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Moving on and out...


A nice sized parrot fish around the coral. I will have to say that I always seem to find "unique" animals here but not an abundance amount of fish. There are always some, but not many.











Ahhh the colors on the ocean floor...I just love it here. Greens, yellows, orange, reds...









Now I have read many comments, or seen pictures, of people snorkeling at various places in the Caribbean. I've seen them say "this place was like swimming in an aquarium" and think "hmmmm, really?" When I think of snorkeling and swimming in an aquarium...THIS IS WHAT IT'S LIKE!!! Seriously...it really is that good.











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Now last time I was here, I found some amazing coral that I referred to as "cheerios". They were just covering the rocks there.


According to scuba diving expert that gives me advise (ABQrobin)  these are very hard to find and are a scuba divers dream to locate. She believed they are called "Orange Cup Coral" and they usually only come out at night. They do not like the sun and they have flowers that "bloom" (tentacles) that come out at night to feed. (Hopefully ABQrobin will read this and see the ones that I got this time around...I believe they were blooming...in later pics I'll share.





















Can someone tell me what the heck this pink thing is? I'm looking at it and wondering what the heck? I have several pictures of it but no clue what it is. It was huge.














Banded butterfly fish








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Ok ABQrobin....here ya go....it's confirmed....orange cup coral. Look at them!!! So beautiful and they were out!!! In the sun. So amazing.


































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I want to say these are oysters. Maybe clams? I'm not sure what the difference is but I'm going with oyster I guess. They are always hard to spot because they look just like the surroundings. If you get close enough, they'll close. They had some pretty big ones here (just can't tell from the pictures).








This HUGE sponge was out in the very deep portion of the snorkeling area (past the ropes). I really wanted to get a picture of this massive sponge. But with it being so far out, the pictures end up not being very clear and they are deep blue and I tried to zoom in (which never works on my camera).






Now the red sponges in this area are AMAZING! Especially if you can get a picture when the sun is shining down on them.















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About this time, I caught something out of the corner of my eye. It was coming from out of the deep area. Could it be some ancient sea creature? Could it be a extremely large fish? Was it a dolphin?


Nope, it was a mermaid. We will call this segment of pictures Sakari the mermaid posing for pictures.


















She's got this pose going on.....















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I continued on exploring with Sakari. We came across a bunch of "feather dusters" or worms. I love these things...especially the ones that look like Christmas trees or multi-colored.














This purple and yellow coral...so beautiful.

















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3 hours ago, mitsugirly said:

Now I have seen plenty of questions about how rough is the boat ride there. Well, I took a video. Everyone has to remember that sea conditions change all the time and you can never be sure if the ride is going to be smooth or bumpy. You are on a speed boat...so...I thought (both times we have went) that it was a fairly smooth ride. I did see a recent review/comment about this tour and how someone said the word "St Lucia" is a dirty word in their house just because of the speedboat ride there and how bad it was and they never want to return again. So, no one can ever predict what it's going to be like. This was just our ride and day...pretty darn smooth if you ask me.



Kim -- I am the one who said "St. Lucia" is a dirty word in our house. We weren't on a speed boat, though (I think we would have been fine if we were). We private chartered a catamaran for the day and the seas were definitely not smooth. I normally don't get sick on small boats, but this was an experience. We were tossed around and two of us got sick.


The weather that day was a factor -- part of the day it was 80+ degrees and beautiful. Other parts of the day were in the 60s and raining like crazy.


I'm really enjoying your review. We're going to St. Lucia and St. Kitts next year, along with the ABCs. I'm getting into planning mode now and love all of your beautiful pictures.

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Another oyster






At the base of this green sponge, you can see a fireworm...they are the devil and will put a hurting on you.






Along came Kendra....flying like superman.









Another oyster...very pretty




















































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Once again, not good at taking pictures "up" in the water. See the little needle-nose fish at the surface?













More squid





Look how many....they just lined up and they go on and on forever.







Then I found my first trumpet fish. I couldn't believe I was just now finding one. The last time we were here, there were tons of them and I had spotted my very first YELLOW trumpet fish here as well that time. But there sure wasn't many this time around.









Then I caught a glimpse of a triggerfish. They are so cool to watch swim.






About this time, my camera died. I told Sakari and Kendra that I would need to swim back to the shore and change out my batteries and to hang tight and explore and I'd be right back. Well, we were pretty far out and it was quite the swim. I went as fast as I could, switched the batteries and headed back out.


Along came Sakari getting out of the water and said "Hey, we just seen a huge porcupine puffer fish out there"....um, SAY WHAT????? I asked where and she pointed way out there and said Kendra was out there with it.


I swam and swam as fast as I could and then ran into Kendra. When I asked her where it was she's like "Oh out that way". UGH!   "Why didn't you stay with it? I want to see! I want pictures!"


So, she took me back out there and we found it hiding under a rock. I took so many pictures of it before I could get a decent one and then it finally came out for better pictures and a short video.







Now he was a big boy! I just really wished that pictures could show how big he was. Pictures just make them look so small.
















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Then we spotted a cute little smooth trunkfish. I love to watch them swim. They are just adorable.






Now remember the red-orange cup coral? Well the ones that were closer to the shore were nice and colorful. The ones that were way out (the same place I found them last time we were here) looked very dull and almost a brownish-pink color. I remembered them a lot brighter for some reason and didn't understand why they looked dull this time around. But, since they had the yellow-orange flowers on them, it was a good trade off.


However, I didn't notice something else (by mistake when I came up out of the water to clear my goggles) that when the water went back and forth, the coral that was at the top when the water went away from it was really super bright! They were like a bright fluorescent reddish-pink-orange. But, once they went under water (when the water went back up) they were dull looking. Hmmm...ok, so the water made them look as though they weren't as bright as they really are.



Above water: 








Below water




Big difference huh?


Swimming back to shore...along the way.















I spotted some purple sponges...I love these! But it was just too far down to get a good picture of it and how purple and bright it was.













This mixed green and blue something or other was pretty cool looking. I don't think I have ever seen anything like that before.










This was a HUGE rock covered in coral.







Then I spotted another trumpet fish






Then I spotted this huge rock with coraline on it. It is always amusing to me when I find rocks with this on it because I normally don't see it (or maybe it's just hidden because of the coral growth over top of it). But coraline is a red algae, that actually looks purple, that's grows in a saltwater tank in the home. When you have this (and the more the better) it's an indication that your tank is doing well, it's healthy, and that the tank has matured. One of my tanks has tons of this on it and it is just so pretty and that tank does really well.




More squid...hanging out in the same spot as before.




















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I was almost to the shore, and in the sandy area, when I looked down and spotted an octopus.








Others in the area caught on to what I was staring at and started making a commotion for others to come. Well, this was scaring him so he tried to switch off.




It was cute to watch because he'd come to a small rock and wrap himself around it and start to blend in with the colors and then do it again somewhere else.







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Once I made it back to shore, Sakari had found something herself and couldn't wait to show me.










It was almost time to leave and people started packing up their things and getting on their boats and leaving.




I think we were pretty much the last to leave the area that day (meaning our tour).








This kid (and some others) would come around and make things with the palm tree leaves. They were very talented. They would tell you that they were free, but you could tip if you wanted to. This particular kid would tell you he NEEDED a tip. LOL






Sakari and Xander playing on the dock






They do have a shower here to rinse off. I know the last time we were here, they dripped...this time, one of the two was working.


There's a guy (he was here last time) that pulls up in a canoe and the canoe is loaded down with various fruits. We remembered him. He would cut up fresh fruit and put it on a plate for $5.00. Well, it was the end of the day and Kendra really wanted to try it. He cut up everything he had left and we all shared it.




Sakari discovered that she REALLY likes mango. So, I now have one sitting in my refrigerator for her to eat when we get home.










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It was time to head out and we had thoroughly enjoyed our day. I couldn't have ask for a better day or excursion. It was amazing!














I still had my "mask face" with the imprints on my forehead from the day...while blowing more eyelashes off I'm sure.






Well it looks like Kendra enjoyed herself.






There were times that Spencer would turn the boat and the waves would go up really high along the sides of the boat. We never got wet, but it was fun.









We went down the coastline and were told various things about the area.
















Of course, we were told this story last time...the hotel at the top is where the Bachelor t.v. show was shot with Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi  back in 2010. 








One thing they didn't show this time around was the "fish rock". There's a rock that looks like there's a fish carved in it.















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They were still smiling...that's a good sign of happy kids.







Sitting at the very back of the boat had its disadvantages. You could mostly hear the motor and not what was being said or hear the music (unless they stopped the boat). Well, all of a sudden I see both Kendra and Sakari with dancing heads. I have no idea what the song was but it was hilarious when they both started doing this at the same time.





Seagulls gone wild....mine, mine, mine






During one of those "turns"  woo hoo








Previous George Foreman house







The hubby was enjoying a local beer






We came to Marigot Bay. This is pretty much the "rich and famous" area. It's also the bay that's used when a possible hurricane is coming to protect the boats in St Lucia.












Scouting places to stay for a land vacation. Kia made the comment that she is really seriously thinking about doing a land vacation here and we plan on joining her. This would be an amazing place to stay and we haven't even seen most of the island.







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Ok, I swear the last time we did this tour they said this was the area that pirates of the caribbean was filmed. This time, they just said it was "shoe rock". See the high heeled shoe?


There were guys up on top waiting for us to come by. They put on a show by jumping off the rock into the water.




Two of them jumped. The other stayed at the top and said he had a broken leg? How the heck did he make it up there if his leg was broken?


Anyhow, the 2 kids that jumped came swimming over to the boat begging for money. "Money for jumpers?" They kept repeating themselves and no one gave them any money. They acted highly upset about that and the mean scowl they had on their faces was enough to put my money back in my wallet if I had it out to begin with.




This is the same as the last time we toured. I'm now thinking these are not kids just jumping off a rock and having a good time. They are either contracted by the tour companies that go by and to make money. Spencer ended up giving them money when no one else did. Last time I remember him handing them drinks.



On we went.




We were back to the dock in no time and there sat our beautiful Freedom.







Here are the leaf animals they made us that day. Some fish, a rose, a bird and a grasshopper.








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Back in port we visited some of the shops.





Then we headed back to the ship for showers and to get into something dry.


It wasn't quite time for dinner yet (not open of course) so we waited out on the pool deck and we spotted some dolphins playing in the water.


I grabbed my camera and tried to move the chairs out of the way to get some video of it. It's so hard to film when there's a glass in the way. There were 3 of them. My video sucked and wouldn't focus, but you can see them come up, where the bubbles area is at, and back down.




This time we decided we would head to the MDR for dinner. It would be our first (and sadly our last).














All the food was yummy and the service was good.




The staff put on a show for us on the stairs and did a dance.








Then they ask for people from the audience to come up and participate.








Everyone was having a great time. We ordered our deserts and it was yummy too.








After dinner the hubs and I decided to go to the casino for awhile and Sakari wanted to go back to the room and watch t.v. and draw. She's like this at home. She's such a homebody and would rather stay at home than go anywhere. There's just too much going on in her head and she needs to get it out on paper.


It wasn't the greatest night at the casino, but we were entertained for about an hour.





We returned back to the room and found our towel animal for the night. Now night one I left a note for the room steward to "leave all towel animals". We had 2 of them from the previous 2 nights and this would be our third. I have NO IDEA what it is. But it was looking cool with Sakari's sunglasses on.






I packed our beach bags for our next port tomorrow, watched a little t.v. and went to bed.







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3 hours ago, broberts said:






3 hours ago, newdestination said:

Nice photos!



Thank you


2 hours ago, brookie848 said:


Kim -- I am the one who said "St. Lucia" is a dirty word in our house. We weren't on a speed boat, though (I think we would have been fine if we were). We private chartered a catamaran for the day and the seas were definitely not smooth. I normally don't get sick on small boats, but this was an experience. We were tossed around and two of us got sick.


The weather that day was a factor -- part of the day it was 80+ degrees and beautiful. Other parts of the day were in the 60s and raining like crazy.


I'm really enjoying your review. We're going to St. Lucia and St. Kitts next year, along with the ABCs. I'm getting into planning mode now and love all of your beautiful pictures.


That really sucks that you had a bad day and sounds like some really choppy water. I'm so glad that you are getting a chance to return to St Lucia. I hope you have an incredible day next time around. Maybe it will become the best word in the house if you have a good experience. It's just one of my favorite ports ever.


Gosh I really want to do the ABC's. I just can't find a ship to do it with. They are so few and far in between.


Thanks for the comments.



2 hours ago, blueridgemama said:

How long does Sakari stay underwater and how deep does she dive? I notice she doesn't  use a snorkel.


She can stay under for a very long time if she wants. She's really good at holding her breath and has been for many years. She has challenged her brother (my 24 year old) before and won each time. She says she wants to do free diving some day. (I'm hoping she grows out of that wanting stage because that just scares the crap out of me).  She does NOT like a snorkel at all. Never has. She also don't like a regular mask either. She prefers her goggles that just cover her eyes only. Have you ever tried to wear those things??? So uncomfortable and I feel like I'm cross-eyed in them. LOL But it's what she likes and if it makes her comfortable, then I'm ok with that.



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On 5/10/2019 at 8:55 AM, mitsugirly said:





Next up was supposed to be Darkwood beach, but when we got to this one, he said it was Ffryes Bay. Once I laid eyes on the water toys...I knew this wasn't the place we wanted to stay. With this many kids, it just wasn't a good idea to have to deal with resisting the temptation not to play on them for the youngsters. So, we kept going...









These are the two beach we went to our last 2 visits to Antigua.  Just to clarify...the first photo above here (with the water toys IS Darkwood Beach).  We went there a couple years ago and there were no inflatables in the water when we were there.  The beach when we went was pretty quiet, other than by that beach bar in the 1st photo above.  We went further along Darkwood and it looked just like the 2nd photo above.  We spent our day there.


The 3rd photo is condos by the name of Tamarind Hills.  You can walk along the boardwalk you see in the centre of the 3rd photo.  Tamarind Hills looks incredible if you check it out for a week long stay.  If you walk the boardwalk around Tamarind Hills, you end up on Ffryes Beach, which is the last photo above.  We found that beech to be nice but too busy for us.  If you keep walking to the right when facing the water, you reach Little Ffryes.  It is much more remote and quiet.  We spent our day there this past March and enjoyed it.


A question for you.  I was told to try a beach on the far side of the island opposed to the ones we have visited before.  Looking at a map of Antigua, I think it was the beach at the Pineapple Beach Club.  Is that the first beach you visited?  The location looks familiar to what somebody told me.

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Looks like a great snorkeling spot!

Aren't squid cool?  One of my favorite things to find anywhere!

That is an amazing amount of orange cup coral, too.  I have never seen that much.  Usually it is in dark spaces, under docks or under ledges, not easy to find.  I would love to see it at night, all opened up!  It would be like a field of flowers.

The large sponges -  barrel sponges.  They can grow as big as 6' tall and across.  I have seen some in Cozumel big enough for a diver to get inside.

The red rope sponge is pretty awesome too.  

Can't remember what other creatures you asked about...  let me know.  


That does look like a fun tour, also.  The mud baths wouldn't work for me though, I don't do hot at all, ever.  

Can't wait until you get to the diving at Barbados!



Edited by ABQrobin
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Thanks for all the information on the baths. I was in the same mind thought as you....that the mud baths were just that.....tubs of mud that you climbed into. Never would I have thought you would have to “apply” the mud from buckets!!! Nonetheless, it looks like you all enjoyed yourselves and you all look 10 years younger!!!!!

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