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.

Birds of St Thomas

Other possible titles:

  • Cry Fowl in the Caribbean.
  • Birds of a Color
  • Screechers.
  • St Thomas Bird Watching (outside of the bars.)

Now, I’m pretty good at identifying the birds we see out on the ocean. Some abundant like the Brown Booby and others rarer like the American Oyster Catcher. (See some PHOTOS here) But the birds that chirp outside my window in the morning I really don’t have a clue. There have been parrots and finches and doves and this one which actually perched in a tree near the cottage. A hawk. Now you all know by the time you get the camera and get the lens cap off these things are gone but I got a shot of him up in the sky. There is a lot of talk about Chicken Hawks on St Thomas because there are so many chickens, but I think this is a Red-tailed Hawk. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.  I’ve seen him gliding over the outer cays and over all parts of St Thomas. Beautiful.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

The other bird of St Thomas featured today is the Green Heron. (Again, feel free to correct me or better yet confirm that they are what I think they are.) This little guy I have seen recently down at the marina. Balancing on dock lines or hanging out under the pier. He blends in well and I usually only spot him after he lets out the incredible screech which is very disproportionate to his size. However this one was very easy to spot as he was standing defiantly on the bow of Deja Blue.

Green Heron

Green Heron

Now, obviously both of these birds have a color in their name, and both are found on St Thomas, but the other thing that both of these guys have in common is that they have an unmistakable screech. I do not have a recording of them to play for you here as making a recording and posting is beyond the scope of this blog and beyond the scope of what I am willing to do for this blog. But take my word for it. You will know them when you hear it.

Capt Wilson

Wait, I’m not all bad. Here are links to recorded sounds for them:

For more tropical birds check out our page [bird identification for the virgin islands]