I had some vacation time this week and enjoyed it fully - spending everyday except yesterday at the beach. To my taste it was perfect beach weather with temps in the mid to high 60's. Just enough mixture of sun and clouds to keep taking off and putting on a sweater. The Marathon recreation department had beach activities planned each day - sand castle contest, volley ball, beach games, limbo contest -- which kept Coleen busy and gave me a little time to myself. Many of her new friends were also there so she enjoyed time on the playground and a little time in the water too. We enjoyed lovely picnic lunches, good books, conversation with new friends and nice long walks on the beach.
I had planned to spend a lot of time snorkeling but the wind conditions did not cooperate. Most days we had a stiff wind - which actually made it a little chilly in the harbor - but was blowing from just the right direction so the beach was dead calm. So we made do with spending our days at the beach :-)
Yesterday we had a break in the wind and also had a high of 77 degrees. It seemed like the best day to head out to the reef. Of course trying to get a calm day to snorkel meant no wind to sail - and least not above 2 knots! It was a pleasant motor sail out to the reef - about 4 miles away. We picked the mooring ball that was furthest out - as I was more than a bit worried about having my boat so near to a reef. Turns out we were in 20 feet - no problem! However the swells were just awful. I could barely stand up in the cabin to put on my gear and very nearly manged to get sick before I made it into the water. First time I've felt seasick on this entire adventure!
Once in the water I felt fine. I was wearing a shorty wet suit and the water temp was actually comfortable. We snorkeled a little while around the boat - but we were on the far edge of the reef - not much to see. So we got in the dinghy and headed in a bit closer. It actually worked out quite well as once we arrived and got back in the water we pulled the dinghy along with us. It gave me a little feeling of security - as when I got tired I could plop myself in the dinghy for a little rest. Not sure why but the motion in the dinghy was more bearable than the motion on the Glass Slipper.
The water was not quite as clear as on my earlier snorkel trip - probably because the wind had been blowing hard for so many days the water was a bit stirred up. But still it was clear enough and still totally amazing. I saw lots of varieties of parrot fish, butterfly fish, angelfish, barracuda, grunts, snappers and grouper. Lots of sponges, sea fans, and coral too. I tried doing a little actual diving, but am not very good at it yet.
Now I had imagined that we'd go out to the reef snorkel awhile, then shower off and rest up a bit, each a little lunch, then snorkel again, and so forth. Unfortunately it did not turn out that way as I could not bear being on the Glass Slipper while tied to that mooring. So we ended up only snorkeling for about 1 1/2 hours and then heading out of there as quickly as possible. Once the boat was underway I began to feel fine again as long as I was hand steering and munching on pretzels :-)
Now while I was off on my snorkeling trip - Coleen was enjoyed the day at a fancy beach resort complete with a pool with waterfall and slides. Our friends on the 70 foot trawler had their granddaughter visiting and invited Coleen to join them for a day of fun. She got home around 8 p.m. and was still so wound up and excited telling of her fun-filled day and her new friend. We actually had a quiet New Year's Eve as Coleen was exhausted and went to bed by 9 p.m. So I spent the evening reading and fell asleep early too. Around midnight I was awakened with horns honking and fireworks but quickly went back to sleep.
Not exactly a wild New Year's Eve - but it was a wonderful full day - can't ask for more than that!