Monday, July 25, 2011

So where we been this time?

Ah, that is a question, a question for tomorrow.

Today is about KAP. I missed World Wide KAP Week in May. I missed KAPping a beach on the 4th of July. I was determined to KAP Jobos beach this weekend.

Today (July 25) is Constitution Day here in PR. (We don't have an Independence Day; this is the next best thing.) Constitution Day weekend is the last big summer party weekend before school starts in August. Beaches are packed, roads are jammed. (We celebrate Labor Day as a holiday but it's not as big a deal here as it is in the States.)

This is Playa Jobos at about 1:30 in the afternoon. It's not as crazy as on the 4th of July but still pretty packed. It was crazy enough that by the time I left about 2:00 the police closed the road through Jobos and routed all the traffic up the hill and over the top through Isabela pueblo.

This was my first KAP session in four months and it was wild and crazy. Lots of curious people around, the kite and KAP rig swinging wildly in the 20+ knot gusty winds. It was the maiden flight for my "new" KAP camera, a Canon A3300 I got to replace the A640 camera that was stolen. All things considered it acquitted itself very well. Looking forward to many more KAP sessions with it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Night snorkel

A tiny sliver of moon hung in the southwest sky as we walked down the beach. The last of the setting sun was hidden behind a low cloud bank on the horizon. Still, there was still plenty of light to see our way.

We slipped into the surprisingly cool ocean, put on masks, snorkels and fins and headed across the sand-bottom pool to the reef. In the not-quite-dark we didn't turn on our dive lights, preferring to see at what might be there in the dusk, things that the sudden bright light might scare away.

The reef, so familiar in the daylight, is a completely different world at night. Different creatures are out and familiar creatures behave differently. Sea urchins move across the reef rather than anchoring like barnacles in crevices in the coral. Ocean surgeonfish and blue tang, disturbed from their sleep, dart away from the light, faster than we ever see them swim in the daylight.

The reef itself looks different, brought in to sharp relief of light and shadow by the small, highly directional dive lights. Familiar coral formations look radically different and totally unfamiliar. Because our visibility is limited to the range of our dive lights, we tend to look at the underwater world in micro rather than macro. We shine our lights into cracks and holes and crevices in the reef that we might not even notice in daylight. Brittle starfishes and octopuses are more visible in their holes at night because colors show differently, brighter, under the artificial light of the dive lights.

We don't get to night snorkel often but we love it when we do. The July full moon is on the 15th (Saturday when Ola Lola's is open) so it will be nearly full on the 14th (Thursday) and the 18th (Tuesday). Hopefully the skies will be clear and we can get in the water then.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Fourth of July

This was our fifth Fourth in Puerto Rico. In past years I've gone out on the holiday to KAP (Kite Aerial Photography) the crowds on a near-by beach. I didn't make it this year.

Saturday and Sunday the weather was crappy - cloudy, gusty winds, and small crowds on the beaches. That's good for the beaches but not for KAPping. Monday, the Fourth, was a beautiful day but after running some errands, I chose to snorkel into Blue Hole on a rumor a manatee might be there. Then we hung out on the beach with with Kai, Amy and Miguel. (Kennedy is away visiting her other grandparents in Michigan.) Then of course Ola Lola's was open in the afternoon and evening.

I missed KAPping but we had a great day.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Happy birthday, Kennedy

Our little beach girl is FOUR! Happy birthday, Boo!