"" Writer's Wanderings: Rainbows in Road Town, Tortola

Sunday, January 09, 2022

Rainbows in Road Town, Tortola

 What a beginning to our first port of call for this segment of our cruise. After breakfast we took our usual morning walk around the Promenade Deck and could see in the distance a misty rain that seemed to be coming closer. Sure enough about the second time around it began but the sun continued to shine as well and the result was a spectacular double rainbow, end to end, that felt as though you could reach out and touch it. 

Due to the health concerns in Road Town, Tortola, we were told that unless you were on a ship's excursion, you could not go ashore. We had found a snorkeling excursion that sounded like fun and booked it long before we started our cruise. 

The excursion was not scheduled until after lunch. We enjoyed lunch at the Tristan Grill, a hamburger for me and a grilled ham and cheese for Bob, and then changed into our bathing suits and gathered our snorkel gear. We brought our snorkels with us so we would feel more comfortable but would rely on the tour company for swim fins.

Tours gather in the Stardust Lounge and from there proceed as a group with a representative from the ship to shore. There is always an escort from the ship who stays with the tour group to help with any problems and be sure that we all get back onboard. Towels gathered, a bottle of water tucked into our bags and we were on our way.

A catamaran met us on the dock not far from our ship. Shoes off and stowed in a basket, we boarded the sailboat. It was a bit more crowded than I expected--about 30 of us, and took a while to feel comfortable. Once we were on our way, there was a breeze blowing through the shaded interior and many moved out onto the netted area in the front of the boat to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Sails were raised and the engine was cut and we were off on our adventure.

It took almost an hour to get to the small cove on another nearby island for our snorkel time in the water. We had already been issued swim fins, snorkels if needed, and a swim vest that was inflatable if we needed the extra buoyancy. There was a set of steps that were let down into the water between the hulls of the catamaran and it was an easy entrance into the water. Water temp was a little chilly at first but nice enough that you could slide into it.

As under-seascapes go, it was not the best but there were enough fish to keep our interest and some of the largest sea urchins I've ever seen. We spent about forty minutes snorkeling and then an airhorn was sounded for us to return to the boat.

Once everyone was out of the water, we proceeded a short way to a small beach that had a dock where we tied up and were encouraged to go ashore and enjoy the sandy beach and the little restaurant/gift shop that was there. We walked along the beach and watched others who chose to snorkel in an area where there was a possibility of seeing turtles and rays but none were sighted. 

As we sat on the edge of the dock and dangled our feet in the water, I played a little Kenny G from my phone and relaxed in the warm sun and breeze. Before long, we were back on the catamaran and headed back to the ship. The trip back was a little shorter with the engine on and the jib open in the wind. 

By the time we had returned, it was close to dinner and we hustled to get showered and dressed. I wondered if we would stay awake for the nine o'clock show that evening. Dinner was a perfectly done Weiner Schnitzel reminiscent of what we'd enjoyed years ago in Austria. 

There was no falling asleep in the show which featured quite an animated Martin Kaye. The man couldn't sit still to play the piano. His feet moved constantly as did the rest of him as he sang, played and skipped around the stage. I don't know when I've seen such energy in an entertainer.

It didn't take long to slip into sleep once our heads hit the pillow. Next stop: St. John's, Antigua.

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