts of where to stay next summer.

Mike’s sunset float followed dinner.

So today we could have been disappointed if we held tightly to what our expectations of the day should be, but instead we went with the changing plans and had a great day.

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