Ocean Surfari 2022
Today I had booked a sailing snorkel excursion that everyone on the St Thomas facebook had raved about and said it was so much fun.
We left around 12 noon and headed to Red Hook. I wanted to be early because I know Red Hook is such a busy place and I had no idea where parking was going to be. We arrived and found our meeting spot and there happend to be a parking garage across the side street. From our vehicle we could see our excursion boat.
The parking garage:
We waited in the car until around 12:30pm and then went to go find the Ocean Surfari building to check in.
Ocean Surfari has an entire store with clothes and supplies. I had seen everyone on the island (and even on our plane to St Thomas) wearing Ocean Surfari shirts. Well, I had to have one too. I ended up with a bright pink rash guard and the hubby got a black one. I mean we couldn't resist since they were buy one get one free plus $10 extra off coupon deal. Kiera also did a little shopping and bought some tops that were buy one get one.
They were also selling containers of fish to feed the tarpon they had along the dock. I asked the girls if they wanted to feed them and of course they were not about to pass that up. The containers were $3 each.
After feeding the tarpon, we went back around to the front of the building to wait until it was time to line up and get on the boat. Chickens and roosters were always running the streets and this rooster I thought for sure was going to go into the store since they left the door open all the time.
When we first checked in they said "hang out until about 1:55pm, go get some lunch, do some shopping and then meet back here."
As we were standing outside, the hubby looks over at the grocery store across the street...
On the side of Moe's Fresh Market there was a sign that said "Stone House Subs" and the hubby ask if my taste buds felt like a sub. Hmm, sure why not! The girls were not hungry. So, he went over to get us some subs.
He was taking quite some time and I was getting worried. It was within
minutes of the time they told us to meet and he was nowhere in sight. I started
texting him and he said "Don't worry, they will not leave without me. One of
the people from our excursion is here getting a sub too!"
Finally he came around the corner and I could breathe a sigh of relief. We ate our subs and Oh Em Gee! They were so delicious. I wasn't even that hungry and I put that sub down like it was going to be the last meal of the day. I was really shocked to find out that the subs were only $5 each! We got 2 subs, 2 pops and 2 gatorades for only $18.95! I thought that was pretty cheap!
It was time to get on the boat and off we went. They informed us that only people from St Thomas would be going on this excursion (normally they pick up people from St John after us).
Our captain for the day was Jake, as in Jake from State Farm he said. He was funny and had a lot of jokes. He was going to be fun. They played music on our way and he continued to joke around. He was from North Carolina.
I guess the girls were having a good time and moved up to the front of the boat to take pictures and videos for me.
You could tell we were getting close when we started seeing other boats
We were arriving at Maho Bay in St John. I had hoped we would be going to some place we had never been (we went to Maho last time) but I guess it was ok. We were going snorkeling and we were going to see turtles!!
We had arrived and was given instructions of where to go once we got off the boat. They pointed waaaaaayyyy over there and said by the yellow markers. Wait what? Why the heck are we parked so far away then? There are much closer boats. We most definitely could have parked in the handicapped parking spot IMO. Geesh!
I handed Sakari one camera, I had the other and then gave the GoPro to the hubby. We jumped off the boat.
Whew, that was refreshingly cold....and a shock to the system.
The kids and I were in the water, but the hubby was still on the boat talking to the crew. I got tired of waiting and we started swimming. He'd be along. We were in such deep water that it was hard to see the bottom...or much of anything at that point.
When we were finally close to the markers they told us to go to, things were getting clearer and you could now see the bottom of the ocean floor. Then we started spotting turtles...everywhere and the weird thing was, every turtle had at least one remora on them. I have only seen a remora maybe once, and I believe it was in St Thomas, at Coki I think. But this many?!? It was insanely neato!
These remora's are very odd looking. I didn't realize until now.
Sakari was able to dive down close to them and get all these awesome pictures. I can never get down far enough because I'm fluffy and I drift back up
How awesome are Sakari's pictures? She was really all up in the turtles personal space. Then she came up....The next thing that happened was NOT awesome. I caught a glance at her camera AND IT WAS OPEN!! The door to the area that you charge was OPEN! OMG!!! I screamed for her to give me the camera and I quickly shut the door. I tried turning it on and nope...nothing. My heart was beating fast, my head was spinning...omg, what about all of my pictures on the sd card??? Will they work? Will the camera ever work? How am I going to save the pictures??? I was very distraught after this. Sakari felt bad. I tried not to show it. I didn't want to upset her but I was dying inside. I don't know how it happened. It has a lock on it. But somehow it got open.
I took the camera and put it around my other arm and we continued snorkeling. At least with my head in the water it would hide back my tears. Then Sakari screamed with excitement. "Mom, look down, there's squid!" I looked down and didn't see anything. My head quickly popped back up, Sakari came up, I gave the idk look and she said "They are babies...look by my feet" I looked back down and there were two little baby squid and by baby I mean BABY! I had never seen babies before. They were so cute.
We seen a few more turtles and decided to head back. I was still pretty distraught and just wanted to get back to the boat to try another battery in the water logged camera or try the sd card in my good camera. I just had to know. On the way back here come the hubby with the GoPro. Well, it's too late. You took too long we are going back...my camera is ruined...and I kept going. Sakari did take over the GoPro and got some footage before we made it out of the area. It was a long swim back.
I got back to the boat and tried every combination I could for both the camera and sd card and nothing worked. Sakari looked at me with that "look". She knew I was upset. She felt really bad. She knows how much my pictures mean to me. I'm not worried about the camera. Camera's can be replaced. Yes, they are expensive, but replaceable. The pictures you take on them...cannot be replaced and these were my vacation pictures. My review pictures. I really tried to play it off. I didn't want her upset. She said she was sorry, but not sorry as in you lost your pictures, sorry that I did this to your camera type of sorry and then I knew she was blaming herself. Oh no! "It was NOT your fault Sakari! It came open somehow. You didn't open it. Accidents happen and it just happened when you had it. Maybe I didn't have the water lock clicked." She felt better after that.
It was time to move on to the next snorkeling spot. Everyone was back on the boat and off we went. We were told the next spot would have a shipwreck. Sakari got really excited over that. She loves shipwrecks. They said it was called Christmas Cove. We were headed to Great Saint James.
On the way there we stopped and was told about famous people that lived on the hill. They mentioned Ciara (the singer) had the bright yellow home and they mentioned the bachelor was filmed in one of the houses and Kenny Chesney owned one of the homes at some point. But they said too many people were coming over by boat and I guess stalking him or something. I believe he lost his home in the hurricane.
We arrived at Christmas Cove and "parked" our boat. They tell us the shipwreck is over theeeeeeerrrrrrreeee. I'm talking really far away. What is with these people? Why do they park so far away? I don't get it! So many places we could have been closer to it. But nooooooo. I was not feeling it so I decided I wasn't going to go. It was a far swim and I just didn't even care at that point. Sakari and Kiera geared up and said they were going. I handed Sakari the GoPro and told her to do her best and we were staying back. I told them both if they got tired to turn around and come back and give us a sign if they needed help.
Off they went.
Ok, I needed a drink! Let them babies start flowing. I started out with a Rum Punch, which is always the go-to drink in the Caribbean. However, I honestly didn't like it for some reason. So after that was a Pain Killer. Now that was good. We were served our drinks in plastic cups that had Ocean Surfari's name on it and the cool thing about it was when anything cold went in it, they turned a bold blue. They also had pop, cookies and chips to snack on.
We were told that we would be having pizza delivered soon. Yes, you heard that right...pizza DELIVERED.
Before long, the girls were on their way back and I felt relieved to see them coming.
Here they come. Back on the boat safely were Sakari would tell me about the "shipwreck" and how she thinks she got good footage for me. She explained it wasn't really a shipwreck, but more like a speed boat that was sunk or something like that.
They were just in time. Here come the pizza boat with our delivery.
Here is the boat that makes the pizza's ON the boat! How cool is that? They are Pizza Pi VI. (π)
We were loaded up with pizza now and it's time to get some food in my belly to level out the drinks I was pouring down it.
Pour me some more please and thank you. They were definitely helping with the pain and mourning I was in from the loss of my camera.
We ate and drank and was merry! Then it was time to pull out. They would find a spot to park to watch the sunset and we would party into the night.
We went by this place and I thought it was so pretty. I pointed it out to Sakari and she said she was looking at it too. I snapped a few pictures as we went by. Little did I know this was the property of Jeffrey Epstein. The hubby now tells me he told us that, but I didn't hear it.
They ask if there was anyone celebrating a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon....YEP! WE GOT A BIRTHDAY GIRL HERE! They had Sakari come up and they sang her happy birthday. With her anxiety, I didn't think she would go up there and I wasn't sure if she was going to have a melt down or not. But, I think she liked it. Embarrassed, but liked it.
I have no idea what our Captain Jake from State Farm was doing here. He was so funny and entertaining.
The music started playing and the dancing was starting. Daddy decided to pull Sakari up there to dance. You could tell she wanted to. Of course daddys idea of dancing becomes a game of flapping wings and jumping. I honestly don't know how he don't pull her arms off. I'm surprised she's not sore in the morning. LOL
Then the line dancing started. Sakari tried really hard to get Kiera out there but she was being really shy. I'm honestly shocked that Sakari went up there by herself. I honestly should have been up there but with the boat moving, being several drinks in and a bum foot...yea no, I had to pass at this time.
As I got up to get another drink, I went to the back of the boat to see if the sun was setting.
The sun went down and there was nothing to see. It was too cloudy. Sunset loving Sakari wasn't even paying attention. She was too busy dancing.
Sorry, I couldn't hold still to save my life and take a good picture.
When we made it back to land, the family helped me walk, while they laughed at every little thing I said or did, which I have no clue why everything was so funny but as long as they were having a good time because I know I was/did.
We had such a good time with Ocean Surfari and I would recommend them for a full day sail into the evening. Lots of fun and I'm glad we decided to book with them.
The following is a compilation of our videos from the day. Feeding of the tarpon, Sakari getting up close pictures of the turtles (they were just as amazing as her pictures she took. She's such a good photographer.) awesome pictures of the boat wreck and chicken dancing from daddy. In the beginning of the video, I was trying to show just how fast and bumpy the ride was going out. I think you get a good picture of it once I turn the video to the side of the boat as it went up and down. It was a lot of fun.