I’ve been wanting to swim out to the wreck, that is clearly visible from the main beach road, since we arrived. Last year it was a great snorkel, with tons of fish. The waves looked bigger than previous years, so I’ve bided my time until the day was calm. Well, today was the day.
The wreck has collapsed somewhat over the course of just one year. Large sections at the back of the ship have broken off and fallen away from the wreck. Some of the pieces have quite sharp and dangerous chunks sticking out of them. So you need to be careful you don’t get too close and risk being impaled when a big wave crashes through.
It was very neat to see all the fish making the wreck their home. Huge schools of blue grunts, snapper and other fish just drift along with the waves, hiding among the decaying ribs of the ship. There are large schoolmasters trying to remain hidden among the big schools, but their size really makes them stick out!
The wreck is mostly filled with the usual fish we see, and there were a couple barracuda hanging around. It’s tough to get into the wreck, the entry point is very rocky, and you have to walk out quite a ways before it’s deep enough to get into the water to swim. So all in all, I’d say there are better spots to snorkel. If you are here for just one week, definitely check out the other spots first. Save the wreck for when you’ve got lots of time.
We got back in the ocean at Boca Catalina, and swam up to Malmok reef. The big surprise today was two of the largest porcupinefish we’ve seen anywhere! While we were in St Maarten, we saw some large ones out at Turtle Reef, but these two were bigger! Pam said, “look at these porcupinefish!” I couldn’t believe they were porcupinefish, I was just shocked at how big they were.
We saw another big school of sleek hunting fish. These were different than the school the day before. We’re pretty sure these were called cero. They are fast moving fish too, and seem to be stalking the smaller guys.
I finally got a decent picture of a clown wrasse. They are colorful fish, and dart and weave all over the reef, seldom coming to a stop. We also saw a new fish, which we haven’t identified. It seems to be some kind of a blenny, but it has very pronounced scales on it. He was quite shy, and hid under a rock as soon as I pointed the camera at him. I tried for a second shot, but he quickly moved under another rock, making it impossible.
It was a fun day of snorkeling. The water was clear and visibility was very good. We’d love to say that we got back to the hotel and took a nice long rest in the hot tub, but if you can believe it, the Renaissance hotel – a Marriott hotel! – does not have a hot tub! Can you imagine? This is the first place in the Caribbean we’ve stayed that didn’t have a hot tub! We’re in shock!
We went to dinner at a place called the Casa Tua Mediterranee. “Casa Tua” means “your house” and they have four or five different ones on the island. Barcelona, Mediterranee, and a couple pizzerias… We had lunch at a Casa Tua pizza place and really enjoyed their food (and the big beers!). This Casa was in the new Palm Beach mall and their food is Moroccan and Greek inspired. We both ordered meals in the “tajine” a Morocca cooking vessel that looks similar to a stove.
Pam had the lemon chicken and I had the Casa Tua Couscous. Trust me when I say, they were FABULOUS. They bring you these absolutely beautiful dishes to eat from. You layer your couscous in the bottom, them add food from the tajine – mine had chicken, beef, carrots, potatos, pumpkin, chickpeas, and other vegetables, then you pour a broth that the whole thing is simmered in over the lot. Absolutely wonderful!
PS: I posted this from our airplane at 33,500 feet! Yep free wifi from Google Chrome and Delta Airlines as a holiday present! We’ve not posted the last few days in Aruba since we were simply too busy to do it! I have another post ready to go, but won’t post it til later. It’s a little cramped on the plane! lol