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.

Binky the Barracuda – Get Well Soon.

If you need an introduction to Binky, <click here> But basically, Binky is the resident barracuda at Great St James who loves to swim with snorkelers. He is a familiar sight to a majority of the people who have visited Christmas Cove.

Back at Christmas Cove the other day. Just returning from a nice snorkel around the cove, and who should we find waiting under the boat when we got back but Binky. Wait. It’s not all good. On closer inspection we saw that Binky must have been having a rough time off it recently. About 5 feet of fishing line hung from his mouth and the edge of a hook could be seen in the left corner. Obviously Binky had a tale to tell. But he wasn’t talking.

Binky the Barracuda, hooked

Binky the Barracuda with line hanging from his mouth.

Barracudas are very territorial fish. And for as long as I can remember, Binky has been a resident of Christmas Cove. You may not see him every time, but he’s there. There, again being Christmas Cove.  Yeo, that’s right. The same Christmas Cove which is a marine reserve. The same one that has two floating signs at either entrance declaring it a marine reserve. And yep, those signs do clearly state that there is no fishing anywhere inside the marine reserve. And yep again, those same signs have maps on them so bone-heads can see where exactly the no fishing area is:

Sign at entrance to Christmas Cove

Sign at entrance to Christmas Cove

Looking at the map, Christmas Cove is the on left side of Great St James and between the  up and down Cs. Clearly there shouldn’t be any head scratching as to whether or not this bay is in a no fishing zone.

On the fishing forums, there seem to be two schools of thought about the hook. Some think it will disintegrate over time. Others disagree and say that hooks sold today will last quite a while underwater. I will be monitoring his progress and hopefully get a chance to shorten the trailing fishing line a bit.

So, to sum up:
We have a territorial fish which never strays from the bay in which it calls home. We have a bay, well within a marine reserve with signs at each entrance clearly declaring that the bay is inside a marine reserve and that fishing is not allowed. And we have that same territorial fish with a hook in its mouth.

It’s a bloody mystery, it is.

Get well soon, Binky.

-Capt Wilson

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.