BootsnAll Travel Network

Day 21 Tobago

Day 21.jpg

Today, that’s right folks “Today”, I am writing this the same day that it is happening. Now, I might not get it uploaded the same day, but it will be written on the same day. Hallelujah

This morning I knew what I had to do. I pushed the drapes aside as I laid in bed and saw the sunlight pour in. It was not raining so that was a good thing. I was a little bit hesitant, but I knew I would kick myself if I didn’t do it. Today, I was going to swim to the offshore island that was supposed to have the best reef around, plus its name is Booby Island, I shit you not, take a look at the Lonely Planet Caribbean Guide page 566. BOOBY island. I love it Booby. And its not even in Martinque.

As I went outside, I knew it was not going to be as good as I thought. There was wind, and lots of it. This was the first time I experienced this much wind in Charlotteville and it had to happen on the day I was going to make a highly not recommended swim, without flippers, and a day before I was going to leave which gave me no option but to go. I grabbed my stuff and headed out the door. It was definitely windy because there were hardly anybody out. As I got to the dock, I could see the cross winds blowing straight across the bay. They were stirring up waves that were pounding against the cliffs that edged towards the little island. That kind of ruined my original plan of skirting along the cliff edge and stopping at the little rock falls when I got tired. The actual shortest route was straight across the bay, but I didn’t like the idea of being run over by a boat or the non-help if I got into trouble. The water was dirty from being churned up but I just looked into my inner self which always just responds “what are you a pussy?” as an answer when I am in any quandry. I guess that is why I always end up doing these dumb ass things. I need a new inner being. So, with that I jumped on in and started swimming. The swim was rather uneventful and took about 45 minutes of serious stroking. The tide was somewhat favorable so I did drift in somewhat the right direction. The dirty water did make things a bit sketchy since I couldn’t see anything around me. That claustrophobic, big things in the ocean thoughts popped in a couple of times, but it quickly passed. The guy who runs the students out to the reef zipped by yelling at me and asking if I was on my way back to the states. When I got to the little beach area, about a dozen girls in bikinis from the UK University were there doing there Reef studies. I had met them before on the beach at Pirates Cove. Man what a great class to take. I asked if they had swam by the island or farther down along the reef but they were not allowed by the instructor. That sucked. I decided to do some adventuring and took off to swim around the little island. The waves were really pounding it and by the time I got to the far side the current was really kicking. Because of the constant current, the far side turned into a barren bubbly zone. It caused a ton of tiny little bubbles which brought around the little bait fish. With the little bait fish came the packs of Barracuda. With the Barracuda, a big sign came out which said Jungle Man, get the hell out of there. The under water camera I use has a big bright yellow neck strap. As it waved in the water, the Barracudas would jerk back towards me. There were two big packs of about 10 each just hanging out in the current. It was spooky as hell since there was nothing in the way of structure around there. I had to turn my back to them and I fought the current back to the safety of the reef. That island swim would fall into the bad category. I tucked my tail between my legs and swam back to the beach with the other girlies. By this time the guy was there to pick them up to take them back to the main beach. I laughed when they had to put on life jackets. I figured when I drowned, who would be laughing then. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. I had talked to one of the instructors who did ask what I was going to do if I got into trouble. I showed him my camera. He asked if it floated. I told him no, but I could take pictures of myself when I went down so people would know what happened to me. He didn’t get my Jungle Man humor.

After everybody had left I built a little Jungle Man shrine and decided to make the swim back. It was probably not such a good idea to do some strenuous swims while I was there because I was getting tired and thirsty. I looked into my inner self and got the usual, so I dove in and started back. The way back was a lot more strenuous because now I was fighting the current. On the way in I could do the kick and glide stroke. On the way back I had to do the full free style to make it back. The only sketchy thing on the way back happened when a bunch of False Jacks zipped past and then came in behind me using me to break the current. That’s what I thought they were doing until the four Barracudas zipped right in after them. I was being used as structure and I didn’t like that at all. I tucked my strap in and kept on swimming. Everything soon disappeared so I went back to focusing on my stroke and pushing the big objects floating below me out of my head. When I got back to shore I was pretty beat. I dragged ass down the beach, picked up my sandals and shirt and headed over to my relaxation area, the pier. I hung out there for about an hour, drying off and catching my wind. I was starving so I headed back to my place, showered and headed back into town for fish and fries. After lunch it was back to my room for two hours of “planning.” Being that it was my last day and I had accomplished all that I set out to do, I decided to take one last leisurely snorkel around the Pirates Bay reef. When I got to the beach, the guide was there with a stack of bamboo and palm fronds. We had discussed the day before a layout of how to build it, but I thought he was just daydreaming about it. He asked if I was there for a swim. I told him it was my last day, so I wanted to do a last swim around. He asked if I would help him for a bit when I was done. I told him that I would help him then since I had done the long island swim. He just shook his head and laughed at how insane I was with all these hikes and swims. Well, one thing led to another and we built a whole bamboo hut. It was more of a shelter, but it was actually sturdier that what he had before and it looked ten times more authentic. We dug holes, sawed the bamboo, notched the big tubes, split the bamboo length wise as ceiling beams, laid palm fronds across the top, and then remounted his tarp over that to make it water proof. It actually came out really good. Now I could definitely survive out in the rainforest. We finished about a hour after dark, so he said he would give me a ride on his boat back to the dock. I had been trying to set up a fishing trip this whole time mainly to get the boating view of the island, but all the guys were getting way too greedy. My last day there and I finally scored my boat ride. He still had to take care of one more thing before we left. The big Fisherman Festival was the upcoming weekend, which is the biggest beach party in Tobago and a huge event for Charlotteville. I was leaving before that, but I already had done the Sunday school party, so knew kind of what to expect. What we had to do was collect all the beer bottles and box them up so he could take them into town the next day to get more beer for the festival. We spent the next half an hour boxing up nine cases of beer bottles. We loaded up the little rowboat and headed off back to town. On the way back, the firefly’s were lighting up the hillside and as we rowed, it looked like they were blinking in the water as well, but it was a bunch of incandescent jelly fish glowing in the water. It was really mesmerizing. That whole evening was really special to me, it kind of represented the different life I lead when I am not working. I love meeting people and just jumping in and doing different types of things. There were a bunch of tourist on the beach who were probably there the whole time watching this guy haul a bunch of bamboo stuff on the beach. They probably just watched him working on something. When we started building, people were taking pictures and asking what we were doing, but still just standing back and watching. I mean how many people can say that they have built a bamboo hut on a beach in the middle of the rain forest. It’s probably a once in a lifetime experience but yet all those people just never took that step to do it. The guy told me when we were through that he doesn’t really deal with the people that much outside of the tourist needs, but since I was cool in helping him get started on his project he thought I was really unique. He even gave me his e-mail so that I could keep up with how the hut was doing. That just made this great week even better.
I ended the night heading down and uploading a couple of blog entries I had already written. My little cake hut was still open so I grabbed my usual of chocolate cake and Sprite and came home to start packing. So, as I type this, I am packed and ready to leave tomorrow. I talked to my Rasta Blockbuster guy and he said that the Ferry sucks and that he always flies. It’s only $100 TT which is around $17 US. I think I am going to fly to Trinidad instead. I am not sure about the Ferry schedule so I know I can catch a flight. We’ll see tomorrow. So with that, that should wrap up my Tobago entries.

Have a good night. I’m off to bed.

Star light
Star bright
Off I go around the world,
To find the Hearts right.

The Jungle Man II.


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