Monday, February 13, 2012

One more dive

Dan got one more dive before leaving and I got to tag along. He must be living right because his final dive was the outside reef at Shacks. That's almost unheard of this time of year. Usually Shacks is too rough, too wavy, in the winter. But about once a winter we get a chance to do the outside reef. This was our chance for this winter.

Dan had a pretty good week: he got to dive our best near-by dive sites in his first two weeks of diving.

We're all off to San Juan tomorrow to send Amy and Dan home to Ohio. It's been a great couple of weeks with them. We are really really going to miss them!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dan the fish

Dan is so taken with this ocean stuff. He didn't get to dive yesterday but we did go snorkeling at Shacks. We went out into New Hole (the hole just east of Blue Hole) and saw this guy:

and this guy:

It was a good swim!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Diving with Dan

Yesterday I finally got to go diving with Dan. I don't go with Darryl on first-time discover dives. It's too distracting for the new diver and for Darryl. But if the first dive goes okay, than I can go along on the second dive.

For Dan's second dive we went to Natural. There was a bit of current from the south but not bad. Since this was going to be a shallow dive anyway (because Dan isn't certified), we turned south into the current instead of our usual north. It's not always possible but we prefer to swim into the current on the way out and then get a free ride back with current.

After some hammock-time (for Dan at least), it was Ola Lola's for dinner.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Hangin' with the kids...

then OneTenThai for dinner - again. This is rapidly becoming Amy and Dan's favorite place for dinner. Can't say I blame them. It's our second favorite.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Another day in paradise

Lunch at Cocina Creativa...

then exploring at Playa Borinquen...

then pictures at Ruines.

Just another day in paradise!


Amy and Dan took a private trail ride on Monday with our good friend (and "island kid") Kelda from Tropical Trailrides. They just "happened" to meet another horse and rider on the beach.

This is the same trail ride that got Elaine hooked on riding horses on the beach the first time she was here almost nine years ago. Now she rides at least some part of it almost every day. The ride starts out on the beach then cuts inland along the trails, then back out the beach at Survival Beach. Survival is a beautiful, somewhat remote beach - you can drive to it but it's easier on a horse. The rock cliff at the end of the beach offers a beautiful view of the beach and the ocean.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Happy Birthday, Marti!

Posting this photo is a twice-a-year event, once in January on the anniversary of her death and again in February on our mother's birthday.

Happy Birthday, Marti! We love you and miss you.

She would have been 85 years young today.

Monday, February 06, 2012

The No Super Bowl party

It was Super Bowl Sunday but not so's you'd notice at Ola Lola's. We have a "no TV at Ola Lola's" policy, not even for the Super Bowl. Not even for the World Cup final.

So after snorkeling at Crashboat we headed back for the No Super Bowl party with live music by Rique Colon. Okay, a lot of people left to go watch the game. But a whole bunch of people stayed and partied and danced! It was a great night.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Back to Crashboat

Elaine and Dan and I went snorkeling at the north end of Crashboat again today. Amy had an earache and chose to hang out on the beach.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

First dive!!

Dan had his first SCUBA dive today at Crashboat with Darryl. He loved it and he is hooked! There will be more dives this trip!

Lunch at Royal Isabela

A couple of themes are beginning to develop here - water and food. Yesterday our good friends Stanley and Tito invited us, Amy and Dan, and Amy and Miguel for lunch at Royal Isabela Golf Club.

After lunch Stanley gave us a tour of the course.

We got a special thrill up on the cliff overlooking the ocean- we all got to see whales playing in the water just offshore. Watching whales is an amazing amazing indescribable experience. Miguel has lived on la isla his whole life and this is the first time he's seen whales. Awesome!

Breakfast on the Quinones Deck

The day started with breakfast for everyone on the deck of Q4, the apartment at Villa Tropical where Amy and day are staying. Just as we sat down, Dan got a business call from Ohio.

Hmmm...I think Dan has found a new office!

Friday, February 03, 2012

More snorkeling

More snorkeling yesterday, this time at Crashboat. We started out under the piers...

but it was so nice we moved to the reef at the north end of Crashboat, up toward Natural. Dan just can't get enough of this!

Of course, we had to stop at the overlook for pictures.

Then we were off to OneTenThai for dinner.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Road trip to La Parguera

We took Amy and Dan on a road trip to La Parguera yesterday. They got to experience snorkeling for the first time here and the first time in years. They were both hooked, Dan especially. He can't wait to try scuba diving!

Amy in the water at La Parguera

On the way home we planned to stop for dinner in Boqueron at Galloways but it was closed! Bummer! We came on up to Aguada and had a sunset dinner at Sunset restaurant right on the water. (Sunset is a great restaurant in Aguda our friends Ralph and Maree turned us on to.)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Long strange winter

What a strange winter it's been! It's been so mild in the north with little snow - especially after last year! - and really no major winter storms.

There have been lots of stories about how bad this winter has been for ski resorts and other businesses that depend on winter but the mild winter in the north affects our business as well. I'm certainly not saying we're devastated like some of the ski areas; overall we're having a good season. But there are things we're noticing.

There is nothing like a good winter storm battering the Northeast to send snowbirds flocking south to warmer climes, including here. And once those storms clear the coast and head out into the Atlantic, they generate waves that draw surfers. There hasn't been one of those storms - yet. So surf has been small. The forecasts are calling for a little bump tomorrow and then a bigger swell Sunday into Monday. We'll see.

A series of low-pressure fronts marching across us one after the other has led to a flat, chilly, cloudy, windy winter so far. Last year was the driest winter with nearly three months without rain. This year it has rained a little almost every day.

Not everyone is complaining though. The kite surfers and windsurfers are having a great time with sometimes a dozen or more kiters enjoying the ride at Shacks.