Day 4, Tuesday, September 13, 2016
I was on the dock in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas by 8:20 and on my way to a SNUBA adventure at Coral World Ocean Park. This was a first for me, and I looked forward to it. I was not disappointed. Except for being tethered to the oxygen, SNUBA is similar to snorkeling, but at a deeper depth. Since my body is very buoyant, I wore 11-pound weights to keep me at around 20 to 25 feet below the surface, about one atmosphere below sea level. My ears popped and it took most of the rest of the day to equalize the air pressure in my sinuses. Even so, the experience was worth the discomfort.
After the SNUBA, I visited the 42-acre park. There were turtle pools, birds, demonstrations with various aquatic animals such as sharks and sea lions. The park has an open-water system where water flows through each of the exhibits and back out to the ocean. After exploring the park, I sat on the beach people watching. There were a lot of islanders on the beach, and I enjoyed listening to the Creole, Spanish, and melodic English. As I was walking along, I stepped on an iguana’s tail and jumped when I felt it move. I’m glad the Florida reptiles are not this size. These herbivores have spines on their back and down their tails. Like many other lizards, iguanas will grow a second tail if the original one breaks off in a defensive maneuver. Iguanas have a dewlap, the flap of skin below their chin, that helps regulate body temperature. Apparently, female iguanas find the dewlap attractive. Though not eaten on St. Thomas, the iguana is eaten, and, you guessed it, tastes like chicken.
Later in the day, mom and I sat in the hot spa, sipping a Painkiller Cocktail, a rum concoction that was the drink of the day. I took a tube ride down the water slide, just to say I did. I didn’t think at my age that it was wise to take a ride down the other slide where you stood on a platform that opened and dropped you almost vertically. Do you think you would have enjoyed that free-fall sensation?
At night we went to the show, For the Record: The Brat Pack. This musical production of The Breakfast Club featured the music of the 80s. The strobing lights, the choreography, and the vocal quality made this the best performance on this ship. In fact, it exceeded anything I have seen recently. For being on vacation, mom and I keep busy.