MITSUGIRLY has a JEWEL of a time on my 1st RC cruise in years!
Day 5: Martinique
DAY 4 ON THE SHIP:
Up next is Martinique. Another new island for us.
I set the alarm for 6:30am, as I had for every day this week so far, and the family was up by 7am.
We headed to the buffet for breakfast and I had my "normal" breakfast food EXCEPT...look what I discovered this day (after asking my hubby where the heck did he kept getting these)....hash browns!!! Yes! I also decided to get cheese for my eggs. I usually only eat eggs with cheese and it's the one thing I miss when cruising. I really wished the cruise lines would put out the shredded cheese! I swung by to visit Bacon Mountain and some more of that yummy corned beef hash. The cook didn't have any omelettes out to pick from, so just scrambled eggs with cheese will do today.
Once again...where is everyone??? Sleeping in? Not getting off the ship? I just can't believe we've never had to wait in line at breakfast or for a table or anything. I'm loving this!
Another thing noticed this morning...people walking in to satisfy their pop addiction...JUST LIKE ME!
It was 7:45am and we were still pulling into port. For some reason it took longer than normal to clear the ship. Usually they pull in and are cleared by 8am or a few minutes later and they let you off. Today, we would not be allowed to get off the ship until 8:40am. There was a lot of people waiting at the steps by then...THEN it felt crowded but the line moved QUICK!
Even though we were late getting off, I had to stop to get our pictures done. These go in my scrapbook so it's like an obligation now.
I will admit, I struggled with this port up until about a week or two prior to cruising.
I knew there were basically 3 main beaches, reachable by the ferry. But so many inconsistent reports on the beaches that I decided that I would just get on whatever ferry took me where ever and that's the beach I would go to FIRST then head to another. I knew I definitely wanted to do Pointe De Bout and Anse Mitan.
So...on the info I gathered on here...this is what I came up with for Pointe De bout, Anse Mitan and Anse A L'Ane...just in case we made it there as well.
Then I also typed up my own ferry schedule, according to their website:
I also knew that you was to head off the ship, down the pier and then hang a right until you see the ferries, which is a short distance away.
We started walking and followed this blue walkway. I seen the words Exit and Taxis and knew we needed to go that way.
I was actually very shocked at this port. There wasn't much to it. This was the vendor area and that's it! No Diamonds International building, no bottles of booze you have to wind your way around trying desperately not to let your beach bag hit it and no people trying to pull you in for business by yelling at you. It was very pleasant.
Just a few vendors set up and that was it.
I thought the exit with this turn style thing was kinda weird going out.
Ok, so we made it out. I knew we didn't want a taxi, we just wanted to walk down and get the ferry so off we went.
Exit...ok, going the right way still.
Still walking down this "exit" area...
Although the port isn't very big, they make sure you still have a long way to walk to "get out" of this area.
I seen everyone go left and was following the yellow brick road...only it was blue.
Blue is good. Blue is the color of the ocean. I like blue. I hope I like blue today.
But I was told you go right and down to the ferry by those on these boards. Hmm, could I have read that wrong? I would ask someone and they pointed left.
Ok, we are following the crowd on this one and throwing caution to the wind this time around.
At one point, on a huge hill, a taxi van driver with a car full of people ask if we wanted a ride downtown and I told him no thank you, we're not going downtown.
It was a LONG walk. I was a little shocked actually. The blue road led across the street. This was super weird. Blue is the color of the sky...which is now beaming hotness down upon on.
Another hill? You have got to be kidding me. This is NOT what I had thought. Everyone had said "it's not far". They said "super easy walk". They said "it'll be fun"...well not really on that last one but geesh.
Ok, I found this sign and it made me feel at ease.
We had been walking for exactly 10 minutes, but it felt more like about 20 minutes.
Still following the darn blue sidewalk. I'm not liking blue much anymore. Blue is symbolic of sadness. I am now sad that this is such a long walk and I should have ask for a taxi to "the ferry right around the corner"
WHEW!! It says terminal passager. That must mean something right?
The blue walkway led there. It was like trying to get to the end of the rainbow to find the pot of gold.
Although there wasn't a pot of gold at the end..just ANOTHER sign saying Ferry to the beach ------->>>> really?
We continued to walk, knowing that at least we were following the signs to the ferry. I see that darn blue sticking out on the sidewalk. I guess we need to follow it. Blue is the feeling of my heart now.
So...it looks like a fort ahead...
At this point I wanted to tie myself to the anchor and be thrown into the ocean...you know, where it's BLUE!
GASP!!! I see water! We MUST be close!!!
YES!!! Water...and boats...and the real blue I wanted to see.
But where are the ferries???? ALL THE WAY DOWN THERE! Sigh
It was a very long walk just down this road, which had a park beside it and was actually very pretty.
AH HA!!! What are these ships???? They took our parking spot!!! Now it all makes sense. Go down pier, turn right, there's the ferry terminal!!!
WE WERE AT THE WRONG DOCK! Ugh!
Well, at least that explains it.
Still a long way to go.
Well now...THIS must be TOWN and where the taxi van driver said he was taking passengers. I wanted to stab myself about now! He was only charging $2 pp!!
Alright...game plan time while we are walking. We are going to the first dock and where ever it is going...we're going! Deal???
Well guess what, the first dock didn't have a ferry so we had to keep walking on down.
Once we arrived, there was a ferry there and we stopped at a little stand under the awning on the pier and bought some pop for $2 and it was from a cooler and was ice cold! Just what hit the spot after that long day!
We got on the ferry and found that it was heading to Point de Bout! Perfect!!!
So it actually took us 30 minutes to walk here. Not really "too bad", but in the sun and heat, and not knowing where you are going...it felt like forever. But we made it.
We boarded the ferry and you pay once you are on your way. They give you tickets to use as a round trip so make sure you save them to return.
It was a 16 minute boat ride over to Pointe de Bout.
We were pulling into the harbor around 9:37am.
The walkway to the city area and the restroom and snack machines.
I knew from the research that I had done that you walk right across the street, to the right, and it would take you right to the beach .
Everyone seemed to be walking this way, so...why not.
I started to see water so we had to be going the right way. The last thing I wanted was another mess up. I had already had enough stink eye for the day about so much walking.
We have arrived!!!
I stepped onto this beach and I believe the first thing out of my mouth was "wow". It was beautiful!
I loved every little thing about it from the size of the beach to the swimming area, the landscaping and everything. Just beautiful.
Immediately this happens of course...morphing time.
So we put our things on the sand and by a deck. There was a lady that had been standing on the deck but I wasn't sure what it was she had come out of. Maybe a small gift shop or store? I didn't investigate.
She finally came out and sat on one of the chairs...not like she was relaxing on the beach, like she was only going to sit for a moment and was waiting on customers or something.
So, I said do you rent these chairs? She said "no" then she said "do you speak French?". I returned with a "no" and she said "yes, please sit" and gave us a hand gesture to the lounge chairs. Hmm, ok. So they allow you to come here without charging for the chairs? Awesome.
Here's an overview of the area.
Looking back at the hotel. I would just love to stay here for vacation.
The water was crystal clear. This was taken standing in the water looking down. Yes, there are some rocks here.
Sakari found her first friend, a sea urchin.
A slippery dick wrasse fish
Somehow I managed to get a spot on my lens...ugh. I hate when that happens and I don't even know it.
Do you see the flatfish flounder?
These are such unusual fish. They have both eyes on the top of their head looking up. Their body is flat and they blend in with the ocean floor.
Next up is a blue and yellow damselfish. These little suckers can be mean and will snip at you if you get too close to their territory. As an marine aquarium hobbyist, these fish are usually used as starter fishes to cycle an aquarium. However, there are not many fish that you can put in with them because of their "attitude" and most people get rid of them...IF they can catch them because they are quick. Did you know that the clownfish (nemo) is also in the damselfish "family"? Who would have thought such a cute little nemo could be like that? Well I'm here to tell you that my 2 clownfish definitely have attitude and it's been hard to keep any tankmates with them. "Fish are friends, not food".
There were some type of little holes dug everywhere, but I never did see anything come out of them. I was thinking maybe they were crabs or something.
Yikes!! Barracuda! He turned the other way and so did I!
I was taking a picture of this grunt and the little fishes swimming along the top. I had NO IDEA how I missed this huge fish swimming by me and under me. I guess you can call this a photobomb.
Lots of little neon fish
Just look how clear that water is from above.
This is the area along the left side of the beach (when you are facing the water).
I thought this shot turned out amazing. Almost a perfect line between the upper and lower. If only there were more fish under the water in that pic and it would have turned out perfect. I do spot a few baby sergeant majors in there though.
Now there's a friendly nemo!
More fishy at the top. This area was so neat.
Here's another Damselfish, but black. This one was a little more territorial than others we have come across. He actually came after Sakari and bit her wrist band and camera. He was a little, well actually a lot, bigger than most that you see, so that would have put a bit of hurting on ya had it got skin. Then a bunch of sergeant majors...very, very small ones
A blue striped lizard fish. These things are pretty weird and have razor sharp teeth. They are known to hide in the sand and attack their pray, which is usually other fish. If you ever see a picture of one from the front (hard to get because they will scurry off if you get too close), then they resemble a lizard.
There's 2 in this picture.
This is how far they were down from the top of the water.
Squirrel fish. You can always tell these by their larger than normal eyes and they are usually some form of red and hiding under a rock or nearby. They scare very easily. Then a Yellowtail surgeonfish and maybe some scissortail fusiliers?
A decent sized feather duster worm and some coral down there.
Some sponges and another lizard fish. You can see more of his face in this one. Kinda reminds you of an iguana.
There's an anemone in the rocks, but very hard to see due to the darkness under that rock. And of course a fish staring me down like that's his home.
Ok...I don't know how the heck I spotted this, but it caught my eye instantly when I was going by. It just didn't look like a normal rock. Do you see it?
IT'S A CLAM!! I have never seen one in the ocean before (I think???). I wasn't even for sure until I decided to dive down a little closer and it closed up really quick. I was so excited!!! Another first for me! I love when I have "firsts" on any trip.
So, I took a better look and seen that there was actually another. It was open one minute and then closed the next. (It's to the right of my name) and the other is at the bottom to the right of a rock that is shaped like a conch kinda.
They are pretty camouflaged but them opening and closing is what made me spot them and when they were open, it was a little zig zag mouth.
This is also a first...I'm not 100% positive if this is a jackknife fish or what. I first thought it was a Cardinal Fish, but we had 2 of them and it wasn't the same. Then I though maybe a tophat, but then I come across the jackknife fish and that's what I'm going with unless someone tells me different. I just know I have never seen one like this before and it was exciting. It had such pretty long and flowing fins.
Needlenose fish swimming at the top of the water.
I would say that this was the first place that I had ever seen sea urchins with greenish type spines. They had a lot of them here. Usually they are the white/gray colors like Sakari was holding in pictures. They were everywhere and picking up everything along the way. We call them bulldozers in our aquariums because they like to rearrange everything in it. They'll even pick up your coral and move it somewhere else. LOL
She had a collection. "Take my picture so I can put them back". Not sure just how many you need to pose proper for a terrific photo...she seemed to think 3 was her lucky number.
We decided to head across the water toward the other side and explore around the dock and restaurant that was out over the water.
Daddy was resting since I have had him up at the crack of dawn every day.
Crystal clear water
A beautiful nice sized feather duster on the rocks. I love these things. I want some big ones for my tanks. I recently had a few show up on some of my rocks, but they are VERY small and will take awhile to grow to this size. I have one that has a white double head on it (2 feather dusters in 1) and another that is blue. For those that don't know...they are a worm.
I'm wondering if this is the same type of fish that photo-bombed my other picture. It sure looks the same.
Look!!! Another clam! Can you spot it? Right under my name.
Another lizard fish.
There were some black spiny sea urchins here and also, if you look good enough in the middle of the picture, you will see a pencil sea urchin.
For some reason I drifted away from the dock area and looked down. I have no idea why I did this but something was telling me to go out a little....THEN I SPOTTED THIS...DO YOU SEE IT????
My very first SEAHORSE!!! By the way, that's a sea urchin to the right of it covered in its prized possessions it found for the day. LOL
I couldn't believe my eyes! I was actually looking at a sea horse in the ocean...that I found MYSELF! I have been looking for seahorses since 2011 and I have even scuba dived a place that is known for seahorses all the time and still never found one.
I yelled for Sakari to come...she hurried. She seen it right before it went into this stuff.....
She was able to find it and held it for a second very gently (our neighbor has seahorses and she loves them). Did you realize you that seahorses can get air bubbles in the pouch (the male) and you sometimes have to burp them? Our neighbor has to take him out and burp him every so often. How do you know when they need burped? They swim upside down!!! I seahorse sit for them when they are out of town or on a cruise. They are such neat creatures...especially during feeding. Their jaws slam shut and you can hear the snapping outside the tank and it's LOUD.
Also...while we were on this cruise, she messaged me with the news...she became a grandma....to 16 baby seahorses!!! They had babies!!!
They are so cute!!! They have managed to lose a lot of them though. It's not easy to keep them alive. I think the other day they said they had 6 left.
So I might have my clams and oysters mixed up...I'm not really sure but those things with the shells and animals in it. LOL If anyone knows the difference, let me know. They are still a first for me.
Here's a bunch of them (I think). Or these could be something else. Then a beautiful blue sea anemone.
Some Christmas tree worms (and a grunt)! My favorite of all!
There was tons of coral and sponges under here. It was beautiful.
Look at all the worms. If you see all the little tube like things in the picture with holes, those are what the feather duster worms live in and those are just not out at the time that I took the pictures. But, there's tons of them that are out. (Check out the fish peaking around the corner at me).
The whole family of fish came out to say hello.
So beautiful and bright. There's even a yellow Christmas tree worm on the left side.
They were still watching me. LOL So curious.
Just look at all those colors...there's even a dark purple in there!
Here's a bunch with blue and green in it too and I have no idea what the huge thing is at the bottom, but it was interesting.
More blues...I love the blues and purples. You don't see it often.
Always, always, always check under docks and their pillars. I have found you can find some very interesting coral and sponges there. They are usually loaded if it's been there for awhile. Even if it's not the best snorkeling area, always check!
I left off with a new and exciting creature that I found. I have been looking for this for a long time. Sakari managed to see a HUGE one when scuba diving last time.
IT'S A PORCUPINE PUFFER FISH!!! I was so excited I almost took a big gulp of saltwater from gasping.
He was so cute! I love porcupine puffers. I've been waiting to get back from vacation to get one for my predator tank as a tank mate for our lionfish. They have such a neat personality.
He was watching me with his big eyes and fluttering around. I yelled for Sakari and she coming running...well, swimming.
I probably took about 20 pictures of him. I just couldn't get enough. I have been experimenting with my camera and trying to use the flash. Most did not turn out very good when I used the flash. Boo! I could have captured the cutest picture of him going behind this rock and then peeked up at me with his big eyes. It was adorable, but didn't turn out good. You can see him and what he's doing...just not a good picture though.
Porcupines are known to get so friendly with their owners (in tanks) that they will come up to the top and to get your attention, they will spit water and play. I can't wait to get one.
Here's a combined video that I took of him swimming around with us.
I decided that my day was completed. This was the best place EVER! It was beautiful here. It was awesome snorkeling. I managed to see several things I have never seen before. It was amazing!
I knew we needed to pack up and head out because I still wanted to walk down to the other beach to give it a try. Sakari wanted "one last time" and went out. She raced back to tell me that she had just seen "one of those clam things with the red stuff sticking out of it like at the pet store mommy". She grabbed her camera (for the first time this cruise) and went back out.
She came back in and was so excited and said that she managed to get a few pictures of it and it finally scurried away.
The clam looking thing with the red hanging out of it at the stores is a a flame scallop. I can guarantee that it wasn't that. I know what those look like and once I got home and looked at her pictures from the computer, it definitely wasn't that. It looks like a feather duster to me in a way. But, it's not fluffy like one and it doesn't have a bunch of layers like one so I have no idea.
She swears that after a few pictures of it (and that it was in a shell) that it sucked into the shell and swam off sideways. Any ideas???? If it was a feather duster, it wouldn't have swam off.
It looks like there's a head or tongue or something poking out in the middle. Maybe a small fish inside of it?
After that, she said she picked up a big rock...then jumped because there was a big crab under it.
She came back to report her finds and we started packing our things up to move along. At that point, the hubby told me when I was out in the water a guy came by about "did you pay for those chairs"....oops. His reply was "I don't know, you'd have to ask my wife and she's out there" and points to the water. He never came over when we were packing up and he never approached me.
I snapped a few more pictures as we were leaving. I didn't realize my lens had fogged up. This is one of the drawbacks to having an additional lens on the camera (my fisheye). It will fog up easily. The other draw back is the water line you get sometimes as you tilt the camera. You have to wait for it to fill up and go away, otherwise you'll get a line in the picture (like the line in my porcupine puffer fish pic). I'm inpatient, so I get a lot of pictures with lines. LOL
It was now 11:30am and we headed back the way we had come to exit the beach area.
We made it to the street and turned right to head toward town.
There were beautiful flowers everywhere. It was so pretty there...or maybe I was just used to the snow back home that everything and every color was magnified x3.
I stopped to take some more pictures of the flowers along the way while the hubby went into a small grocery store to get us some pop.
He hubs came out empty handed and said they did not take US $$. Well crap.
These lines and colors were on the sidewalks everywhere. Can someone tell me what they are?
The little town.
People on the boards always talk about "go here or go there to eat" in this little town. However, no matter where we stopped, none of them took US money! We stopped at 3 different places.
There's a roundabout coming up. I didn't remember anyone saying anything about that in their directions to get to the beach.
We decided to keep going. We headed down a hill and I really hoped that we hadn't missed a turn to the beach because if we did, that meant we'd have to walk back up this hill and I really wasn't trying to do that.
I looked to the right, after getting down the hill, and I spotted water. I decided to head that way. I mean you can't go wrong if you actually see water right?
Our first glance of the beach at Anse Mitan. Hmm...
The beach was huge. The sand was soft and nice. But, it just didn't impress me after coming from the place we just came from.
The sun was blaring hot and there wasn't much shade. Where there was shade, people were already sitting of course.
I didn't think the beach was very crowded. At least not like I expected with 3 ships in port plus the locals and land vacationers.
We decided to walk on down the beach some. I really didn't see anyone out renting chairs in the area and absolutely no one approached us about it as we walked.
We were very thirsty and hungry. I could see a pier and thought maybe that was the place the ferries went and we should just go down there and find out and be close to that area.
We came across a building that looked like a place to eat that said "Welcome cruisers". I knew we had to be at the right place. They did have a bunch of chairs and umbrellas in front of the restaurant, so I figured we'd eat and then rent some chairs.
We went in and they seated us. Hmm, wine glasses, table clothes, cloth napkins and silverware set up in a square formation. Oh boy...I had a feeling this was not the local hamburger and fries joint.
They handed us the menus and my eyes popped out. Nothing but steaks and seafood and high prices. Not at all what we were looking for.
We tried to inconspicuously ask the waiter "do you serve burgers?" He kept a tight lip and didn't even bust out into laughter and said..."right this way"...and basically snuck us out the back door of shame (which was really the side door) and pointed in the direction across the deck and said "that's were the cheap-o's go to eat". (Just kidding of course).
Yes! We found our burgers and fries! Pay attention to the menu.
So I place my order for the cheeseburger and fries meal and a soda. The hubby places his order while I'm asking Sakari what she wants to eat from the kids menu. I guess they actually asked the hubs what he wanted on his cheeseburger (they did not me and I assumed you had to tell them if you wanted anything on it and figured mine would come plain). He also added bacon to his sandwich.
I tell them Sakari wants the "nuggets" meal. They tell me they don't have any. So I said a cheeseburger meal then. She said they don't have it. I asked what she did have and she replied "hamburger child meal". Um ok. So, she'll have that and make it a cheeseburger. She replied "we can't do that". What do you mean you can't do that???? She said "it's against the rules to give kids the cheese". SAY WHAT??? Charge me for it. I don't care. She doesn't want a plain hamburger, she wants a cheeseburger. She went to the back to talk to someone and came back and said "we don't have cheese". So I asked if I was getting cheese with mine and she said yes. Ok, so obviously you HAVE cheese! She went to the back again and came back and said "ok, we will give her cheese". GEESH! Seriously? Over cheese? You can't slap a piece of cheese on it and charge me? Here's the thing...the cheeseburger and fries platter were EXACTLY the same thing. There was no difference in the portion or the size of the hamburger or the bun!!!
We got our drinks and sat down.
Our food came to $28. Then she said "wait I forgot charge". Then it came to $35 US. Did she just charge me $7 for cheese? I have no idea the conversion or how to read it for the charges.
Sakari found birds of course.....
When our burgers came, mine was loaded with everything. Ugh! It had tomatoes on it, which I can't stand and some type of "sauce".
I had to use our paper napkins to wipe it off. ICK
The hubbys sandwich only had what he requested AND 3 pieces of completely uncooked bacon!! Seriously? He took that right back up and told them to cook it this time...and they did. Is this standard to eat raw bacon here?
We finished our meal and headed back out to the beach. At least our bellies were satisfied now.