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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Beach Comber

                February 25. We were all excited to go to Beach Comber Island today. Its diameter is approximately a quarter of a mile, so it’s a tiny island resort. We packed only our backpacks for 2 nights and 3 days. It took about an hour of driving and an hour of boating to get to the island. It was even smaller than I perceived it to be. We pulled up right onto the white beach and jumped from the boat, eager to explore the layout of the beach. The entrance to the resort was 20 feet from the beach and opened into a bar on the left and the dining room on the right. We checked into our room, which thankfully had exactly 14 beds so we didn’t need to share with anyone, and walked over to the notice board to plan out our day’s events. At 2pm there was a free 45 minute snorkel that Caitie, Steran, Andrew, Jade, Ben, and I signed up for and until then we ate lunch in the dining hall. There are 3 free meals a day here and all are buffet style. Consequentially, there was a huge line consisting of all 50 tourists on the island. The meal entailed pita bread, rice, beef curry, pineapple, and cassava (a root that resembled and tasted like a potato). At 2pm we rented masks, snorkels and fins and headed out to the reef with 20 other snorkelers.
                The reef was beautiful with grey, crumbled live rock and an abundance of fire and brain coral. There were many tiny fish with exotic features and colors. Bright blue starfish littered the sea floor and you occasionally caught sight of a moray eel peering curiously at you as you swam by. The reef was about 7 feet from the surface of the water, but after the edge it became somewhere closer to 25 feet. We could swim to the bottom to see stingrays and larger fish, but trying to hold your breath combined with constantly equalizing the pressure made it a cumbersome dive. We collected plenty of unique shells in our allotted time, but all too soon we were called back to the boat to go home.
                By 3pm it was too late to do much except lay on the beach and wait for dinner to start. The surrounding beach is different in certain areas, which surprised me because it’s probably only a half a mile stretch at the most. Some parts are gorgeously clean with white sand and no rocks, but others are filled with live rock, which tries to murder your feet as you stride on them. There is also a distinct smell of seaweed constantly being wafted into our room. It is also dangerously hot as well. I’ve had to reapply sunscreen twice already in the past 4 hours. You glisten with sweat in your first 30 minutes of lying there and you’re drenched after another hour. The beach is not meant for human habitation from 11am-2pm.
                Dinner consisted of fish, cassava, and salad. I have recently taken a liking to the fish here, which is surprisingly because I rarely eat fish at home. Dinner was followed by the Bula and a limbo, which I lost miserably. The nightlife here is fantastic and energetic. It is really hard to find time to blog here because there is no internet and I want to make sure I make the most of the last days I have with this fantastic group. I doubt I’ll be able to post the next few days until I get to China. I want to make the most of time I have with my group. I sincerely apologize for making you all wait on these posts, but for those of you who can spare about 30 minutes to catch up on the last few days, you can be sure of some great days ahead.

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