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

Cartagena – Romancing the Stone Wall II

Cartagena, Colombia.

I don’t know what it is about Cartagena, but something in this city clicks with me. Its crowded, narrow streets would be a horror to drive (as witnessed from the side window of our tour bus). Maybe it’s the historic old forts there. Maybe it’s the stone wall that surrounds the city center, built centuries ago as protection from marauding pirates, maybe it’s the movie, “Romancing the Stone.” The opening photo above features a view of the old walled city was captured from the top of the Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas. Continue reading