St Thomas Day 5

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It's a beach kinda day...new experiences

I was slacking today. I didn't wake up until 7:30am. I guess I needed my sleep. 

It was time for breakfast of eggs, toast and bacon but this time I have proof that I actually made it. We learned a new trick this morning too...once the toast pops out, flip them babies over and do the other side and you have real toast. However, we would also learn this toaster took longer to toast bread than it does to make an entire breakfast. Fail.

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Ok, cooler in hand...or in the trunk at least and we were following my MapsMe and winding our way around on a twisting turning ride and then up we went...clunk ka clunk ka clunk as the chain lift pulled our cart up the hill for the big drop and vertical loop ahead of us. 

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Wait, snap out of it! We were in a car securely on the ground and not on a roller coaster. We got to the top of the hill and what a beautiful sight it was...overlooking Marina Bay. There was a pullover site and at the last minute the hubby wiped our cart around the turn and....well we parked and got out and looked.

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After a brief stop at Marina Bay overlook, we were off again to Drakes Seat. I was preparing myself for this journey only to find out that it wasn't much at all. Decent roads, not too steep or twisting and we're all alive.  I guess our last little "journey" (from my last review) was so scary when we went off roading that it has tarnished my thoughts of these roads. But, I was happily mistaken about getting to Drakes Seat overlooking Magen's Bay. However, Sakari was complaining that the roads were making her dizzy and she felt a little sick.

What a beautiful sight it was too!

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We headed down a hill to make it to Magen's Bay and got in line at the entrance. 

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 There is a charge to get into Magens Bay. It is $5 per person for those 13 and over and free 12 and younger. It was $2 to park.

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The parking lot was right beside the beach and I really liked that. We found a spot, backed in, popped the trunk and took our things out and put them at a picnic bench that had some shade. Perfect!

The beach was gorgeous!

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We watched these weird looking birds scoop into the water and grab a fish and take off. They looked like ducks. Were they seagulls? I wasn't quite sure but if it looks like a duck and fly's like a duck it must be a Brown Booby! Yep, that's what it was a booby!

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I headed out to the water because it was a warm day and I needed cooled off. 

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The girls seen me out there and immediately decided they were coming too...and bringing along the water frisbee for some fun and games. 

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Flying the water frisbee provided to be quite the task. It just wasn't working out the way throwing a water ball does. It was going everywhere but to each of us. 

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As we played, we had an audience that stayed with us the entire time.

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Ok, enough of this...it was time to head out and .....snorkel???  This is a sandy beach. A sandy beach=no snorkeling...or so everyone always tells everyone. I'm one of those that go against the grain, the norm, the followers. I do my own thing and let's be honest...it's the ocean and within the ocean there is sea life. I don't care if it's a sandy bottom with very little to see or if it's a rocky bottom with a lot to see. I'm going to snorkel each and every place I go. I've said it many times before...you never know what you may see and I sure don't want to miss the opportunity.

The girls and I grabbed our snorkeling gear and off we went. We headed to the right side of the bay and there were rocks along that side. There had to be something interesting over there right? Found a huge feather duster.

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And a few more feather dusters (worms). They were everywhere. I tired one of these in my tank once. It didn't last very long...maybe a few months and then it disintegrated. I'm not sure if the fish I had in the tank picked on it or it didn't like the parameters of my tank. I was sad because they are so cool.

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Sakari came running over and said "Look what I found, it's one of those one "things" (Chitons). We see these everywhere we go on the rocks. They are hard and suctioned to a rock. They are molluscs and are ancient creatures that date back 500 million years ago.

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These were the rocks along the side. 

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It was pretty calm in this area so I decided I would give it a shot of my over/under skills. 500 shots later and I did manage to get a few.

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Now mind you it is very shallow along the edges. It makes for a great place for beginners to learn to snorkel or those that are just relaxing and exploring. You could sit down at any time and just chill. We did that a few times and just took in the beautiful scenery. 

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There were definitely plenty of small schools of fish in the area.

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Then we spotted a weird looking fish. It was brightly colored. I had never seen anything like this before in all my days of snorkeling. It had a striped body with a red and green head. It was beautiful. See, I would have missed this new find had I not snorkeled here!

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We actually ended up seeing two of these fish in this area although I wasn't able to get a picture of the other. After a lot of google searches for every combined wording I could think of I found that it was called a red breasted wrasse. It was so pretty and unique.

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We looked over at the grassy area...and whaddayaknow....guess what we found. 

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Then we went back to snorkeling a little more where I would find plenty of snappers, grunts , damsels and slippery dick wrasse.

My attempt of some more over/under pictures. I'm really going to have to break down and get me a dome for my camera. I think I would really enjoy using it...but would I have it at the right time that it is needed would be the question.

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We had gotten pretty far along the side of the bay and we were out where some of the excursions and boats come in. We decided to sit down and rest and just...well, boat and people watch.

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Sakari said she was cold and was headed back. Kiera and I continued around the area for a little while and spotted another turtle, which Sakari happen to catch on her way back as well. Kiera was so excited to see sea turtles. 

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After the turtle came up for air, it dove back down and went under a log. It managed to get stuck.  We watched and watched as it struggled to try to break free from under the log. 

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Right when we thought we'd have to do a "free the turtle" rescue, it finally broke itself free from the log. We've watched a lot of video's of people freeing turtles from fishing nets on the shore and it becomes viral. Now was my chance to issue my own video and become a internet sensation...and the turtle blew it for me. My one chance of fame slipped between my fingertips. Then the moment was over and the turtle carried on its business hoping that no one saw that moment of vulnerability. 

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Ok, it was time to head back. As we went along the edges, something darted and caught my eye in the sand. It was a cute little Sally Light-Foot crab.

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Christmas Tree Worms were in abundance in this area. They are my favorite of the worms and come in all types of colors. 

The magnificent Feather Duster

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We hadn't even made it back yet and Sakari had come back to show us her find on the way back to the beach. She had to show Kiera what a real Conch was...not just the shell you see in the store and hold up to your ear to hear the ocean. 

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Those eyeballs.... "Are you looking at me?"

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Now I'm just going to be honest. Of all the years of picking up conch shells to see if anything is in them, I have never noticed them having eyes. Like real eyes. I always see the little foot, but never eyes. It was weird. I didn't realize they had eyes. Their eyes are located on the top of a stalk and have two lensed eyeballs with a pupil. It is thought that they can produce an image. How cool is that? I will never look at another conch the same again and I will always look for their eyes too!

We walked our way back to our spot on the beach and by this time the sun had taken over our picnic table that was once in the shade.  We decided it was time for some lunch and I made turkey sandwiches. The girls decided to put their chairs in the shade to eat. Sakari only ate half of a sandwich and I would later find out that her stomach was hurting and she wasn't feeling well.

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After lunch, I ask if the girls were ready to move on to the next beach and they both said yes. So, we packed up our things and I took a video of the beautiful beach before we left. I can now officially say we've been here. I asked the girls where they would like to go between Secret Harbor and Brewers Bay. I explained the difference and when I reminded Sakari that Secret Harbor was the place where they had a floating dock off the beach that she jumped off over and over and loved it. So, they picked Secret Harbor and felt like it was a "jump" type of day. 

As we winded our way over to Secret Harbor, we were glad we were going in the direction that we were. The traffic the other way was terrible. 

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We finally made it to Secret Harbor and of course they only have parking for maybe 5 guests that are not staying there. It was later in the day so no parking for us. I reminded the hubby that guests parking is ALL the way UP the steep hill and ask if he remembered how Billy (my son in law)  had dropped us off and then walked down the hill. Well, since none of us (other than Sakari) had walked down that hill, none of us really knew just how far up we would be going. Sakari didn't let on just how far it was. 

We went up and up and up. Geesh! I'm going to have to walk down this? With bags? And chairs? This was not going to be fun at all.  So off we went.

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The girls were anxious and way ahead of us. Of course I can't walk very fast either.

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They were very anxious! They were completely out of our sight and down the hill by the time we got around the first corner.

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Finally we made it down to the beach. It was beautiful just like before. I really liked this place last time (other than going on our 15 minute scuba diving adventure) and I actually thought about booking a place here to stay this time around. 

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However, when we looked out on the water, we didn't see the floating dock now. Hmmm, what happened to it? Are you sure it's not there?

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We found a spot under the trees (the great thing about this place is that there is plenty of shade here) and I was ready to head for snorkeling...of course. Times a wasting. 

For some reason, Sakari didn't want to come. She said her legs were aching. She sat down and decided she was going to draw on her ipad instead. Kiera was ready to go out. Great! I have a snorkeling buddy that is as enthusiastic as I was to go. So, off we went over to the other side of the water. 

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We found a spot under the tress (the great thing about this place is that there is plenty of shade here) and I was ready to head for snorkeling...of course. Times a wasting. 

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We seen a few blue tangs and damsels.

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I found a sea urchin and brought it up for Kiera to hold. I explained to her the difference between this "nice" urchin and the "mean" urchins that are black or the red and black that would be awaiting to eagerly hurt her at any minute. Do not touch!

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Honestly, I didn't think we were seeing much. It was very disappointing. I didn't feel like there was as much coral or fish like there was the last time. What is going on?

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Former Amber Penshell, but it was empty (type of oyster)

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Aww, it looks like a heart (below)

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A cluster of Variegated Feather Duster Worms

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Then before we decided we would head back and across the water in the sandy area, I spotted this beauty:

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I motioned Kiera over and she squealed with excitement. Her very first stingray in the wild. She was wanting to see one so badly. Now she could mark it off her bucket list. 

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Then we spotted a turtle. I just knew we would see them here. 

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More magnificent feather dusters and variegated worms.

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We came across a school of fish. Then we noticed that there was a guy above, floating on floatie and these fish were following his shadow in the water. It was so funny. 

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A cute little squirrel fish starring back at me. 

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Aww, that face :( 

So sad.

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A pretty split crown feather duster.

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We arrived back to our spot on the beach and found that Sakari had been a little busy with the sand.

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The trees on the beach were so pretty. Not only did they have palm trees but they had trees with pretty yellow flowers on them and they were falling on the sand and so pretty.

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We sat under our trees as we waited for our bathing suits to dry off and along came a baby chicken. It kept hanging around us and looking for food. It was afraid at first, but it warmed up to us and got closer.

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Kiera just decided she was going to pick it up and comfort it. 

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It actually went to sleep in her lap so I guess it felt REALLY comfortable. 

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Sakari was on a mission to find this bird some food. She searched the entire beach and there were no little scraps left around by any munchkins. Soooooo....she checked the trash can. Yep, the trash can. She noticed a pizza box in there. She had me cover for her so no one would see and she went in like a ninja and grabbed the box and ran. Inside were a few pizza ends of bread and the girls gave it to the bird. It gobbled it up like it hadn't ate for days. They fed it until it was no longer hungry and the girls had done their good deed for the day.

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It was time to pack up and leave and we had a long haul up a steep hill ahead of us. But...I managed to talk the hubby into doing the haul for us while we waited down below. I knew there was no way I would be able to climb that hill to the car. We said our good-byes as he ventured up to the car.

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I used my locater to see if he had made it up the hill yet. The poor soul. 

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We arrived back at the condo to find that there was no parking spots available. There were only 5 at our building spot and you either had to go up a very steep hill to park or down by the office. We picked the office (which has a next to no spot to turn around...it was hard enough to back out without falling over a cliff. 

We all headed to the shower to get clean and I don't even remember what we had for dinner. The hubby and I sat out on the deck watching the moon in the distance bouncing off the clouds. 

The hubby took the picture below and it looked like there was a light shining down on St John lighting it up. It was beautiful. 

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Every night the dolphin enclosure was lit up and we had brought the binoculars Sakari got for Christmas with us and I would watch them swimming.

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Sakari was already laying down. She wasn't feeling well...AT ALL. She was complaining about her legs aching really bad and she had a headache. She took an Aleve and wanted to lay down for awhile. She felt really hot. Where is my nurse bag when I needed it? I need some vitals on this child.

 

After awhile she woke up and was burning up. I knew for sure she was running a fever and at this point she had tears in her eyes...and she don't cry for anything, even when hurt. She said her legs hurt so bad and she was really weak. She wanted to go to the restroom but couldn't even stand up. It took two of us to almost carry her to the restroom and sit her down on the toilet. I was scared. Kiera was crying and scared. Of course my first thoughts were covid because when the hubby had it last year his legs were aching really bad and that was his first sign. Oh boy, just what we needed while on vacation. We were going to be stuck here. I guess it's not a bad place to get stuck at. Right?

We got her back to bed and I took a washcloth to wipe her down trying to break her fever. She finally cooled off some and went back to bed. I told Kiera to keep an eye on her and to come and get me if ANYTHING changes tonight or her fever got worse. I usually get up a few times during the night so I'd probably get up to check on her anyhow. 

I turned off the lights so she could rest and went to my room to prepare for a VERY big day tomorrow and I hoped that she would feel better. Tomorrow was Easter AND her 14th birthday as well. I prepared the Easter baskets that Peter Cottentail would leave behind and an Easter egg hunt as well. I just hoped that she could do it. 

I checked on her a few more times and then went to bed. 

Sakari's drawing of the day (she started skating with her dad last year and recently took it up again. He does aggressive skating...you know, tricks and grinding on rails. He's a real skater boy)

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UP NEXT...Bunny day, a birthday and a cruise party

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