This is the second half of our Saona Island tour with Seavis Tours.
Then within 8 minutes, we were at our sandbar location for the starfish. Well that was quick!
We all piled out of the boat...and here is Sakari with her life jacket on still...you know, the child that refuses to wear them when swimming or snorkeling! One of the tour operators said "Hey, the water is just over your ankles, I don't think you'll need that life jackets". LOL
We immediately went on a starfish "hunt". Everyone was going in different directions and then we hear the tour guide yell "Hey, stay together. Come back over here". Ugh, I hate when tour guides do this and don't want you to go more than 5 feet from them.
But, I guess he already managed to round up 2 starfish for everyone to see.
Meanwhile, hubby is telling me to "take my picture...like the picture we took at that one place, on that one ship, in that one port awhile back that made me look like I was out in the ocean standing on the water".
He was referring to Nohoch Kay, the Breeze, and Costa Maya back in 2013.
Here is the picture I took of him back then:
That was a zoomed in pic. Here is how far I really was from him at the time:
Here is the picture he was asking me to take this time and how close I was to him:
Noooot quite the same effect. With our limited 5' range from the tour guide, I'm pretty sure this would be the best we would get for the day. No more walking on water for you sir!
As people went over and sat in a circle around the tour guide in amazement of the starfish he had captured, along come Sakari with her own she had found! (Of course...that's my daughter...starfish wrangler).
People don't know us on these tours, they have no idea just how cruise/ocean educated my child already is. It's not her first rodeo, or second, or even 15th. But of course they have no idea and I wouldn't expect them to. But one thing they would learn quickly is she finds her own to share as if she was the instructor... and has been known to do some education to groups as well.
Yep, she gets to sit right up front with the guide during the "demonstration"...as if she's part of it. This is that grin I get from her when she thinks she's the center of attention.
*There are several thousands of different starfish
*Most have 5 arms, but some species can have 10, 20 and even 40 arms.
*Their hard bony skin protects them from most predators.
*They have suction cup feet, which allow them to open clams, oysters and food.
*Average life span in the wild is up to 35 years
*They can grow up to 4.7-9.4 inches
*They can weigh up to 11 pounds
*They have no brains or blood. They have a nervous system.
*Their mouth is located on in the middle on the bottom.
*They can reproduce sexually or asexually.
*Most can regenerate lost arms and they can also shed arms in defense or if scared.
The guide told us not to allow the starfish to sit on the palm of your hand...he said if they suction, you can't get them off. Um...ok. They have suctioned to us plenty of times and they come off.
We were told to keep them in water, only bringing them up for 5 seconds at a time to get pictures, then putting them back in the water.
A few practice shots with the macro on the camera. I'm still learning this part of the camera.
A few practice shots with the macro on the camera. I'm still learning this part of the camera.One of the other guides managed to bring a sea cucumber over. Once again, we encounter these everywhere we go and have many pictures with them. But the guide said "This is a sea urchin" ...um, no it's not. Now I'm pretty sure he knows what it actually is and mistakenly call it by the wrong name. But in his defense, he was just telling people to watch where they walk because sea urchins can be hiding in the sea grass. So, I'm sure he just said it by mistake.
Sea Cucumber facts:
*A typical sea cucumber is around 3.9-11.8 inches
*One end contains the mouth with the other end containing the anus
*Sea Cucumbers also have no brain or eyes and does have nerves.
*Most eat debris and plankton
*Their defense is their skin and can change from liquid to solid. They can squeeze into small places and harden again.
*Another defense mechanism is when they are removed from their habitat, they will PEE, which removes all the water out of their system and they can harden like a rock.
*Last but not least, if they are really scared, they can spit out their guts...including respiratory, intestines, gonads...all of it. They can self generate these organs if they are able to get to safety.
So...our guide would bring the sea cucumber out of the water several times and we would watch it "pee".
We stayed here, at the starfish sandbar, for 42 minutes. Then we piled back in the boats, sipped up the last bit of booze, and we were off for the interesting ride back.
On our hilarious ride back, we discovered that 4 people and 2 munchkins were also from Ohio. Actually all but one live about 10 minutes away from us in a little town we used to live in. These guys were HILARIOUS! Like seriously. We talked and talked and they got to know the hubby...of course business talk commenced after that. But the jokes flew and there was a lot of laughter from that bunch.
Also, I forgot to mention, when we were at Sanoa Island, it was time to pack up and leave and I was approached by some women asking if I was "Mitsugirly". I was spotted again. Was that anyone on here reading this review? I wish I would have gotten to know this group better as well because the jokes were flying up there with the Ohio people in the back. Super hilarious with tales of things going on back at the ship. (Bathroom......only they will get this). I think I over heard someone say the name Christine. But, I'm not sure if that was the persons name or not.
Anyhow, it was a very fun ride back to Bayahibe to say the least.
When we arrived and we all piled out of the boat, the hubs was still talking to one of the guys and one of the locals come running up and started pouring water out of a water bottle all over his feet. It startled him because he was mid conversation with my hubby and looking the other direction. He jumped..."um, what are you doing dude?" The guy continued to pour water on his feet. We kept walking the entire time then the guy starts yelling "give me a dollar"..."I want a dollar". He looked at him and said "I didn't tell you to pour water on my feet and I don't have any cash". The guy was highly upset. So you get off of a boat, walking down the beach, guy pours water on your feet for WHAT reason?? Because if he thinks he's cleaning your feet, you feet were already clean and dry after the boat ride and now you have gotten them all wet and the sand will now be sticking to them as you walk down the beach back to the office. Made no sense to me.
When we originally pulled up, we were given a cab number and told that the cab we caught here would be the cab we returned to the port in and we needed to remember our cab number.
I believe that our cab was probably the only cab that wasn't there waiting on us when we returned.
Sakari was impatient waiting on the cab, and must be related to the guy pouring water on peoples feet, because she ran toward the water stating she needed to rinse her feet off...only to walk back on the sand and get them all sandy again.
Sakari would go around taking pictures of any animal she could find.
Our cab arrived around 2:10pm and we got in. I secretly had hoped that Thrilled would have been in the cab catching her ride back too and I could catch up with how thrilling her day was. But...I opened the van door and peeked in and ...we were the only one's in the van this time around. It would be a long boring ride back to the port in mostly silence from the short but long day.
This happened immediately.
The Starfish Sandbar is pretty neat. I like that it is not deep and you are able to just sit in the water and observe and hold the starfish. It made for a nice time to end the tour with.
However, not allowing you to go more than a few feet away from the tour guide was a little annoying. I felt like a child being scolded. When my report was posted on TA, their response was that they do not want people to walk away from the boat for safety reasons because it can be hard for another boat to see you. Seriously? You are standing in ankle to knee deep water. If they can't see you, they probably shouldn't be on the water driving a boat. Just saying...
All in all, this was a decent tour and I thought we spent enough time at this place to make it enjoyable.