St. Thomas USVI or Bust: 2013! – Day 17-19: Five by Five, Four by Four, and The Trinity Begins.

Internet was down so now you’ll have to suffer with both missing a couple of days of my great wisdom and suffering with a triple hit of a blog entry. A] On and off weather ended up with crystal clear water, ideal for snorkeling, but attempting to dive below the surface caused me a massive headache and major dizziness. Naturally, having an inner ear problem means seeing all sorts of great shells and hermit crabs just screaming for me to examine. At one point I was itching to pick up a sea urchin shell within a trench, but decided that a shell wouldn’t be much value if an attack of vertigo had me crashing against the rocks. Probably a good thing since as I was backing out of the trench a barracuda, 3 feet long and rising from the depth like a soviet sub ready for the attack, appeared. I thought about taking a picture; however, shinning objects attract barracudas, something I didn’t wish to do. Definitely for the best as I then ran into two sea turtles, a scrawled filefish, and two flounders, among the assortment of the normal wonderful Caribbean reef life. Number tally: 5 novels. Denizen of the day: the awesome hermit crab! On land and in the sea, in different shells, and ranging from the size of a dot to the length of my head. I raced three of them today; unfortunately they didn’t quite understand the rules or objectives (although it was still loads of fun). B] Not the most beautiful day and I’m sure it is all Obama’s fault. Continuing to have problems with my head/inner ear, but I’m compensating by, well, not doing anything serious, which means not going deeper than 6 feet or so underwater. Doesn’t stop me from seeing some awesome sea life. I think I annoy people (let me finish!) in that I’m spotting turtles, stingrays, spider crabs, spiny lobsters, tangs, grunts, damselfish, butterflyfish, scrawled, goatfish, angelfish, parrotfish, wrasse, hamlet, the list goes on. Denizen of the day: reef squid! My darling little cuttlefish make me so happy and I saw a trio of them hanging around that made me think of the Three Monkeys (hear no evil, etc.) for no real reason. Are they octopus, fish, mutant aliens intent on world domination, a species all their own with unique characteristics not involved in world domination? I think the answer is obvious. Or is it!?

C] Inner ear problem getting better, but still not going to rescues any trapped submariners. Spent sometime paddle boarding around the harbor, which gives an interesting perspective as I’m used to seeing things below the surface. It was a great deal of fun, but every time I do this my feet end up hurting as I tend to attempt to grip the board with my toes with any tiny ripple in the water (or if I get a little off balanced) so I won’t fall (and didn’t!). Fed the biggest iguana I’ve seen around here in order to keep the peace. PS Don’t feed the iguanas. The day was hot and beautiful; just a reminder that the vacation is coming to a close. Number tally: 6 novels (why did I bring nothing but 300 or so page manuscripts?). Denizen of the day: Southern Stingray, which I saw two of today while snorkeling. I’ve seen a bunch of them this trip which isn’t especially easy, while they look like alien birds flying in slow motion when you see them wandering around, but for the most part they hang out on the ocean floor covered with sand. To spot these guys you have to notice the thin outline of their tails and the dark, bulbous eye. Yeah, try doing that at random through 20-40 feet of distorting water.