Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 4 St. Thomas USVI


We blew off the prediction run because we really wanted to do a kayak, snorkel hike in a red mangrove preserve on the island. No regrets on that at all - the excursion was really great. This is the kind of thing I really wanted to spend our money on. We've come into these islands, changing the geography of them with the necessity of ports for the new monster ships, and we've also, I imagine changed the culture of the towns. So, if someone wants to set up a business telling me about the natural topography of their island, put me down for the tour. Beats a t-shirt.

So, we learned that the mangrove preserve functions on St. Thomas as a hurricane hole for the protection of ships, that it functioned as a fishery and protection for small fish and a habitat for birds. A pretty good point of the economic value of preserving ecology was made when it was explained that during the last hurricane the very important sailing industry sheltered their boats in the preserve and lost only one or two boats - contrasted with a hurricane prior to that when all but a couple boats were lost. Below is my visual representation of the mangrove.



There was a hermit crab race, hermit crab represented below, picture fuzzy due to my inability to stop laughing as it travelled over me.



I took a lot of pictures while snorkeling that really don't show anything but, at the time, while snorkeling, seemed like they might be cool. There were a lot of fish feeding which thrilled Alex. If you look closely you can see a school below.



Th first questions about Ironman popped up as the group had mini snickers before the kayak back to the home base. In retrospect, I have to quit telling people that "anyone" can do it - it's hard enough to get into a race right now.

That night's evening programing was a cocktail party. We had a wonderful dinner out with two couples and went to bed early to prepare to challenge the mountain in Tortola, the next day.

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