Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sea Cave Exploring

Sitter with kids    √
Snorkel gear packed    √
Road map in hand     √

Hit the Road, Jack!
Day #2 of "treasure hunting".  T.J., Christa, Prince and I started our adventure by pointing the car towards the town of Negril.  I'd never been on that part of the Island before and was so excited about the new countryside.  We couldn't agree on what to do, but set out hoping to decide when we got there.

The road ran almost completely along {and on} the coast.  I loved looking at the little towns and fishing villages along the way.  The main road was smooth and nice even though it was pretty narrow in spots.

After traveling for about an hour, we came to Negril.  One of us, (not me) wanted goat for lunch.  So we asked around about the best place to eat curry goat. We decided on a little wooden building.  There were a couple of small tables inside, but we opted to sit outside.  There were 4 lawn chairs on their little veranda.

No, I didn't eat goat today.  I opted for chicken, rice with peas, and shredded cabbage.  So yummy.

After a very filling lunch we took off in the car, again, seeking adventure.  Christa and I enjoyed ourselves reading the hand-painted signs and pointing out different interesting sights.  We passed by a particular site that is famous for cliff diving.   It started as kinda a whim.  We just pulled off to "have a look".  There were 6 or 7 young boys there jumping in.  Their stunts became more daring when they saw us and they would call to us to make sure we were watching.  The highest cliff was around 30 feet up, and you jump into some of the clearest turquoise water I've ever seen.

Prince had jumped from the same cliff about 4 years ago, but he and Christa decided to go for it today.  Christa was so cute, you could see she was excited as she quickly walked up to the edge.  After about 4 seconds of looking, she backed up and leaped over the edge.  Prince didn't look as thrilled to jump....he kept walking up to the edge and then turning around.  But, that's what happens when you talk BIG...you gotta follow through.  Finally, he leaped over the edge and sailed..{and sailed...and sailed} down into the water.
T.J. and I put on our snorkel gear and joined them in the water.  I was so excited to discover {all by myself} a large orange starfish, clinging to the underwater wall!  Usually they discover all the cool stuff first, and have to point it out to me.  There was a big tall cliff that had a large opening you could climb through.  So we climbed up to see what was on the other side.  The coast line was so breathtaking, full of steep rugged cliffs....and right there further up the coast was a large sea cave!  It was there....begging to be explored!  To get back into the water there was a 13 or 14 foot cliff to jump off of.  I wonder if it occurred to any of my fellow adventurers that we'd have to get back up there when we were finished?

It was quite a swim getting to the cave opening, and we weren't sure what to expect when we got there.

WOW...

It was magnificent with two different paths to choose.  Prince, always looking for the path less traveled, dove down deep and disappeared back into the cave.  He called for us to follow.  Not wanting to seem like a chicken,  I focused straight ahead and {furiously} paddled through the narrow passageway.  I expected an eel or other some fearsome creature to zip out at me at any moment.  After we all reached the inner chamber there was a tall ceiling and ledges we could sit on. I was so happy I went in.  The picture below is the view looking back out at the Sea.  Isn't it magnificent the way the sunbeams contrast the dark walls?  The water seemed to glow around us.



(above) This is a sting ray the glided down and buried itself in the sand far below us.  Prince dove down to get a picture of it.



After leaving the sea cave, we swam across the water back to the cliff we started from.   On the sea floor far below, T.J. pointed out a large puffy sand dollar.  After he pointed it out, I saw 3 more myself.   So beautiful, I wish I could have one to keep.  

Then came the time to brave the rugged steep cliff.  Prince started for a low ledge.  After he climbed a little ways up, he turned to me and  held out his hand for me to follow.  He said, "Just watch out for the sea urchins, fire coral, and lion fish."  {seriously}  I looked under the surface to see the entire incline thickly spotted with spiny black or red sea urchins.  On both sides of the underwater ledge was large patches of orange painful fire coral.  Floating nearby to the right was a medium size poisonous lion fish.  {yeehaw...ride em' cowgirl}  Seriously thought about just treading water for a few more hours.  

Sometimes you just have to do things before you think to hard about it! With a burst of energy I swam forward, trying to mainly focus on my Prince's outstretched hand...waiting to pull me up to safety.  I'm a survivor!

After we climbed up the cliff, through the large opening to the other side,  and were standing looking at the waves below us, someone said, "let's explore that other cave."  {deep breath}

Slipping into the deep blue water again, our little group headed into yet another sea cave.  A couple of young local boys had told us that there was something special about this one.  After you enter it, you can go through a 6 to 8 foot underwater tunnel to a nice size secret room.  There is an opening near the top of the chamber to let sunlight in.  I'll give you 3 guesses who's husband quickly dove through the dark opening and disappeared from sight.  After a few seconds T.J started calling Josh's name.  We'd wait a few seconds and then call again.  The rotten scoundrel gave us quite a scare waiting for a a few more seconds before answering us back!  It wasn't long before Christa dove under also.  She got a little scared when the tide started pulling her back and she couldn't go deeper.  Next time, she timed it with the pull of the tide and dove down deep.  She made it fine and called us to come see the amazing room.  I seriously wasn't even considering doing it.  Then Prince swam back through and grabbed my hand.  "You ready?" he asked,  like I didn't even have an option.  "Sure," I replied with a shaky smile.  He helped me time it with the tide and with a deep breath I dove down and paddled my little heart out.  For some reason, I'm quite buoyant right now and have trouble getting deep.  I seem to bounce right back up like a buoy.  {I wonder}  I'm so glad I went in.  We all were amazed at the beauty of the hidden room. 

Life can be so much fun, if you let it.

p.s. Again today, all the photo in this post were taken with our friend T.J.'s camera.

3 comments:

Sari said...

Wow, what an adventure, just reading your story had me on the edge of my seat. You're all very brave. I'm a fan.

It's Tinyla said...

Loved this post!!! It reminded me of our honeymoon. We went snorkeling in Maui and my husband had to pull me back away from the large reef. FUN!!! - Tinyla

Christa said...

I hadn't read this! How much fun remembering that day! I wish you were going to be here before we leave again so we could go do some more exploring!! :-)

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