Sunday, May 12, 2013

The local islands

We chartered a boat and headed out to some of the local islands one day. The day was gorgeous; clear blue sky with wispy clouds, though not enough to give you any shade; heavenly breeze, if you’re on the right side of the boat; and gorgeous scenery, visible from anywhere. The boat had a glass bottom so we were able, at choice reefs, to look through to see the reef below and the fish darting about. I must admit that the view from the boat was much better than the pictures show!
We had a young boy, Mohamed, with us on the trip. At one point we stopped and one of the men gave us all a piece of bread…to feed the fish. The fish were well trained – they hovered by the boat and attacked the piece of bread en mass! Reminded me of the eagles eating the chicken skins when we traveled in Malaysia.
We stopped at a private island named Moyenne. (check out this great web page all about the island and the man who bought it.) It has been owned by various people over the years, but is one of the few not owned by billionaires, wealthy Arab families or members of the Russian oligarchs. Over time a trail has been developed around this island and, for a nominal fee, you can hike around it, enjoying the pristine views, checking out the tiny graveyard next to an even smaller chapel, and walking through the tiny museum.
We were met on the trail by a slow moving tortoise…they have the right-of-way. It wasn’t a long walk but after sitting in the boat all morning, it was nice to get out and stretch our legs…especially since the men were cooking a very filling lunch for us over on the next island.
The afternoon was spent snorkeling along a gorgeous reef. The highlight was the opportunity to see two sea turtles; one swimming past me – I followed him for a bit – and one feasting on the reef.
One time I really wish I had a good underwater camera. There is an amazing number of fish living among the reefs – need to get a good underwater camera to record some of these fabulous animals.

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