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:: Cap'n Yannis and Janti's Island

Ough. The lack of sleep last night is not what I needed for this morning, as we had to get up early to get to Clifton for a yacht ride with Captain Yannis. Captain Yannis has really done pretty well for himself since the last time we saw him. He's up to three yachts now, which all seemed to be on their way to sea today. We paid up front (Cambria was free, due to all the business they've brought) and hopped on one of the large catamarans. The weather wasn't looking that great, but there were only about ten other people taking the trip. In any case, it wasn't costing us much, and we knew it would be a full day with sailing, snorkeling, food, and booze.

Island snipers

One of the other Yannis boats beat us to the beach

Our first stop was a beach that Amy and I hadn't been to on Mayreau. This was another one of those islands that the massive cruise ships dump tourists off at for the day, but fortunately they were somewhere else today. Amy and Cambria hung out on the cruise ship's beach chairs, while Tim, Pete, and I did some snorkeling. For me, the snorkeling went pretty well. I was happy to spot a very colorful eel hiding in some rocks not too far from the beach, as well as the usual assortment of trumpet fish and sea urchins. We also spotted a large needle-nose fish hanging out near the surface, watching us. I think he was pretending to be a barracuda. Anyways, it felt good to be out swimming around, without all the scuba gear. Sure, it's nice to breath underwater, but the weights and everything kind of slow you down.

Tim and Pete taking care of the first round

Another cool thing about our time at Mayreau was that they anchored our boat in the harbor, not too far from where Tim, Pete, and I were snorkeling. When Tim got bored with chasing the fish, he turned to me and asked if it was time to get some rum punches from the boat yet. I agreed and we swam over to our floating bar. I doubt that I can properly explain my fascination with that concept. It's just that usually when I see a boat in the water more than two feet away from dry land, I think, "damn, there's no way I can get there from here". For this, we just had to swim a bit in deep water to get there. And there was booze waiting for us there when we made it. Pete saw the beauty of the situation and soon joined us. Yep.. Buzzed from the first round, I swam with Tim and Pete back to the beach, to hang out with Amy and Cambria, until it was time to get back on the boat and head over to the next island- which turned out to be the nice spot in the Tobago Cays we went last year

Tim leads the beach invasion, drink in hand

Observing that it's a big island, Pete arrives prepared

Making sure the beverages aren't wasted

Like last year, we stumbled along a path through the island to a beach on the other side, where the snorkeling is better. We finished up our drinks and planned out what to do next. Tim and I decided to hike up a hill to get a better view of the water, while the rest of the gang hit the water.

Looking from above

And to the right

After the climb, Tim and I joined the others in the water. I made my way over to Amy, who had found this big puffer fish hiding out in this little rock alcove. Cool.. His eyes were giant, maybe the size of my palm (no, Pete didn't get a chance to punch him). Tim and Cambria pointed out a pair of squid that I watched for a long time. Squid are just amazing. I wonder why you don't see them in aquariums so much.

Glamorous Amy


Anyways, when our time was starting to wind down, we woke Pete up (he had found a nice hammock after the swim), and walked back to the boat, where lunch was being prepared. From there, we sailed over to the palm island we visited last year (ie, the one where we were all drunk and making a scene in front of the snooty people who were staying at the island's private resort). We swam around in the water, but there wasn't anything to use the snorkels for.

Pete's on deck

When we got back to Clifton, we hung out at a hotel bar for a while. Tim spotted one of the guys that had been working for our bipolar dive master and called him over for a drink. As it turns out, he had pissed off the dive master that day for something trivial, and was told to go home. After telling us some more of the details, he explained that he was sick of Mr. Bipolar, and that he wasn't going back. The whole thing sucks, because Tim says he's a good kid and the job paid well. However, you can't blame him for not being able to stand bipolar dude. It almost makes me want to pay to train the kid as a dive master, so he can start his own dive shop and put bp out of business.

Later on, Tim, Pete, Amy, and I caught a boat over to Janti's island so we could have a few drinks at what is one of the most inconvenient bars I know of. You'll recall from last year that Janti's is a small man-made island that's at the inlet part of the Clifton harbor. For yachters, it's great because you can just take your dingy over to it (and not have to deal with those pesky, un-rich locals). For us, we had to arrange a pickup/drop-off schedule with a water taxi guy. Hmm.. maybe it's just me, but I find it hard to truly relax at a bar where there's a slight chance that at the end of the night, you'll have to swim back to get home.

Pete, Janti, and Tim

It's starting to get dark..

Janti has upgraded the place since we were here last year. He's now got some wind generators to provide power, and he's built up the bar's shelter a little more. Plus, I think he's got a pit for holding/cooking lobsters. This disturbs me tremendously now, after Monday's gasping-lobsters episode. In any case, the bar and the drinks were pretty good. The shelter came in handy, as a 5-minute shower swept over the island during our visit. When it came time to leave, people from another boat offered us a ride. Just as we were starting to pull away from the island, our water taxi guy showed up with this look on his face like we'd stabbed him in the back. We made quick with the money we owed him though (plus a tip), and he was back to his smiley island self.

We finished the night by joining Cambria over at a yachter's restaurant. I forget the name, but it's the one that's bounded by the pool full of nurse sharks. It was a little odd to see a shark fin glide by in the pool every so often. We had some super-girlie drinks, listened to some live music (T & C knew some of the band people), and talked for quite a while. I fed a scraggly cat bits of my fish, trying to recall which blues song had that line "I'm like a one-eyed cat, peeping in a seafood store" (it's Shake-Rattle-and-Roll, btw).

When we left, the stars were all bright and poking through the night, just like I remembered from last year. We caught a van for the ride home, which took us by dance halls where reggae music was being extruded through every open door and window. Not for us, though, as a quiet sleep-filled night was calling us.

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great hotel

Posted By: dirk verstraete
Sat Dec 17 06:27:19 2005 EST

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Sorry. Someone has been posting spam to the comments, so I've had to disable it for now.