New Hat (2016-2017)

Capt Wilson of Island Wilson Excursions

Capt Wilson of Island Wilson Excursions

Ahoy crew! Your captain here with an end of the season (beginning of the season) recap-what-all. This is in no particular order, so bear with me.

We are officially into the 2016-2017 season and I would love to say it started without a hitch but it ain’t so. Minor stuff and everyone left with big smiles at the end of the day. (Except for Joe who, I’m told, doesn’t smile.) Next week the Crazy Texans return, as the beginning of the season requires, and they have booked almost everyday. So it starts with a bang. (figuratively please! )

Despite starting last season 2015-2016 under a bit of a dark cloud we had an awesome season. Met some awesome people. Saw some awesome friends revisit. And had quite a few awesome experiences. Many awesome trips. So, if I had to sum up the last season in one word, it would, of course, be “super!” (insert smiley face)

One thing that the 2014-2015 crisis taught me is that we are not really prepared for emergencies and if you all hadn’t pitched in to save the bacon, things would have gone much differently. That is why 2016-2017 is seeing a price increase. Half Days are up by $40 and Full Days have increased by $70. Now, don’t get all moody on me. This is the first price increase we’ve had in 8 years and the R.O. dis is still in effect.

Scubapro Twin Jets

Scubapro Twin Jets

 

There was a memorial service for my Scubapro Twin-Jets. As it seems they were only built to last 16 years. These puppies were given to me by my OWSI Instructor in 2000 and have seen many places on the globe. So of course they got replaced another pair if the same. Different color.

Ok. On to more positive things. I have started what I can only refer to as “the project.” “The project” will take all season to complete and will involve everyone who takes a trip in the coming year. AND . . . it will be really cool. Everyone who has already participated in “the project” is very excited (read mildly amused) by “the project.” But the first rule of “the project” is that we don’t talk about “the project”, until you are in “the project.” And even then, only in whispers. But again, really cool stuff.

I don’t normally single out anyone (besides Margy and the Texans) because there are so many of you out there that make the year special for me (and Blue) in your own way. And If I started a list It would be long and I would probably leave someone out and I might even mist up. So I want to avoid that slippery slope. But this once . . .  ok. Shawn S. is my hero. Enough said.

Beautiful Blue.  Blue was on the hard in June this year for her yearly maintenance and bottom paint and she got a top-side make over as well. An awlgrip paint job on the aluminum and new cushions. And she looks fantastic. Some of you R.O.s who visited post June have seen the difference. We may implement a biodegradable sun screen only policy to keep her looking nice. Hmmm, I just came up with that, but I like it.

And finally, the edits are complete on this years Snorkeling Video for 2016 and we included it in this post. Hope you like it. (I mean) Like it!

And as always, Thanks to all of you for finding us, for being R.O.s  and for being part it even when you’re not here. Safe travels, everyone. Hope to see you back soon!

-Capt Wilson

St Thomas snorkeling at its best! (2016 style)

-More great [videos]
-Photos of sea turtles, common fish seen snorkeling and other reef stuff.

Snorkeling St Thomas, USVI (2015)

I find myself with a bit of free time on my hands. Those of you who know why, know that this is not the giddy happy free time we all wish for. It is the worried agitated free time that usually leads to nail biting. My nails, are untouched at the moment. But the month is young, my friends. The month is young.

Last year with very little free time, I constructed a snorkeling video for you. It was and is awesome! I’m sorry, but It just is. I still watch and I still say “wow.” For those of you who haven’t seen just how awesome it is,  just click here for just the youtube video OR click here for the whole post and video. So, to start a little IWE (Island Wilson Excursions) tradition, I edited the video clips from our 2014-2015 season and put together a new snorkeling video for you. It has some really nice shots in it and I am tempted to say that the whole thing is “awesome.” But You’ll have to watch for yourselves and let me know. I can tell you that I will make a sincere effort to collect much more snorkeling clips during the coming season and try to top both 2014 and 2015 with 2016’s snorkeling video next year.

Ok. enough blah-blah. Here is the Snorkeling St Thomas video for 2015. Enjoy!

-Capt Wilson

St Thomas snorkeling at its best!

-More great [videos]
-Photos of sea turtles, common fish seen snorkeling and other reef stuff.

Snorkeling St Thomas, US Virgin Islands

It has been a wonderful two years of snorkeling. Revisiting our favorite spots on St Thomas and discovering some great new snorkel sites as well. But after a while the snorkel videos start to pile up in a folder labeled To Be Sorted. It became too big to even contemplate the idea of looking through months of underwater video. But Make Snorkeling Video kept finding its way to the top of my To-Do list and after shoving it back in the deck a few dozen times, I had to face the fact that it was not going away.

So I scheduled it my head. Do this Low Season. Or Slow Season if you prefer. But Low Season is almost as hectic as High Season. Repairing this, Registering that and all the while keeping one eye on the horizon for a hurricane.  And as Low Season came and went I realized that if I didn’t make a snorkeling video now, next year the To Be Sorted folder would have 12 more months of videos in it. That was the spark. The daunting task of watching 2 years of snorkeling videos or the daunting task of watching 3 years of snorkeling videos. Fear won over laziness and I dove in.

It really wan’t that bad after getting started. It did take a few days to put everything in order. And a few more to download, install, reinstall and re-reinstall the newest version of iMovie. There were also a few days of cursing iMovie when I found out all past videos would have to stay in the past. iMovie basically told me “You won’t be needing those.”  But it was fun. And looking through the clips brought back a lot of memories. And it got me fired up about snorkeling this coming season. And I am also super stoked to take Make Snorkeling Video off of the To-Do list. At least off the list until next year, that is.

So, enough blah-blah. Here is the Snorkeling St Thomas video for 2014. Enjoy!

-Capt Wilson

St Thomas snorkeling at its best!

-More great [videos]
-Photos of sea turtles, common fish seen snorkeling and other reef stuff.

The Whales are Here ! (It’s not a fluke)

Humpback whale

Humpback whale tail slap. Fluke

When do the whales swim past the Virgin Islands? February and March. It’s still January, so they’re early this year? A bit. But hey, they’re whales, not tarpon. And if a 25 ton whale wants to be a little early, well it’s smart to let them. Below are some photos from today’s sighting. (There is also a video but its crap.)

Capt Wilson

Humpback whale

Humpback whale

Humpback whale

Humpback whale fluke

Humpback whale

Humpback whale

Humpback whale

Humpback whale

Pillar Coral

Pillar Coral

Pillar Coral

A common coral seen in the Virgin Islands, and one of the most beautiful, is pillar coral.

  • It is one of the corals which the polyps of its colony can be seen extended during the day. All of the tiny polyps make it appear to shimmer when the water around it moves.
  • Colonies can grow as high as 6 ft
  • Each colony of pillar coral is either male or female. No co-ed colonies.

In this video you can see an adult yellowtail damselfish, a gray damsel fish, some juvenile bluehead wrasse (they are yellow), a blue tang and a juvenile stripped parrotfish. This pillar coral is surrounded by staghorn coral.

Capt Wilson

-More great [videos]
-Photos of sea turtles, common fish seen snorkeling and other reef stuff.