Checking out the Blue hole

What a peaceful night, wow! Just a touch of wind to keep berth comfortable and the perfect amount of movement on the boat, like rocking a baby to sleep. So in case you were wondering, yes I did sleep very well. We are coming up on a full moon so the tidal swings are more significate than typical and with it the odd appearance of the exposed reef at low tide. The objective for the day was to snorkel the north reef and scope out the blue hole (sandy bottom about 20 feet deep surrounded by a ring of coral and hot water coming up from the ocean bottom). We opted to wait until the sun was high in the sky and during the morning worked on some computer work (blog posting, emailing, and a bit of websurfing). Around lunch time, Carl started his strength workout and we hatched the plan to snorkel in an hour.

I went to my berth for some reading a just before it was time to go Carl lets me know that the clouds have rolled in. Ugh, we should have gone earlier. We waited a bit as there were some breaks in the clouds and off we went. The blue hole was about 300 meters from the boat and it is fun to have dark objects come into focus in the distance and see them transition into the colorful reef. The interior of the reef was much better than I expected and we took our time circling clockwise, stopping to dive down to look at this or that. My favorite of this dive was near the end when I came across a huge field of purple staghorn coral (see example below). Typically, you see white coral with just the tips purple and much, much smaller patch. This was a straight up field of bright purple.

We continued into shore after finishing the loop, and got to looking for papayas (Carl thought he saw some from the boat). Sure enough we came across a tree. The fruit was really high and deep in the forest, so without shoes a no go. We drifted further down the beach coming across a tree with one papaya that had a large area missing from a bird, a second fruit, which I didn’t hold out much hope for, but Carl waded into brush to the tree and gave it a shake. His reward a nice looking, ripe papaya. I had found a smaller, not quite ripe fruit yesterday so together we had a nice little haul. We continued down to end of the beach but never came across any other ripe fruits. I decided to have a coconut, finding a cut branch with a Y to knock one down with and some volcanic rock to bust it open. My refreshing snack and drink was just what I needed for the long swim back to the boat. It wasn’t too terrible but it worked out to about ¾ of a mile of swimming, couple that with a nice beach walk and you have a reasonable amount of exercise for the day.

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