Cayo de Agua, turtles, Espanky & Scuba!!!
Day 4’s destination for the day was Cayo de Agua which we were told was a gorgeous island 50-60 minutes away from Gran Roque by speed boat. But because the Posada’s boat motor went kaput 2 days ago, the boat ride was more like 1.5 hours - that’s what happens when you put 2 - 40 hp motors on a 30 foot boat. Was the 1.5 hour worth it? Heck yeah it was!!! I know I’m the queen of emphasizing adverbs when I describe something pretty or delicious but David is the one who had the description of this island covered. (Mom Rattray, you might want to skip right over the next part…) “This place is F***king beautiful!!!!” (Sorry.. But I warned you ) As if 1 beautiful beach was not enough, there are 2 beaches back to back on this small island. So you can have your chair on one beach, decide you had enough of that breath taking view; turn around, walk 40 feet, put your chair down and enjoy beach number 2. How sweet is that?
We usually can’t wait to put our snorkeling gear on when we get to an island but this time, it almost felt like something we had to do instead of something we really felt like doing because the island was so beautiful. The island was “sofa king” beautiful (get it?), all we wanted to do is walk around and engrave all that beauty in our brains forever.
After a few hours at Cayo de Agua, the *insert sarcasm here* super speedy-speed boat took us to a turtle hatchery where they spawn and introduce turtles back into the ocean. There we learned about the various species and got to hold a few little guys.
next pit stop was Espanky island, another divinely beautiful island where snorkeling is supposed to be amazing. The only downside was that we had only 20 minutes off the boat so we didn’t have time to go explore the marine life. Better luck next time. After yet another gourmet meal back at the posada, we went to walk around the village and had our now traditional pre-bedtime mojitos in a bar by the water. Tough life…
Day 5 is now known to us as the day that almost de-throned the “elephant owner for a day” experience we had in Thailand as the best day of our lives. We went Scuba Diving for the very first time!! Can’t lie to you and say we were not both extremely nervous about the whole thing. We thought an introductory dive like this would be a maximum of 10 feet down, kind of like as deep as we go snorkeling but with the scuba equipment. Boy were we in for a surprise. When we went to check-in with the PADI shop the night before, we got a different story. Replace the feet by meters, and you’ll be close to the depth of our FIRST dive. Yes, not 10 feet deep. 13 METERS deep. That’s about 40 feet deep!!
Jose, our instructor was fantastic. After giving us the crash course in a couple feet of water and taking us down 15 feet to practice, he brought us to El Morito where a ship wreck was waiting to be explored as well as coral packed with thousands of fish and sea creatures. David got to hold a sea spider while I absolutely refused to touch it. Eh - a spider is a spider, the only part of my body touching something this gross is the bottom of my shoe!
the other cool things include a huge Spotted Moray eel, a trumpet fish, a few ginormous midnight parrots, numerous schools of different kinds of fish and a 4 foot barracuda.
The experience was completely different from snorkeling. We both agree on the fact that other then the breathing that is a little tricky and concerning, everything else loses the eery factor. Fish are looking at you like you’re just another sea creature. Neither of us were freaked out by a barracuda almost as tall as me, swimming next to us… And a big eel that creeps us out even in pictures, became cute in that environment. It’s just a whole other world down there.
Another victory over the big bad barracuda was that one of his brothers was on my dinner plate that night. That’s right people, deep fried barracuda “nuggets” was served for supper. And let me tell you that it was one of the tastiest pieces of fish I’ve ever had. I don’t know if it’s the fact that it almost has the texture and taste of chicken cooked this way or if it was just the mental knowledge that I’m the one enjoying a taste of him and not the other way around - but this was one tasty sea monster.