Atlantis Submarine Tour – We Don’t Live There… and It’s Not Yellow

Cozumel, Mexico.

Before we started our cruise to the southern Caribbean, I hadn’t heard of the Mesoamerican Reef system. I’m still no expert, but I’ve seen the northern and southern ends of the reef up close and personal. Readers of last week’s Travel Tuesday post “rode along” with us in a glass-bottom boat. This week, we go as low as 100 feet (30 m) underwater in the submarine Atlantis. As I noted last week, if you wish to visit the reef only once, my recommendation would be via this submarine. For more on the specifics of the reef and its treasures, and view some more undersea images of the Mesoamerican Reef, my original post is here. This post is all about the excursion. Continue reading

Isla Roatán – Glass Bottom Boat and Island Tour

Isla Roatán, Honduras.

Just before the pandemic struck the world and was just beginning to be understood as a problem for Wuhan China, we boarded the Carnival Conquest for a cruise to the southern Caribbean. On our first visit to Mahogany Bay and Honduras, we were introduced to the Mesoamerican Reef, an undersea wonder that rivals the Great Australian Barrier Reef. You may recall photos of our visits to the reef from a post I published in March here. Our excursion for the day at Mahogany Bay included a tour of the island and the aforementioned visit to view the reef via a glass-bottomed boat. The image above was captured as we sat on the cruise ship dock awaiting our ship’s customs check and debarkation for our visit. Continue reading

Cayman Crystal Caves – From Pirate Hideout to Tourist Attraction

Grand Cayman Island.

About thirty years ago, a young man from Denmark moved to Grand Cayman and followed in his father’s footsteps. Christian Sorensen spent time searching the island for suitable caves to build a tourist attraction in the same manner as his father, Ole Sorensen, who was already successful in the development of Harrison’s Caves in Barbados. Unlike some of the cave attractions in the Caribbean that are complete with pirate “skeletons” and fake treasures, you won’t find any of that in Crystal Caves. From those early explorations, it took Christian Sorensen twenty years to purchase and develop the property into what it is today. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 10 May 2020

Miami, Florida.

It seems like a year ago, but on February 8, we departed Miami on the Carnival Conquest for a western Caribbean cruise. Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing photos from some of the excursions on that trip. If you are reading this on its publication date, Lynn and I, along with my niece and her husband would already be in Rome on our 50th Wedding Anniversary cruise and our first trip to Europe. Of course, you know we aren’t going anywhere far away anytime soon. Continue reading

Mesoamerican Reef – Largest Reef System in the Western Hemisphere

The Caribbean Sea.

On a recent cruise, we visited the Mesoamerican Reef, the western hemisphere’s largest barrier reef. At almost 700 miles (1126 km) in length, it is the one of the largest barrier reefs in the world. Second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, it stretches from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico to the islands off Honduras. At some locations, the reef is barely below the surface of the water. At Isla Roatan, we sat in the bottom of a V-hulled boat with viewing windows to observe the reef and its inhabitants. In the opening photo, the tiny bubbles near the top right of the image are an indicator of how shallow the water is off this Honduran Bay island. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 1 March 2020

Mahogany Bay, Roatan.

On our recent Carnival Conquest cruise of the Western Caribbean, we stopped at Isla Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras. This idyllic tropical island’s cruise ship port has two shipwrecks that are visible from the decks of the cruise ships that dock there. The large freighter in the center of the image ran aground in the area known as Dixon Cove. Continue reading

But I Digress – Cruising Photo Favorites

December 31, 2019.

In the late 1990’s, my wife Lynn, daughter Carrie, and I departed Miami for an Eastern Caribbean cruise. It was our first. We enjoyed it, but times being what they were, it would be 2007 before we would make our second cruise. Since then, it’s become our favorite way of vacationing. In the next 16 years, we’ve visited the Caribbean islands twice, Hawaii, Fanning Island (Tabuaeran), went through the Panama Canal twice, and as the photo above implies, we departed Seattle for Alaska (you can tell by the tiny Space Needle in the far right background of this image captured on the Norwegian Pearl.) Continue reading

Natuwa – Wildlife Rescue in Costa Rica

Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica.

On our first visit to Costa Rica in 2013 after crossing the Panama Canal, our first stop was Puntarenas. Back then, we opted for a jungle cruise and train ride. We had so much fun on the jungle cruise, we elected to do it again. Fortunately for us, that excursion was sold out by the time we went to reserve our excursions for the trip. It was indeed fortunate as we elected instead to visit Natuwa. We would have missed a visit to a fascinating place. Continue reading

Cellpic Sunday – 22 September 2019

Costa Rica.

An enigma wrapped in a mystery. That’s what this photo is. The date stamp from my cellphone indicates the image was captured at 5:18 PM. It’s obviously a sunset so we must therefore have been looking to the west. Here’s the enigma. We were on our way to transit the Panama Canal. The other images captured on that date were all of Costa Rica. We docked at Puntarenas that day. This image was captured as we departed toward our date the next morning with our Panama Canal transit. We were on the west side of Costa Rica in the Pacific Ocean. So, how could there be a land mass to the west between us and the sunset? Could it be the time stamp was wrong and this was a sunrise? Continue reading

Castillo San Felipe – Cartagena’s Fortress

Cartagena, Colombia.

Built high on a hill, the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas is a commanding sight across a canal from the walled portion of Cartagena, the old city. Originally built in 1536, and expanded in 1657, then again in 1763, the fort was the site of several battles over the centuries. At one point, the fort fell to the forces of a French privateer Baron de Pointis. Continue reading