|As we entered the bay, we could see this landmark of some sort, but I couldn't find out what it was.|
We landed in Castries, the capital, another colorful town, and home to about 60,000, although the entire population of St. Lucia is about 170,000. The people here are of a persistent nature as Castries has been rebuilt many times, following major fires in 1796 and 1813, and more recently, in 1948.
Today was a morning excursion, a SNUBA tour. It’s a snorkel-type of experience, but you have a breathing regulator like a Scuba diver, and are connected to a 20-foot-long air hose that hooks to tanks floating on a raft. You can stay on the surface, or dive down below to see the wonderful reefs or fish. I was excited to see if I could do it since I’ve had issues even snorkeling.
|There were a number of vendors along the road.|
The van ride took us through town. These little places have their own versions of traffic congestion, and this one was no exception. I’m finally getting used to the driving on the other side of the road, but still haven’t mastered keeping my nerves in check when going to the left on a round-a-bout.
|Go left!! Agh!!!!!|
We got to the beach and marina and I stared at the little rafts they would use … for our SNUBA and for the ocean walk that others were doing along the bottom under the water. We all gathered around and got our snorkel gear, fins, weight belts and breathing apparatus. Half of the group went to the water for their briefing and outing.
|The blue raft to the right is the one Jaz and I were attached to when we went on our trek.|
Our half of the group stayed behind with a lady who called herself “Cocoa Puff.” She instructed us very well in what would happen and how it all worked. I let them know that I was not comfortable in the water and had some issues snorkeling. They took Jaz’s and my weight belts and said they’d give us a personal tour. We waited. And waited. And waited. It was not well-organized and we suspected they were short a couple of employees that day.
Finally, one of the guys came to be our guide. He took us out to our raft, and instructed us in getting ready for our adventure. He had us practice with the regulators. I tried, and could not. I tried, and could not. I told him and he said to keep trying. So I did. And what do you know, eventually I was able to do it. I was excited by now. I asked if I could just hold on to the raft, and he said I could, and then he swam beneath the water and led us on our jaunt.
|This proves I did it.|
Jaz did not have a weight belt so she couldn’t go beneath the water and we bounced like corks. So, her excursion was not all it could have been.
|Jaz is very comfortable in the water ... look at those legs pumping along.|
Mine? Perfect, and I regained a bit of confidence in the water and was hopeful for our future water excursions. I had so much fun, and was ecstatic about the water by now. I’d seen fish and coral and nearly hit one of the poles on a small dock that jutted out into the water.
|Fish!! I saw them.|
|The black sea urchins are in abundance.|
|I assume this is some type of coral. But I don't know.|
|I know this is coral.|
|Little fish were all over.|
|This odd coral arrangement looked as though someone had planted it in a design.|
Yep, it was an awesome day for me, conquering a fear that had magnified last year with a bad snorkeling experience and a Scuba non-experience due to a failure at mask-clearing. Yahoo! I’m ready for more.