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The Bight  Normans Island  Sopers Hole  Tortola  

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Star Clipper - Treasure Islands - Day Four

By Terri Parrow Botsford - Published February 28, 2006 - Viewed 3260 times

Tuesday – The Bight, NormanIsland and Sopers Hole, Tortola

The Star Clipper at AnchorWe slept in late this morning and missed breakfast (too much partying last night??:) ).  But they keep the coffee going and always have fruit around so we weren’t starving.  We went up on the deck and watched the crew do their chores. It felt a little odd not having to scrub the decks or maintain the bright work our selves. I'm sure they would have let us if we wanted, but we've done it enough on our own boats, this week we're on vacation so we just enjoyed watching them. It must be nice to get paid for maintainig the ship though!

I couldn't resist it any longer, Terri finds the internet while at seaI went to the pursurer's office and purchased an internet access card and finally went into the library to check my email. They have a satalite internet connection on the ship and for $12 EU you get 60 minutes on the internet. You need to make sure you know how to access your email via internet because you don't want to waste your minutes trying to figure it out. The connection is very slow, more like the days of having to connect via a modum, but then again, this is suppose to be a vacation from the usual fast pace of our regular lives.

The first thing on the agenda is the Snorkeling Safari.  The Star Clipper was anchored just off Jost van Dyke Island and we took the launch just ½ a mile away to an anchorage in the National Park, close to shore.  We all had to get in the water from the launch which is a little difficult to do when you’re not use to it, esp. with fins.  Some of us just jumped in, others did the ladder.  Then we all headed towards the shore where there were a couple of caves that you could swim into and lots of nooks and crannies to snorkel around in.  A few people saw a sea turtle; everyone else saw lots of fish.  It’s easy to see why the pirates liked this place, with all the neat hiding places in the little caves.  Unfortunately we didn’t bring the underwater camera so we didn’t take any pictures.Once back on the ship I discovered that there was a geocache hidden in one of the caves very close by.  It could have been one of the caves we were in!  I was very disappointed that I didn’t figure that out before we left the ship.  That would have been a very nice find!

Dolphin DiscoveryNext on the agenda was lunch then we left for the Swimming with the Dolphins excursion.  A private tour boat or water taxi came to pick us up from the Ship rather than us taking our own launch.  They were busy taking people to the beach to do water skiing or for rides on the big banana. 

The water taxi ride was nice.  It was a straight shot to Tortolla.  The crew/captain of the Water Taxi was two young local guys who played their island music very loud the whole way.  When I say island music, I really mean their type of island music which is more like hard rock but with steel drums which wouldn’t be too bad, except that they kept repeating the same lyrics over and over again, with a hard drum noise.  I guess I’m just showing my age.

Once on Tortolla we got into the island van/bus/truck and we were driven about 5 miles to Dolphin Discovery.  That was a lot of fun.  We were broken up into groups of 4 or 6 and each group played with the dolphins together.  First we all got to touch the back, then the stomachs of our two dolphins named Maggie and Venus.  They felt so soft, almost rubbery.  Then they splashed us and danced for us.  Then we each got to kiss one of the dolphins and they took our pictures while we were doing that, as well as when they danced with us.  Then we each got to ride on them across the pool, followed by them pushing us half way out of the water by our feet, all while they were  was someone video taping us from the dock.  All total, we probably had 20 - 30 minutes with the dolphins.  Dolphin world was very well organized and really knew what people wanted.  Immediately after our swim, before we could even have our life jackets off, they had the videos ready for us to view, complete with our names in the credits and background music.  And we could purchase our own DVD of the video and 8 x10 or 8x 12’s of the photos.  They had about 4 photos of each person with the dolphins.  Of course we had to buy the DVD and 4 photos.  After all, when would we ever get a chance to play with the dolphins again?

Todd kisses the dolphinTodd hitches a ride with the dolphins

After our time with the Dolphins we were taken to the Marina in Tortolla where we could shop, eat or catch the launch back to our ship which had moved to an anchorage in Soper’s hole for the night.  After checking the GPS we figured out that the closest geocache was 3-4 miles away, so we opted for shopping then back to the ship for dinner.

This night we were joined for dinner by two women, about our ages, maybe a little younger.  After introductions we learned that they were not only from Virginia, but from Alexandria and Reston, Virginia!  And it didn’t stop there.  One of them lives right next door to Dick and Martha Ellison (Dick was one of the co-founder's of BoatUS) and the husband of the other women works at Mitre Corp, the same place where Todd works, though they don't know each other. What a small world! 

After dinner we grabbed a couple of Pina Colottas and went to our room where we watched the video of the history and making of the Clipper Ship which was very interesting!  It was an early night!

Terri Parrow Botsford
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