23 July 2011

The selection of fresh fruits and vegetables at the local Farmers Market is always better the earlier one gets there so we arrived before 7 AM. There were lots of local bananas, genips, star fruit, papaya, passion fruit, etc. Jonathan had some fresh coconut milk and two feet of sugar cane (he didn't eat it yet). We also picked up a couple of lobsters for dinner and stopped at Centerline Bakery for some delicious pastries filed with local-grown guava that were delicious.

Back into the Sea for a morning dip and then Jonathan went to F'sted to hang out at the pier with George, Stella, and their Mom because a cruise ship arrived last night. Cruise ships always look out of place because they are so large and not particularly attractive. In fact they seem to me to be just downright obscene. Having said that, I know that they are significant contributors to the economy of St. Croix, especially the west end. While Jonathan was playing the good little tourist, I got in touch with Toby, who Mike left in charge while he is conducting law enforcement duties on Vieques, to retrieve all my stuff from the Refuge. After unpacking the boxes, I recalled the frustration at the end of last March's trip when I ran out of PIT tags. And, that frustration returned because I left the new PIT tags in my office. Fortunately, they are being shipped to me on Monday so I won't be able to set traps until then.

I followed a small green sea turtle afternoon while snorkeling north of Cottages (near where Julian photographed the turtle last March). The turtle allowed me to get within about 20 feet before it would speed up and swim away. Land lubbers are no match for sea turtles in their environment. It glided easily through water using just its front flippers for propulsion. Its back flippers were held hydrodynamically behind. It also swam in a clockwise pattern never really leaving the area in which I first spotted it resting on the substrate. After about 15 minutes I decided that maybe it was bored with me and went searching for other undersea delights. There were many juvenile French angel fish, rainbow wrasses, grunts, squirrel fish, sergeant majors, two large loaches (I think) sitting side by side on the bottom, a sting ray hiding in the sand,and many other species swimming among the gorgonian corals.

George joined Jonathan and I for dinner and spent the night with us in the Villa. Because Steve and Daniel aren't here and neither are the other mongoosers, Jonathan and I have lots of room to entertain guests in the Villa.