Planes, boats and fins

04/30/2017 First of all, I apologize to those of you who received an email yesterday saying that a new blog was published, only to have me take it down. Somehow the post got published and wordpress wouldn’t allow me to get it back to a draft so I had to trash it and do a shabby copy and paste into a new blog. Our internet has been shit so that may account for it.
Saturday afternoon was the first I stopped and relaxed in a solid week. Remember, I’m O L D. Very old. Don’t misunderstand me, I had a blast entertaining Jillian and Justin this past week. Jillian is my great niece (well, Bill’s really, but I claim her as mine) and Justin is her boyfriend. It was Jillian’s second visit and Justin’s first. In fact he had to get a passport to come visit. We’re happy that he made it to Roatan. So are the dogs, especially Lola, she really liked Justin.
I picked them up at the airport on Saturday. I’m a weirdo who loves to go to the airport to pick up friends. I see so many people I know that it’s like a big party, this Saturday was no different.
Once Jill and Justin got through the insane immigration lines, we headed east, stopping at Eldon’s for them to get some food. After getting settled we all retreated to the pool, it has been so flipping hot that being in the water is all you can do.
Sunday we made the routine Mega Paca shopping trip then came home and got ready to go to the Reef House on Oak Ridge Key. We parked the car and went by boat for the short ride there. I was excited to see my dive friend Caroline there, haven’t seen her for months. We spent some time in the water then I got out and wandered around talking to friends. Tim Blanton, who lives on Roatan and is an exceptional photographer was there with his drone. He made a short video of the Oak Ridge area and hovered over the porch where we all were posing. Check it out HERE. Beautiful video of the area.
Monday we went to Daniel Johnson’s Monkey and Sloth Hangout. I didn’t know until Justin and Jill got here that Justin’s favorite animal was the sloth. It was a no brainer that we would go there first. When we got to the farm Preston was waiting to give us one of his exceptional tours.
One of my favorite animals is the Coati. They are a part of the raccoon family. Two of them live here.

The first cage we got to go in was the monkey cage. The white faced Capuchin’s are named after the cast of The Jersey Shore, AKA, Snookie, Vinny, JWow, Pauly D etc.  These monkeys are very friendly and love to interact with people.

They were particularly fond of Justin’s curly hair.

They are like kamikaze monkeys. They vanish and then out of nowhere come flying onto your shoulders. They were so much fun.

Next we looked at the spider monkeys but they are not very friendly so guests don’t interact with them.

When we were ready to leave Justin walked over to look at the water again and the monkey grabbed his sunglasses. He finally managed to get them back, all in 1 piece.

Next stop was the parrots, the Red and Green Macaws. These birds are so stunning. There is only 1 green one, Fiona, from Shrek. Her colors are so intense that she doesn’t seem real.

I think the red macaw is named Rose from the Titanic and the other is Fiona.

Jillian with the macaws.

This girl is gorgeous.

We saved the best for last, the sloths. These are all 3 toed sloths and are all rescues.

Quite literally, just hanging out.

Jillian and Olivia the sloth. The sloth is adorable but Jillian is gorgeous! Love this young lady!

Justin’s dream come true

The sloths mostly live in the trees and venture down to the ground once a week to poop and pee. Their only defense is camouflage, they do not use their claws except to climb and grab leaves.

Just an FYI: Daniel does not buy animals, every animal he has is a rescue and they are treated very well.

After we saw all the animals and were getting ready to leave, Daniel arrived. He invited us to go on his maiden snorkel trip on his new snorkel barge later in the week. We said sure, something else fun to look forward to.

We went straight to the Iguana Farm, critters to critters. It was a hot sunny day and there were iguanas all over the place. Jillian and Justin fed them, Jill wasn’t ready to get up close with them though.

Feeding from a distance

This is a black spiny tailed iguana, indigenous to Roatan. This one is molting, shedding it’s skin. Black spiny-tailed iguanas.

This dude just chased another male out of his tree. Sam (Arch) said they are very territorial, especially during mating season.

So magnificent.

Look how long the spines are on this guy’s back!

We had a great visit at the iguana farm, especially because we got to see Sam. Sam and Daniel (sloth farm) are 2 amazing young islander men (and cousins) who work very hard and are quite successful. I am blessed to have them as good friends.When we left the iguana farm I called my friend Marcia to see if we could come kayak and snorkel and she said sure. The 3 of us went home, changed, ate and left for Carib Bight and Marcia’s house.
An extra bonus of going to Marcia and Dennis’s home is I get to see one of my puppies, Duke and their other 2 dogs, Shay and the new rottie, Luna. Puppy breath is the best.
Justin, Jillian and I went down to the water and got the kayaks down and set off for the mangroves. It was a little later in the day so there wasn’t much boat traffic. We kayaked all the way through the tunnels and back.

Justin and Jillian

We then tied the kayaks up to the broken down dock and snorkeled out to the reef. For some reason it was extremely murky and stirred up and the visibility was not very good. And, my camera battery died. bummer.
Once I got more puppy kisses we came home, all got showered and went to Cal’s for dinner. We had an excellent meal, as usual. It was a busy day and we were all tired so it was early to bed that night.

The view from Cal’s and my friend Linda’s house.

Jill and Justin

The next morning we stopped at Jessica’s school to see why she was absent Monday. The teacher said her mother’s lame assed boyfriend kept her home from school because they all overslept. I’d like to lynch him.
From there we drove through Punta Gorda to hand out some of the toys that Liza and Mike brought down for the kids. Once again, it got crazy. The kids were grabbing out of my car, the ones I gave toys to hid them and said they didn’t get any. It became bedlam so I did what I had to do; I closed the trunk and left, no more for them. We passed out a few more along the way, choosing wisely where we stopped.
Jillian wanted to go to La Sirena in Camp Bay, it’s pretty much a must see spot. We all had onion rings and rum punches. My friends Don and Janice were there so we sat near them and chatted for awhile while watching the wind surfers. {side note, I bought a new camera, a Nikon CoolPix B 500 with a 40X zoom lens on it} I am still learning to use the camera and did not have it on the correct setting so these photos aren’t the best.

It must be so amazing to be wind surfing at Camp Bay, it’s one of the more pristine spots on the whole island.

Jimmy, the owner of La Sirena

Jillian and Justin at my favorite beach on the moon.

Looking east

Alligator Nose, just seeing it makes me miss the Duchess of Camp Bay and her husband.

Almost every day when we came home from our activities we jumped in the pool to cool off, rinse off the salt water and visit with the dogs. On Wednesday I thought we could go to The Buccaneer in French Harbor for something different. If I had known they charged $5.00PP entrance fee I would have stayed home in my own pool.

It’s a nice place but it isn’t worth the entrance fee.

They have an area roped off from the sea and pretty much protected from the waves. There are huge decks, swings in and out of the water, hammocks, floats. It’s just not the beach to me.

Floating their hectic career/school lives away

Unicorns, flamingos, swans and penguin floats. I can’t imagine what it looks like with all of them floating around,

Hammock row

Very colorful and somewhat tropical. I liked the ceiling at first but then I didn’t. It’s trying too hard.

I did like the hand painting on the wood deck

I think the painting would have been enough without having fake flowers and dried up leaves on the ceiling.

I have the same chairs

Not sure where these are going but I liked them.

Jillian was interested in seeing Cattleya school so I made arrangements with Connie to go there after lunch. When we arrived the students were with Kamille learning ASL. Afterwards they split into groups and did various projects.

Cattleya is a school for physically emotionally and mentally handicapped children. It’s an amazing school.

We watched the 3 different teachers conduct their classes and learned what each one was doing. The little girls flip-flops on the floor in the photo are some of the ones I donated to Cattleya, thank you Kelly. I’m still passing them out. I also donated the 3 games that Kelly brought to Cattleya.

The remainder of the afternoon was spent in our pool at home. We had big salads for dinner and drank some wine on the roof.

Beautiful evening.

Thursday morning we hung around the house, in and out of the pool, waiting to hear from Stephanie and Daniel. We were going snorkeling with them this afternoon. As soon as they called we went over to the sloth farm. I sat and chatted with Daniel’s Mother until they arrived. Stephanie’s parents were here visiting and they had been touring the mangroves, zip-lining and then going snorkeling. We were fortunate to be invited and very excited to go. Daniel just built a new snorkel barge with The Steelers (as in Pittsburgh) and Big Ben stenciled on the sides. Nice boat with an easy access ladder.

We went out in front of CocoView and snorkeled there. It was beautiful.

Daniel had my camera for a few minutes and snapped a pic of me.

My favorites, feather dusters

Another feather duster

Four eyed butterfly fish, Daniel may have taken this photo.

These are amazing Spaghetti worms  (click on the name for a fascinating video on the worms). They are alive and move along the sand getting food to take back to their hole.

Some pretty purple sponges

Justin and Jillian

Reef scene

Searods

This was the biggest Porcupine fish I had ever seen.

They can puff themselves up to 3 times their normal size by drawing water into their abdomens. Once inflated their spines stick out and they are quite long and very sharp. They do this to protect themselves from being eaten by other fish. Then we moved to a different spot to snorkel, looking for lobsters.

Coral

Pretty sure this is a Graysby.

Juvenile French Angelfish, Daniel took this

A school of grunts and Daniel took this too

Love to hate, hate to love. The Lion Fish. Beautiful but poisonous if you get stung by them and they are decimating the reef by eating all the small fish. They are the only fish you are allowed to spearfish (with a permit). Kill them all.

A conch slowly trucking along. I swam past him on the way out and on the way back he had barely progressed.

Daniel and Dustin (red shirt) wrestling underwater trying to pull each other’s mask off.

Beautiful day with our heads underwater with friends, can’t beat that.

I dropped Jillian and Justin off at Cal’s at 6 so they could have a nice dinner together, then Bill went down to get them when they were finished. They were done in less than 45 minutes, I thought something was wrong but they said it was all good, he just wasn’t busy.

The next morning we left here at 8:45. We stopped and got Ann then took Jillian and Justin to zip-line at South Shore. Ann and I sat and watched them zipping along under the canopy of trees.

Getting ready to go

The requisite upside down ride

Justin seeing the trees from a different angle

They even let them ride together!

As soon as they were done we went to West Bay Beach, grabbed some chairs at Bananarama and waited in the water for Sean (my friend from Canada) to meet us. Soon as he arrived we walked down to Infinity to snorkel.

The always popular Parrot fish

I think this is a longspine squirrelfish

A lobster hiding

I love when I see an opening out into the deeper water. Really feel like a mermaid then.

Blue Tangs

Coral

Sergeant Majors

Brain coral

Christmas Tree worms

I was swimming around in the shallows looking at little things and hoping to find this big Parrot fish. I swam around a coral chunk and there he was in all of his magnificent glory. I was lucky enough to be able to swim with him for several minutes, watching him do his thing.

Mr. giant Parrotfish, I was looking for you.

So amazing

You really can’t tell the size from this photo but this guy was almost as big as my dogs.

He had several fish following him as he gnawed on the coral so he could then poop sand. I know the best facts!

This was a beautiful anemone.

A nice chunk of brain coral

Justin and Jillian

The obligatory big chair pic

Such a beautiful beach. After snorkeling we ate at Bananarama then floated our cares away.

Ann walked up to a restaurant called Nice and Spicy to get her husband some dinner so we ran Sean over the hill to the place he is staying, then went back and got Ann and took her home. We went inside so I could meet her new kittens and I wanted Jill and Justin to see her place and her view. After that we made the long drive home. As soon as we opened the gate to come in the driveway the power went off.

Wonderfreakingful. Bill was making pizza. He got the dough rolled out and partially cooked on the grill before it got dark. Then we put the stuff on the pizza with the LED’s for the lightsource. It was so windy that Bill had to cover the pizza with another cookie sheet just to carry it out to the grill.

Nothing says romantic better than glaring LED’s. I lit candles several times, only to have them blown out by the wind.

The pizza master

Miraculously, the power came back on just as it was time to eat. We ate and cleaned up the kitchen and all ran to take showers while we had water pressure. Not long after that, the power went out again. It wasn’t only us, it was island wide. Just a 36 mile strand of darkness in the Caribbean. It really wasn’t a big deal because there was a very strong wind blowing through the house, keeping temps cool.

We hung out here the next morning, watching Flightstats to see what was going on with Jillian and Justin’s delayed flight. Once we saw it was airborn we went to the airport and got them checked in. The line for departures was long so I took them for a tour of Coxen Hole, the “downtown” center of the island. We drove all along the waterfront and stopped to take a photo of the new sign by Petro Sun. I dropped them off at the airport with time to spare before their flight. We enjoyed having Jillian and Justin and look forward to them returning.

I started talking to them about diving. I suggested they do the course work at home, then get their certs with my friends @ Blue Island Divers when they get here. I need to get Jillian’s sister to do this also, she will be here the end of June.

It’s been unusually HOT. 90 degrees with 85% humidity. Despite the insane temps the wind has been blowing hard and steady, keeping the air moving and keeping it cool inside. If there were no breeze we would either have to remain in the pool 24/7 or melt. The wonderful wild and crazy wind is blowing so much dust and dirt around that my screens are filthy and everything is covered in an inch of dust. Lola is sneezing and Barrio has goobers in his eyes, I think it’s allergies for both of them. Tomorrow is Max’s last day of meds, keeping my fingers crossed.

I have a busy few weeks coming up. A friend is coming for a few days to sign the papers on the land she is buying, another friend is coming to stay with us for 2 weeks while she sorts things out with her house building project. I am helping at a fundraiser for Cattleya for Mother’s Day and am also helping Nidia with a Mother’s Day luncheon on the 13th. TOMS shoe delivery will start in June, super late start this year due to some customs snafu.

Off to find something to watch on the computer. I hope everyone had a great weekend, it’s kind of quiet around here. Jillian and Justin, maybe you should come back.

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