Sunday, July 25, 2010

Photos never taken

Rain rain rain. We broke a 50-year-old record for rainfall this month. If all the rain we've had this year were snow, we would have nearly 27 feet of snow. We've been pumping water out of our yard and out of the brand new corral almost constantly since last Friday. But yesterday and today we have sunshine. Maybe, just maybe, things will start to dry out.

But I really don't want to talk about rain. I want to talk about pictures, especially beautiful brilliant photos I've never taken, that only exist in my head.

Yesterday I "took" one of those photos.

Darryl and I met at Crashboat for what was supposed to be training deep dive (100'-125') for one of Darryl's students . The student didn't show so Darryl and I went anyway. Because of all the rain we've had, we expected marginal visibility so neither of us took a camera. But visibility was much better than we expected.

At one point on the way back up, the sandy bottom has kind of a sharp slope up and in is covered with green seagrass. We'd been swimming with a hawksbill turtle for a few minutes . Then he (or she) took off ahead of us, swam up the grass-covered slope and then on up above it. We both stopped for a moment to watch the turtle soar above the bottom silhouetted against the bright blue water/sky behind him. It was a magic moment. And of course, no camera. So it goes into my file of amazing photos never taken.

Monday, July 19, 2010

KTJ comes home

And somebody is pretty happy about it!

Two months ago we adopted a three-year-old filly. She was rescued from the racetrack here on the island by our friends at Hacienda Siesta Alegre (Save The Horses). Elaine first rode her about six months ago and just absolutely fell in love with this horse. For a variety of reasons KTJ has been staying at Ramey Riding Club (aka, "the ranch") up on top of the cliff behind us. We spent most of the last week - with much help from our nephew Ben - building a "stall" for her and a corral sturdy enough to contain both horses when our neighbors, the property owners, come to use the house.

Yesterday we brought KTJ down from the ranch to her new home. She and Chocolate met for the first time. "Dark chocolate" and "milk chocolate" appear to be a great combination: it was love at first sight. Of course, there's plenty of horseplay that goes with that as well as figuring out who's herd leader when it's just the two of them. So far Chocolate, although a pony by comparison, seems to be the dominant one. We'll see how long that lasts. KTJ seems to have quickly and easily adapted to her new home and new companion.

Next on the list will be her first visit to the beach - happening later this morning. Updates to follow... :-) :-)

You can see more photos of KTJ's homecoming on Flickr.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Hope you had a fabulous Fourth

We kept alive our now annual tradition of KAPping (Kite Aerial Photography) one of our local beaches on the 4th. This year is was Jobos, a beach about a mile and an half from Ola Lola's.

Jobos is a popular beach on any summer weekend but gets insane on holidays. Traffic past the beach and parking in the Jobos area get so bad, the police close the road. While the holiday spirit on the beach is fun - music, bar-be-ques, partying, swimming - the trash that gets left behind is tragic.

Except for taking pictures, we tend to stay away from the crowded beaches like Jobos. We much prefer our little beach where a "crowd" is a hundred people on two miles of beach. But it is fun to KAP at Jobos. It is colorful. As we walked along the edge of the beach taking pictures, Elaine remarked, "It's like being inside a gumball machine." That's a great description.

You can see more pictures from this set on our Flickr page.

Oh, happy 4th of July, a day late.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Friday, July 02, 2010

A day for adventures

Yesterday started early and ran late as we crammed several adventures into one day.

First up, we went to Rincon to do the horse trail ride down there. We've done the trail ride down the road from us several times (and Elaine rides some of the same route almost every day) and we wanted to see what the Rincon ride was like. The Rincon ride, Pintos-R-Us, has great well-mannered and well-cared for horses. Julie, the owner/trail guide, was wonderful with our group of eight riders. The ride wound through some beautiful trails through forests and along the beaches around the point of Rincon. The Rincon ride doesn't spend as much time on the beach as the local ride nor does it have as much opportunity for riders to trot or canter if they wish. All in all it was fun, easy ride. It was a different experience from the local ride, which is what we expected and actually what we hoped for.

From Rincon our adventures took us south to Mayaquez and the experience of two hours of pre-holiday shopping and standing in line in Sam's Club, then back north for another hour or so in the Amigo grocery store (which is owned by Walmart). I'll leave that adventure to your imagination.

Then last night Darryl and I did a night dive through "The Caverns" here at Shacks. The reef at Shacks is pretty much like Swiss cheese with holes and tunnels and caves all through the reef. Many of them are "swim-throughs," passages a diver can literally swim through. We use several of these as passages between Blue Hole and the outer reef. "The Caverns" is a tour through the swim-throughs in and around Blue Hole. Darryl has done this tour many many times in the daylight, but this was his first night tour. Darryl was great. I, on the other hand, had a mild-to-medium panic attack. Don't know why. Everything was going swimmingly and suddenly I just kinda freaked, breathing hard, brain spinning ohmygod ohmygod! But between us Darryl and I got me calmed down enough to finish the dive and come out safely.

I think it was a learning adventure for both of us. Darryl has a better idea of how to lead a night tour through The Caverns and I have a better idea of how to deal with my own panic under water.

Our last adventure took us to 110 Thai. We weren't going to go but we remembered we were supposed to meet our nephew Ben there. He'd been waiting since about 8:00 and we remembered about 9:30. So off we went. It was a fun late evening, unexpectedly running into a number of good friends.

So, up this morning about to set off on a whole new set of adventures. It's gonna be a fun holiday weekend at Ola Lola's!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Happy July

And happy Canada Day!

How did it get to be July already? It really feels like we missed most of June. June, until the last week, was mostly cloudy and kinda gloomy and wet thanks to a couple of tropical low pressure areas (one of which became Hurricane Alex.)

Elaine divides her time taking care of and working with KTJ, her new Thoroughbred rescue, and riding Chocolate. I managed to get some diving in. We had such a good time diving at Desecheo two weeks ago we went back again. I posted some pictures from that dive as well as the best pictures from other dives so far this year on Flickr.

I haven't done a lot of photography lately. It feels like it's been months. I gotta work on that.