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Posts Tagged ‘ocean’

Shark Diving in Fiji

In adventure, fun, Uncategorized on July 2, 2016 at 8:03 am

In yet another daring scuba diving expedition, my friend Mike and I set out one fine day in Port Denarau, Fiji with our primary goal being to get up close and personal with some sharks! Now I know what you’re thinking…. That we’re crazy people. That is a debatable point but entirely separate from this particular story. There are many different breeds of sharks, the ones we were most likely to encounter are reef sharks. Reef sharks are neither as big nor as dangerous as the great white sharks that most people picture when you say the word shark. I also think that sharks get a bad rap. In general, sharks aren’t actively looking to eat people, they’re just hungry and every so often a human roams into their hunting ground. Now I’m not trying to trivialize the dangers of sharks and the injuries humans have sustained after getting too close to them, however I’m just saying they’re misunderstood. That being said, I certainly do have a healthy respect for any creature large enough to eat me and with sharp enough teeth to remove one of my limbs.

Anyway, back to the story. Mike and I made our way to a resort that offered such an adventure. It was quite a ways away from the port but the drive itself was incredible. The Fijian scenery is stunning and I think I used an entire GoPro battery taking pictures before we even got to the resort. The Shangri La Resort on Yanuca Island is awe-inspiring. Every detail of the property is precise and the ocean views are unparalleled.

After enjoying the sights, we headed to the dive shop to suit up. As we were fitted with our gear, we exchanged nervous but excited grins, we were about to swim with sharks!! Into our dive boat we went. The dive staff were so lovely, and the dive masters who were leading our dive assured us that the sharks we were going to see would not be dangerous to us, especially when they’re being fed fish chunks (as they would be). We arrived at the dive site and prepared to jump in. I went first, leaping without a care in the world, so excited to dive with sharks. As my legs entered the water, I could feel tendrils wrap around my left leg and begin to sting. Without a second thought I reached down with my left arm and pulled at whatever was encircling my leg. As I freed myself and began to descend, I felt the familiar sting of a jellyfish all over my arm and leg. I wasn’t about to abort the dive so I continued to descend, assuming the salt water would ease the sting and loosen the microscopic barbed stingers that were lodged in my extremities.

The dive itself was incredible! Once the dive masters began to feed the group of sharks that had already gathered, more and more sharks began to appear. A plethora of other sea dwelling creatures came to feed as well. The sharks swam surprisingly close to us, several times they bumped into us or circled our legs. However our dive master was right. They had no interest in the human intruders as food. We were merely decorations in their kitchen as they ate a tasty fish lunch. Rising to the surface 45 minutes later we were ecstatic about our shark experience. Drying off and feeling some pain in my left arm, I suddenly remembered my jellyfish encounter and looked down at my arm. My entire left arm and leg were covered in tentacle patterned poison-filled (probably) blisters. This particular species of jellyfish was far more poisonous than any I have previously encountered. It soon became clear that this particular species wasn’t lethal and that I would live to blog the story, however the blisters were painful and took a long time to heal. As I understand it, the stinger barbs (officially called nematocysts) of some jellyfish species can remain lodged in the skin for extended periods of time and continue to cause pain. Although I tried my best to get them all out, for months my arm continued to blister randomly. It’s been three months now and I haven’t had a new blister in a few weeks so I think I’m finally in the clear. I definitely looked scary for a while there.

Now don’t let my unfortunate incident scare you out of the water, I had the misfortune to get literally tangled up in the tentacles of a jellyfish, extreme reactions like mine aren’t common. Generally people get mildly stung by jellyfish, while walking on the beach or swimming leisurely near to one. However considering I started that day off by seeking out sharks, I’m still calling it an overall win. Also if you’re in North America, the kind of jellyfish you are likely to encounter are not nearly as dangerous as the ones found in the South Pacific. So the moral of the story is stay adventurous, but stay safe!!

For the sake of your mental well-being, I won’t post the pictures of my stings, but instead some sharks and resort views. You’re welcome!

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Winding Down

In Uncategorized on March 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Well I’m currently on vacation!! It’s amazing, and I have so much to say about it, but right this second I’m very relaxed from a nice forest run and a delicious lunch. So as I craft a more detailed blog post, enjoy this photo from my beach walk last night. I truly live in an amazing place!

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Grand Turk Revisited

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2013 at 11:06 am

For whatever reason, I always seem to have time off in Grand Turk, therefore I went on yet another super awesome fun excursion in Grand Turk. This time we went horseback riding! As an avid horse back rider, I’m always very concerned about the health and welfare of excursion horses. These ones were so happy and well fed. Once we were done riding they got to gallop around with the rest of their herd and weren’t even fenced in. Once I was happy that the horses were well cared for I had a fabulous time! The guides were very attentive and knowledgeable. They really made an effort to ensure that each guest was properly matched to a horse and that the equipment was properly adjusted. They also made sure to stop and take everyone’s cameras and take photos for us which was fabulous! I really enjoyed my time and would go back for sure!

P1240579 P1240593 P1240597 P1240610We had SUCH an amazing time!!

San Juan

In adventure, beach, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line on October 23, 2012 at 1:59 am

Last week I got a chance to go out in San Juan, Puerto Rico! It was so much fun!! One of my lovely co-workers and I took bicycles out from the crew center and took ourselves on a wee tour of San Juan! It was so lovely. We went to a park, and to a beach, and it was very freeing. San Juan is quite beautiful, but there are quite a few run down areas as well. It’s nice to get away from the cruise ship areas and see the rest of the city. There’s a weird shiny bubble of consumerism that surrounds most of the ports, which I love, and cruise ships are so good for the economies of the ports, however once you get further away from the port, you get more of an idea of what the city itself feels like. We found a really fabulous little café to have some coffee at and some traditional Puerto Rican fare. I would love to have more time in San Juan to see even more!!

I’m not really sure what this is, but I loved it. I kind of think maybe it’s a Chupacabra….but at this point that is total speculation

Downtown San Juan, where we ended our bike trip. I love a lot of the architecture and how small the streets are!

 

Just another day in paradise!!

Goofing off in the park with Vesna!

Just stunning!!

Of Rays and Coral

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, travel, traveling, work on October 6, 2012 at 1:36 am

I went on my very first excursion in Grand Caymans the other day. It was absolutely amazing. First of all, it really felt like I was on vacation for a bit there because we not only got off the ship, but drove until we couldn’t see it anymore. You kind of always see the ship, it’s massive. So to not see it for a few hours feels weird. In a good way. The Carnival excursions are wonderful for a few reasons:

#1: You know you’re going to get back on the ship in time, because everyone on the tour is from the ship, so there’s no danger of you missing it.

#2: If something happens on the tour and you are delayed getting back to the ship, the ship will wait for you whereas if you just wander off and don’t come back in time, you’re out of luck.

#3: The tour companies are all Carnival tested and approved, which means you needn’t be concerned about getting ripped off or robbed or kidnapped.

 

I went on the Coral Garden and Stingray City tour. We took a bus to a boat, which took up out into the ocean to adventure. First we stopped to snorkel at the coral garden, which was beautiful and full of really pretty fish. Then we continued on to STINGRAY CITY!!! It was so amazing. There’s dozens of stingrays and they come right up to you and let you hold them and stroke them!! Apparently what happened is that fishermen used to gut their fish in that area after a long day of fishing. Eventually, the rays caught on that every day there was a free meal raining down from the sky. So they started coming around every day, and more of them came. Eventually, the rays got used to being around people and being fed every day. So now that there’s no fishermen feeding them, they live off the tour groups that come through. The guides knew all of them by name!! They were surprisingly cuddly!! It was such an amazing experience and the water was so warm and blue, I absolutely loved it!! I can’t wait to go on more excursions to new amazing places!!

I’m snorkeling!!

So many beautiful fish!!

Feeding the fish!!

My new best friend the sting ray and I!! (and the tour guide on the right)

 

Amazing ocean!!

 

Postcard from the Caymans

In Uncategorized on October 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm

There are no words to accurately describe how I feel about the ocean.

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Belize

In Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, friends, fun, travel, traveling on September 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm

As you know, I’m determined to see everything possible during my contract! I just want to see the whole world! Well this week I managed to make it outside in every port! Even if just for a little while! I almost didn’t go out in Belize because I didn’t have too much time and everyone told me not to go because it’s dangerous, unless you’re on an excursion. I loved it out there! One of the other girls and I went to a little shopping, she wanted a new dress and I wanted a loofah sponge. I know, right, how did I forget to pack a loofah!? When our friend heard we were going into the wilds of downtown Belize by ourselves, he took it upon himself to be our bodyguard and come along, which, although unnecessary in my opinion, was very sweet of him. We just took a cab to a shopping center and wandered around. It was lovely. I don’t doubt that it can be dangerous, but if you’re a smart traveler, you can avoid most dangers. We didn’t feel scared at all. Obviously I wouldn’t go wandering through the rougher parts of town by myself wearing jewelry and fanning myself with money, but the downtown area is quite nice and there’s a lovely little open air craft area type of thing that’s right by the port and has the usual touristy fun stuff to buy. I never really feel scared in those kinds of towns, you just have to be aware, that’s all. It reminds me of Barbados a bit. Belize is a tendering port, which means that the ship has to put down anchor just outside the port, and to get there you have to get off our ship, and get on a boat (a tender boat) that takes you to the dock. On the western Caribbean cruise, we have 2 such ports, Belize and Grand Caymans. On the eastern Caribbean, just one port is tendering, Half Moon Cay. Anyhow, the moral of the story is that Belize is nice. Next week perhaps if I have time I will try to go on an excursion in Belize so that I get to see more of it!! I also don’t have any photos of it because I didn’t bring any electronics with me at all (just to be safe). Now that I have a better idea of what it’s like out there I will bring a camera next time!

Half Moon Cay

In Bahamas, beach, Carnival, Carnival Cruise Line, Cruise, friends, fun, travel, traveling on September 24, 2012 at 3:38 am

I know you’re all waiting to hear about how wonderful my new ship is and how much I love it, but that’s going to be the next post! Right now, I just want to share the lovely photos I took of Half Moon Cay, the Bahamanian island owned by the Carnival Corporation!! It’s incredible!! There’s so many amazing excursions you can do, or endless beautiful ocean to play in! Enjoy!!

The view of the cay from the ship

Captain Morgan’s pirate ship. There’s a bar inside!!

Captain Morgan’s

The Carnival Ecstasy!!!

 

I’m so excited to swim in the ocean!!!

Endless beach!! Summer is all year round!!

From left to right, Constantinos, Myself, and Mario enjoying our time off the ship!

One of the many excursions is horseback riding, first around the island and then into the ocean!!

Doesn’t it look like a postcard??? I’m living in a postcard!!

 

The back side of the island.

 

 

Canons!! Of course, on the top floor of the Captain Morgan shipwreck.

Fun signpost in the gift shop courtyard (of course there’s a gift shop!!)

I adored this island! I can’t wait to go back and do more fun excursions!!