Thursday, March 21, 2013

Anniversary Cruise! Puerto Rico, Day 4

Seven Seas Beach, Fajardo PR. It was low tide.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.

Suddenly, it was our last full day in Puerto Rico. Vacations go by much too quickly! So, we packed up our beach gear and headed to Seven Seas Beach in Fajardo. We lived in Fajardo for a couple of years and never went to Seven Seas. Who knew?! It's a beautiful beach, but there was quite a bit of trash in the water. The wind must have blown it in on a breezy day? This particular day, however, was absolutely perfect.

Parking was easy, and there weren't very many people on the beach. Nice! We swam all the way out to the buoys [“Caution! Do not swim past this point!”] in search of tropical fishies, and we did find a big starfish and some other sea life swimming here and there. But mostly we found sea grass. Sand-covered sea grass. Where was the fabulous reef action we had read about, we wondered? And then we discovered it. Right next to the sandy beach in the shallow water! We laughed about that, for sure. We thought it would be farther offshore.

Seven Seas Beach, Fajardo PR
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
There was an area next to the boat launch [hence the caution against swimming past the buoys] that was a teeming fish nursery, a bonanza of baby fishies of all colors and formations and conformations. We moved down the beach and saw larger fish darting here and there, and all of us saw a barracuda...except me, but that's okay! I was too busy looking at the pretty colors, I guess. The water clarity was not great. Bob said he would rate it as two out of ten. Could have just been that day, though, as so many things (including the weather) can affect water clarity. I didn't know the difference and was only barely able to imagine the fabulous clarity he described in other places.

Bob and I took a walk down the beach to find some seashells for his friends who especially appreciate such souvenirs. We found some nice ones for them, and I hope they liked them.

Fishing village - Las Croabas PR
Photo by chris. All rights reserved.
The afternoon was winding down. We went for one more snorkel, did our best to get the sand off with the trickle of water at the showers outside the restrooms, and got ready to go on a kayak trip to Laguna Grande, the large bioluminescent lagoon. Who knew all this great stuff was in Fajardo? I wonder what else we missed while living here? I guess we were too busy working. There are probably a lot of things back home that I haven't seen and done, too. Take advantage of sights and activities right where you are.

A smiling, helpful, friendly crew member getting ready to
unload the kayaks. Pure Adventure rocks!
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
We had a snack at the docks in Las Croabas and had the great good luck of having been able to follow the kayak truck when we left the beach parking lot. So, we had no trouble at all finding our tour company, Pure Adventure. I'd never kayaked before, so it was an adventure going through the mangrove forest at dusk, especially while battling the current. We went sideways and backwards and all kinds of crazy things! The lagoon was so much fun. You dip your oar in, and it lights up with the organisms in the water. The resulting cascade of water when you lift your oar out of the water glows and lights up. You put your hand in the water and swish it around, and the water lights up. Apparently, Laguna Grande is even better than Mosquito Bay, Vieques. But I haven't been there (yet) and can't say for sure.

And it was time to go back through the mangrove forest. This time, though, it was pitch dark. We tried to follow the tiny, flashing light of the kayak ahead of us. Happily, the current was with us instead of against us this time, but the lead kayak kept going sideways into the mangroves. It was exciting and a little nerve making. I imagined snakes hanging down from the trees, their heads swaying this way and that, waiting to drop onto us in the kayak. I wasn't too sure we were going to make it back to the docks. Harry's seat had decided to refuse to keep him in a sitting position, so we were doing our very best to keep our kayak headed in the right direction at an even pace. Remember: It was pitch dark. We couldn't see anything but the very small beacon on the next kayak. Oh, wow! On, wow! What an adventure! But we made it. We only hit one object, an anchored rowboat. We didn't see it at all until we bumped into it, as we were blinded by the bright blue light onshore. Once your eyes have adapted to the darkness, even dim lights are blinding.

And then it was back to the hotel to pack, too soon. Just like the cruise, which takes a couple of days to settle into and then is suddenly over, these few days on the Isle of Enchantment have flown by. Just when you figure out where things are and the way things are done, and you're really enjoying yourself, it's time to go home.

On the other hand, we never found ourselves with more time than activities to fill it. Better to leave wanting more than to wish you could leave early. Which, come to think of it, is highly unlikely.

And just like that, it's over.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Note: Driving in Puerto Rico is not for sissies or people who get excited and upset. Thanks for driving, Bob. I think I would still be sitting at an intersection somewhere, waiting for folks to stop running red lights. Yikes!

Another note: When going to public beaches and such places here where the restrooms are likely to be questionable, you might want to consider having some toilet paper, wipes, and hand sanitizer with you instead of back at the hotel. And here, I think of my friend Cathy with great fondness. Cathy would have been totally prepared. She is Wonder Woman. She thinks of everything. I have a great respect for that. I do well to just think of the next thing. Unfortunately, I generally think of the next thing while I'm on my way to it rather than ahead of time. We are all gifted in different ways.

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