09.12.2010 32 °F
On Wednesday we decided to take Shoal Bay Scuba's snorkeling trip to Prickly Pear island and Little Bay. We arrived at Shoal Bay East a bit early for some, uh, provisions at Gwen's.
Because we were having lunch later at Prickly Pear, we did our best to ignore this guy, but eventually the smell proved too much and Angel distracted him while I stuffed my pockets full of ribs.
Then it was on to Shoal Bay, a pretty nice little strip of sand.
Taking our rum punches to go, we headed over to Shoal Bay Scuba, which is where things started to go downhill for me, heat-wise. I generally love hot, humid weather, but I knew from an earlier check of Accuweather that, between the actual temperature and the humidity, it is about 185 degrees outside, and the air is dead calm. So I’m quickly reaching Situation Critical, and gratefully step into the shade of Shoal Bay Scuba’s little hut. THEIR EVIL LITTLE HELL HUT. That @#$% hut has managed to trap all of the heat and all of the humidity and intensify it about a million times over.
As you can see, I am not being dramatic at all.
I am dying to jump in the water to cool off, but we have to fill out the paperwork for the trip, so I scrawl my name on the form and leave a sweaty handprint on it for good measure. Angel urges me to drink something, so I chug the remaining rum punch and focus on not passing out, since I don't want to not be allowed on the boat, and I really don't want to be cut off from any future rum punches.
Luckily, I hear that splotchy cheeks brought on by heat exhaustion are all the rage this season.
Thankfully I was able to make a speedy recovery, and the boat set off. Ta-ta, Hell Hut.
The highlight of the day was the snorkeling, which was like something out of an undersea documentary. At Little Bay we saw enormous schools of tiny blue and silver fish, as well as several big guys like this one:
Oh, you had a hard time seeing him there? Exactly. It's all part of his people-eating plan.
When we asked what these large fish might be, our boat captain replied that they were probably tarpon. Later in the week we saw another large fish (off the GB Express boat to St. Maarten), asked what it was, and received the same reply: "Probably tarpon." I am starting to suspect that this is a catch-all term for any large, unidentifiable fish. The big fish that tried to eat Richard Dreyfus in that Steven Spielberg movie? Tarpon. What's really in a fish stick? Also tarpon.
After a full day of snorkeling, it was time to refuel with some carbs. I can’t go more than a few days without pasta before developing an unsightly twitch, and we hadn’t been to Luna Rosa in a few years, so when I started to get a little twitchy, we decided to give them a try. A number of memorable firsts occurred at this meal.
It was, for instance, the first time anyone ever served me more Parmigiano-Reggiano than I could actually eat. Well played, Luna Rosa. Well played.
It was also the first time I ever had gnocchi as both an appetizer (with gorgonzola cream sauce) and as an entrée (with bolognese sauce) at the same meal. If these were ordinary gnocchi, I might agree that a belly full of sinkers is not such a great idea. But these gnocchi were floaty little pillows of light and air and happiness. And perhaps just a smidge of ricotta.
It was also the first time that I ever thought I might not be able to finish a meal because I was just too damn hot. Me, not finish a meal? Never fear. This thing saved my life. Thank you, high-powered AC.
The next day we headed over to La Sirena for lunch. Or rather, Sirena Resort, as it is now called. Or Anacaona, as it will soon be called in print but not on the lips of anyone with pronunciation issues. Renaming a resort on a tropical island with a moniker that looks suspiciously like “anaconda” is one gutsy move.
This little guy joined us for lunch.
And no, I did not step on his tail to get him to make that face.
We like L'Anaconda for lunch because it's peaceful, the food is good, and that cat will eat whatever you can't finish.
Plus, he is perfectly accessorized to match my hat and bag.
The next day we had lunch at Blue, at the stunning Cap Juluca.
As this photo might indicate, I couldn’t believe they took the Greek salad off the menu. It's been replaced with a tomato and mozzarella salad, which I ordered instead. It was good -- as is everything at Cap -- but be prepared for a whole lotta mozzarella sweat when it's this hot outside.
Luckily the rest of the food was made with either rum or frying oil, which means that we liked it very much.
Earlier our bartender had mentioned that the resort was packed. She wasn't kidding: Again with the crowds!
On our way out, we saw this guy making himself rather, er, comfortable. I got the hell out of there before he could prop his foot up on the table and start clipping his toenails.
Speaking of random strangers, later in the week we saw this guy having breakfast at Kuyah. Don’t worry, I kept a close eye on him to make sure he didn’t try to use his pen as a laser gun or turn his cell phone into a getaway car.
Do not underestimate him, Mr. Bond.