St. Vincent and the Grenadines

July 26

We go snorkeling around the sandbar called Mopion, and notice that we are not the only people with laundry problems
Map of July 26th's travels

My breakfast today was good, but uninspiring -- waffles. Again no mangos; where are my mangos? Joel had scrambled eggs and fried fish (wahoo) again. He was nice enough to let me have a few bites, yummy.

Our outing for the morning was to go to the little island of Mopion, off of the coast of Petit St. Vincent. Mopion is really nothing more than a sandbar. It has a single umbrella on it, but not much else. You can explore the whole island in about 2 seconds, if you turn around quickly.

Because Mopion is so small, you have to schedule a visit with the resort. The resort brings only one set of guests to the island at a time, scheduling out a few trips a day. You sign up at least a day in advance in the office, arranging for any food and drink you might want as well as transportation (by dingy). We opted for the morning shift to avoid the midday heat, although I suspect that lunch on Mopion is the more popular option.

Daphne relaxes on the sandbar called Mopion

We met the dingy at the jetty at 9:30 and they motored us over. Both Joel and I were remembering why we hate boats. Well not all boats, just motor boats. Sailboats glide through the water. Power boats bash the smallest wave, pounding you into the seat. But they are fast and we were on Mopion in about 5 minutes.

We were dropped off on this island with our snorkel gear, some books, and a bottle of water plus ice. Then our dingy left. This brought back the memory of a story that Jeremy told us about how one group been left on the island all night and had not been picked up until morning. We had no worry about that, however. Another guest was scheduled to arrive for the lunch shift so we would be able to go back then.

Nothing grows on Mopion. Shade can only be found under the small thatched umbrella precariously perched on this tiny spit of sand surrounded by water. After dumping out gear under the little umbrella we headed for the sea.

White encrusting zoanthid close up

And it was beautiful. Definitely the best snorkeling anywhere around Petit St. Vincent. Lots of different fish, eels, and squid. I kept looking for the elusive lobster, but the only one I saw was a dead one washed up on the beach. The really beautiful part was the small coral canyons. I loved diving down to the bottom and swimming around.

We looped around the island and then had a bit of trouble getting back to Mopion from the opposite side. The coral was very close to the surface and we had to find our way through the maze to the sandy beach.

Once back on land (sand), we read a bit while waiting for our ride to come back. I really don't see what people like about spending time on the beach. The wind was blowing sand into my eyes. I wish there were chairs on Mopion to sit in, so I didn't have to lie in the sand.

Not long after we got out of the water and I started reading, a little dingy pulled up on the far end of the island. A naked man and half naked woman got out. I always thought that not wearing clothes would be the best way to go around here. You would have no wet bathing suits clinging to you. Towels wouldn't be as necessary because drip drying would be very quick. The only problem would be sunburn on parts that I don't really want sun burned. In this case, we were not sure whether these other vacationers were simple used to the looser standards of European beachwear (2), or they were just having laundry problems like we had.

At long last the PSV dingy arrived to save us, and drop another couple off. They guests who arrived on the PSV dingy had a picnic basket with them, so they were obviously planning to have lunch on Mopion. Hmm, all I could think was that they would be eating a lot of sand today. I'm happy to have my lunch in a chair.

Locals feeding scraps to the birds

And speaking of lunch, we had that wonderful buffet again. This time, however Joel didn't want the buffet. Instead, he wanted a fish sandwich (3), which they happily supplied him. We ate slowly and kept going back for little tidbits. On our way back from lunch, Joel noticed some local fisherman feeding the birds. This was another good opportunity to take bird pictures, so Joel went over to the beach and took some great pictures of the frigate birds flying around.

After lunch we were lazy again and didn't really do anything significant (that you want to read about). We played another game of Starship Catan, and Joel beat me badly (4).

Joel was tired of ordering tea that comes with cookies he doesn't like. They ought to make some plain cookies for those that have different tastes. The cookies on PSV all seem to have some kind of fruits or nuts in them, and often both. Instead of tea, I ordered a mango daiquiri. I had to find some way to get my daily dose of mango. Of course, I couldn't taste the mango in the daiquiri. Mind you it was very good; but it tasted more of lime than mango.

Frigate bird in flight

We lounged in our room for the rest of the afternoon occasionally going out on the deck for the view. During the afternoon, we had a storm come in. Well several storms really. They would come in quickly, pour rain for a few minutes and then blow off. None of the rain showers lasted for very long, but they really blew the rain around.

In the early evening there was a cocktail party, sponsored by the resort manager. The cocktail party was held in the dining area, at the far end in rooms that were empty every other time we came to dinner. They had a spread of appetizers and live music playing. They also had an open bar -- finally, free drinks (5).

For the first time at Petit St. Vincent, we socialized with other guests. We spent some time talking with one couple, then ended up eating with another couple. The first couple was from the New York City area and they were on PSV for their honeymoon. The second couple were also on their honeymoon. They lived in Connecticut, but had just gotten married in Boston.

Dinner was very busy. Normally we arrive at dinner right when it opens up, and we always get a table near the main dining room and kitchen. But after the cocktails, we were too busy talking to race down and get a good table. By the time we noticed that dinner was happening, all the tables were full. Later we learned that the resort had a large number of boaters come ashore that night for dinner, filling up the tables. We ended up at the last table they had left, in the area where they had held the cocktail party, and we ate with the newlyweds from Connecticut.

The saga of the friendship necklace

Daphne is a bead weaver by profession, she hand crafts custom beaded jewelry. You can see much of her work on her web site -- Daphne's Designs. Before coming on this trip, Daphne made a set of five matching necklaces, featuring little blue fish. You can see two of the five necklaces around Daphne's neck in the picture on the right.

Daphne wearing two of the friendship necklaces

The idea behind the friendship necklaces was to start the vacation with five, but to finish the vacation with none. No, Daphne was not hoping to lose them. Instead, she wanted to find appropriate people to give the necklaces to as a gift. Five necklaces, five gifts.

The first necklace went to Nicole, Brian's wife (our hosts at Petit Byahaut). The second necklace went to Brian and Nicole's daughter. We gave them the necklaces as we were leaving Petit Byahaut. Two down, three more to go.

The third necklace went to Vanessa, Jeremy's mate on the Fortitude. We gave Vanessa her necklace on our last night on the sailboat. Three down, two more to go (as you can see in the picture).

But Petit St. Vincent was harder. There were no obvious hosts to gift; although we met the PSV manager at the cocktail party, we never met his wife. We really never formed the connection to the staff of PSV, the way we had at Petit Byahaut and on Fortitude (not surprising since we were not the only guests on Petit St. Vincent).

But we were saved by the cocktail party. Much to their shock, Daphne gave each of the two newlywed brides one of the friendship necklaces as a parting gift. Now we could return home in peace, having given away all of the friendship necklaces (and having spent a chunk of our life's savings paying for the resorts).

Footnote 1: I know, you expected that link to take you to this picture of the naked people. Well, this is a family site so we couldn't make it that easy.

Footnote 2: We believe that this couple was from Europe, not by the cut of the man's jib, but because we saw them take their dingy back to a sailboat flying Italian colors.

Footnote 3: Yes, I am going for the record. Fish for breakfast, fish for lunch, and fish for dinner, three days straight. This is the Caribbean after all.

Footnote 4: Daphne means that I won the game of Starship Catan. What did you think she meant? I ended up winning three out of the four games of Starship Catan. But Daphne wins other games we play, so we end up even.

Footnote 5: Joel celebrated by having a coke. But it was a free coke.

 Back to July 25   Go to July 27 
Introduction | July 14th (travel day) | July 15th (Falls of Baleine) | July 16th (Petit Byahaut) | July 17th (La Soufriere hike)
July 18th (sail to Bequia) | July 19th (Union Island) | July 20th (Sandy Island) | July 21th (Tobago Cays) | July 22th (Petit Tobac)
July 23th (arrive at PSV) | July 24th (West Side Beach) | July 25th (Atlantic Beach) | July 26th (Mopion) | July 27th (travel day)
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