Yesterday Ross again treated us to some great activities to get to know each other and the island. We had some time to kill before getting onto our vessels, so our group explored Port Zante for a while. During this season, many cruise ships come and go, so the local merchants line the streets trying to offer taxi rides, adventure trips, pictures with baby monkeys, and anything else you can think of. We wandered around for a while and found it to be very touristy and a little obnoxious. Can't blame them for trying to make a living though, we will just keep our distance. We had some Carib coffee from a coffee shop which was pretty good. Our friend Lance bought a fried swordfish sandwich, which was actually very good. Well, the time to head for the boats had arrived.
We loaded into three different catamarans and set said southeast towards Nevis. Our boat was called Irie Lime, which means something along the lines of "good times." The photo above isn't of our actual boat but the one we thought we were riding on. Anyway, our guides were a hoot and they played music and offered as much free soda and water as we could drink. I helped myself to the Ting of course. After about 45 minutes of sailing we stopped near the furthest end of St. Kitts and were able to snorkel for about a half hour before lunch. Kater and I saw a puffer fish, a large trumpet fish, and a variety of other colorful little guys. The horn blew for lunch and everyone lined up for grub.
Lunch was BBQ chicken, hotdogs, rice and beans, macaroni salad, and cole slaw. Everything was delicious, and by that point I was starving. So we then settled back in and set forth for Nevis. It probably took another 45 minutes to and hour to get to Sunshine beach on Nevis.We were able to swim again and hang out on the beach.
Nevis is considerably less settled than St. Kitts and this particular stretch of beach had a few straw huts serving food and drinks. Our friend John and I, along with many others sampled the famous Sunshine beach "killer bees" drink, which is a rum punch of sorts. It was very tasty, and the juice portion was mostly pineapple, and orange juice. They had a red syrup that they floated on it as a garnish but had some flavor as well. I couldn't put a name to it however.
Back onto the boat for the return trip home. About halfway back, as we were looking at Nevis, many of us began to notice a grey cloud in the distance which continued to grow in size and resemble a mushroom cloud. Our guides explained that it was a volcano eruption from Montserrat. We watched as it grew and spread out until it looked like any other cloud. It was definitely a first for many of us! Pretty exciting.
We returned home to shower and clean up, and headed down to "the strip" to try out another beachside dinner/night spot. We chose Ziggy's which was a pretty standard beach bar type place, serving bar food and grill items. They are famous for their nacho cheese fries, which we didnt' try- but I will. Kater and I weren't in the mood for that menu, so we walked further to the Sunset Cafe. Kater had conch fritters, which were very different than the ones we had from Reggae Beach Cafe, but really good. These had more of a pancake, fluffy consistency. I had chicken fingers (boring I know), but they were supposed to come with a really good honey mustard sauce which they did. The meal was delicious indeed and we walked back to rejoin our group at Ziggy's.
Our taxi ride home was awful, as our normal driver Phil was not available. This guy drove us as if his wife was having a child and he had to get her to the hospital on time... We will make sure to tell Phil not to send this guy again.
We fell asleep to a beautiful, strong breeze, tree frogs, and other peaceful night noises.
We start our Saturday with nothing planned except maybe a walk around campus and checking out some tortoises outside one of the buildings. We'll all get together this evening to celebrate a friend's birthday.