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Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill

Posted By: mikell

Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 01:43 AM

Today’s special highlight will be holding a nurse shark and trying to say “cheese” underwater!

But first, our morning held a thrill of it’s own…a gastronomic one! It’s a calm morning with sun and a light breeze (only later we were told that it rained during the night – we never did SEE a drop during our whole trip). We have been enjoying breakfasts at Banana Beach, but this morning we’re determined to find out what all the fuss is about Estelle’s.

Walking the beach to town in the morning is a real pleasure (if you give your feet a break in between walks by renting golf carts). We always find amazing things to take pictures of along the route. Maybe it’s an egret looking for his own breakfast….

[img]http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b4dd22b3127cceb9e2302958600000003610[/img]

Or maybe just a “picture perfect” place to rest on this amazingly uncrowded beach…

[img]http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b4dd22b3127cceb9e237fc182e0000003610[/img]

Estelle’s is uncrowded too…and we get there to find an open table with the best view anyone could imagine for morning dining. So glad we made the trek to town for breakfast here. The seafood omelette is shear heaven and after one bite of MY fry jacks…alan is sorry he settled for toast with his bacon & cheese omelette. This tasty morsel of fried dough is a MUST EAT for everyone going to AC.

[img]http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b4dd22b3127cceb9e2490a99d70000003610[/img]

After a bit of shopping for t-shirts, gifts and a few groceries, we take a taxi back to Banana Beach and just do some lounging and reading out front by the water. We check with Monkey Business to see if we can book a snorkel trip back to Mexico Rocks, only to find out that NO ONE is going there this afternoon. I’m a little disappointed because we really wanted to see the sights there again on a sunny & warmer day. But, we decide that we’ll settle for another trip to Shark Ray Alley with a second stop at Coral Gardens. Alfonse is taking one other couple, so it’s just four for this tour.

Around 2 p.m., Alfonse & Giovani pick us all up and this really turns out to be a huge thrill. Alfonse is everything we’ve heard about him. He has an amazing knowledge about the reefs and their inhabitants…and he’s a true entertainer in the water to boot! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves….

[img]http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b4dd27b3127cceb98aa9dee30d0000003610[/img]

[img]http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b4dd27b3127cceb98aadfee32f0000003610[/img]

And finally…the picture of me that I’m most proud of…and still a little amazed at…(after not being sure just weeks ago that I would even get into water filled with sharks)…Alfonse scoops up a “smallish” shark from the bottom and convinces me to hold it like a football under my arm…

[img]http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b4dd27b3127cceb98aac38a3710000003610[/img]

We are still talking about this experience as we head to Coral Gardens for another snorkel…finding a lovely assortment of coral and fish here to marvel at.

Finally, it’s back to the hotel. Too tired to go out for dinner, we decide to order our meal from the Stained Glass Pub. They deliver (by taxi) a fabulous fish & chips dinner for me…and that great chicken fingers basket and key lime pie for Alan.

It’s the perfect relaxing end to an exciting day. Tomorrow is our last full day here and it will be filled with a bunch of “lasts”…pictures, meals, goodbyes, shopping and lounging…

To be continued…
Posted By: mobunny

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 01:51 AM

Oh yeah! That was a good installment. mobunny cool
Posted By: Angelo

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 02:20 AM

Wow! I don't think there's much more I can say. Marty better be giving you kickback for this stuff Mikell wink
Posted By: KathyA

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 04:05 AM

Mikell...when are ya'll planning your next trip down?
Posted By: C from UK

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 11:38 AM

Stunned!!! Can't wait!!!!!!!
Posted By: Now Danny

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 01:48 PM

Thanks for another great report and pixs. Mikell, what type of vest are you wearing while snorkling? An inflatable? Did you bring with you or rent it there? We will be there a week from today and want to be prepared. Thanks Danny
Posted By: goody2shuz

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 01:58 PM

Mikell..hats off to you laugh I'm quite taken by the entire experience...I too am a little apprehensive about this whole swimming with the shark thing, however, after viewing your photos I may very well jump in for the adventure smile Was the current strong in the areas that you snorkeled? I've snorkeled before and wouldn't consider myself a strong swimmer but never found the need to wear a vest when snorkeling in the past. I've read on some posts that the currents are strong. What's your opinion on the need for a life vest?
Posted By: mikell

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 02:49 PM

i've always been a bit timid around water. i'm not a very good swimmer and before last year i really never spent much time in the water. but i got hooked on snorkeling last year in jamaica. there, i used a regular type life vest to give me a sense of security, altho i did try a bit of snorkeling without a vest.

before going to belize, i bought an inflatable vest knowing it would be so much more comfortable and easy to pack too. turned out to be a very good decision.

alan, who is a very good swimmer, around water all his life, never used a vest for snorkeling....thinks that he may get one next time too. he wouldn't use it in most snorkeling conditions, but the day we were at hol chan he could have used it. it was a fairly windy/rough day and after being in the water for awhile, doing a few free dives to take pictures and starting to get tired, he found himself in the strong current and struggling to get back to our boat. a vest would have helped.

i stayed out of that current...it seems to be just where the water is flowing through the cut in the reef and with an outgoing tide, it can really pull you out. on either side of it, you don't feel that pull.

i didn't see any other snorkelers using vests. but being older, smokers and (in my case) not a strong swimmer, i think one of these very comfortable inflatable vests is a good idea. it greatly increased my pleasure in the water.
Posted By: goody2shuz

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 02:59 PM

Thanks, Mikell for sharing...I will discuss it further with my husband. A funny thing I thought would be worth sharing...while on our honeymoon almost 17 years ago, I went out snorkeling for the first time. I wasn't too confident in my swimming capabilities and my new husband assurred me that I wouldn't need a vest...that the salt water would keep me bouyant. I insisted on the vest and for the entire week wore it. On our last day I wanted my husband to get a picture of me diving under the water. I removed the vest and for the life of me, despite numerous tries, I couldn't even dive far enough under the water for him to get a decent shot!!! eek This was in Jamaica and since then I've never worn a vest laugh
Posted By: Jack and Rose

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 03:12 PM

Mikell,your killing me with the photo of Estel's.
Rose and I ate there six of eight mornings!!!The fryjacks were my favorite. I think everyone who goes to San Pedro should have at least one breakfast at Estel's. Great owners, family run with two sons waiting tables.The location is fabulous,right on the beach. If you are there early enough, you can see the kid's heading to school along the beach. The High School is right on the ocean up the beach about 10 mins from Estel's. Due to the weather,high winds,we did not get to go snorkleing. Your photos put me right there.

Jack
Posted By: Richard Chambers

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 03:40 PM

Outstanding report! Have to agree that Estelles is a "Must" for breakfast at least once. We always stop to chat with Charlie when we are there. He gave us the "office tour" for a good 4-5 hours during our trip in 2000. A experience never to be forgotten! eek
Posted By: Now Danny

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 04:23 PM

Mikell, Thanks for your thoughts about the vest. Do you believe we would be able to rent them there? About how much did it cost to buy? Thanks again, and waiting for the next report.
Posted By: mikell

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 04:29 PM

i didn't see anyone else wearing an inflatable vest...doubt that you can rent them anywhere...but can't say for sure.

i bought mine online at scubatoys.com...you can find them at a lot of places...cost is about $35...good investment if you do a lot of snorkeling. very easy to inflate and deflate quickly (if you want to dive to take a picture).
Posted By: Redheada

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 05:16 PM

AMAZING! eek
Posted By: Now Danny

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 05:52 PM

Thanks Mikell, I saw a similer one at a local dive shop but it was about $75. Not much demand for such things in Cleveland, Ohio.
Posted By: coconuts

Re: Trip Report: Part Thirteen – Another Big Time Thrill - 03/12/04 09:19 PM

Mikell
I also would like to thank your for your most enjoyable trip reports. I can't help but check if your next report is up everytime I walk past my computer. We will be in ac April 3rd and just can't wait. We will be staying at Portofino and now have some reservations as to whether or not it is too far north. But how bad can a few miles be, it's still paradise.

Thanks again, looking forward to fourteen.

nancy smile smile
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