Jack Hanna Day Part 1

Friday, August 5, 2011 | 1 Comment(s)

There is only a small subset of things in life that one can control.  The rest, im afraid, is beyond us.  And while I’m sure there is someone on this island for which internet not coming through the wires is a fixable problem, for me, it is something completely out of control.  Not coincidentally, it is also extremely related to my lack of ability to post new entries while down here.  That said, if you are reading this, I found a hotspot (pictures will be added to this point as the internet allows. 

Two days ago was, for us, that one day of vacation that you hope for when you arrive.  It was a Jack Hanna day, filled with animals from start to finish.   It began, as all days down here do, with coffee on the perch of our house, overlooking the ocean.  While I was staring dreamily out at the waves (scanning hopelessly for the passing whales which never seem to breach), I realized mmf was attending to something much more local.  Somehow, and I really have no idea how, a big ass crab had clawed its way to our perch, and was now hanging by a claw and two feet from the edge, a 6 foot drop below. 

Mmf and I had very different reactions to this news.  I went the practical route.  I’m all A) he wont die if he falls, he has a shell (I still believe this to be true) and B) all I need to do is go boil some water and we have crab cakes for breakfast.  I could tim gunn it and make it work.  A little aioli.  Some eggs.  Boom . . .breakfast.

Mmf is from Vermont.  Like, wayyyyyyy up there.  I’m not positive but I suspect that along with teaching the children up there that skis are actually their modified legs, they all commune with their animal friends and may even learn to speak to the wildlife.  Mmf thought the big blue crap (who I named “Cake”) was just the cutest little budgeybudgeybudgey (say all these words together in baby talk and you’ll get a close approximation to how she sounded).  Long story short, I was not going get to cook this critter, and he might even be replacing me in the bed. 

So she picks it up.  I would not have done that.  Not cause its dangerous, mind you, but because that’s just the craziest thing in the world to do and I am I huge wimp.  She did wear kitchen gloves as protection, but still, she was having a gay ol time letting the guy run along the stone pathway after she removed him from his precarious ledge.   When lifted, it became clear that underneath the crabs torso was a bundle of black stuff.  The crab was taking pieces of said stuff and popping them in his/her mouth.  I say his/her here and now because the black soil like stuff was either some sort of food he was hiding, or eggs she was now protecting through ingestion.  It was at this point that I lost interest in said crab and went back to reading.  Mmf, crab savior that she is, re-donned the gloves and hiked that Marco Polo of a crab explorer doing the cliff and replaced him into the relative wild.  She comes back from her adventure with a smile that says to me “I may not be vegan but I’m a WAY better person than you.”  Thankfully, I knew that already.

About an hour later, mmf inside, I remain at my perch like a British solider in front of the palace.  I look at the clam sea below and spot an eagle ray gliding just beyond the rock/shore line.  I scream to mmf.  Loudly.  I’ve seen turtles from the perch a bunch of times, but this is both my first ray sighting, and the body shape and wing span of the ray is unique and I know it to be an eagle ray, which is rare in and of itself.  They can move though.  Mmf finally comes to the ledge about 2 minutes later.  She has very obviously been summoned mid-shower.  I am remorseless and even a bit pissy about her slow response to my shrieking.  The ray has swum too far down the shore to still make out.  She’s seems semi-pissed at me, so I drop it.

On our drive out to the day’s snorkel, we jam to the tunes of the island.  There are a limited number of English radio stations on the island.  Even fewer play songs you have ever heard of.  One of our favorites is a classic rock station that plays “Steve Miller Band” fair.  We like.  This station is 104.9, The Mongoose.  It’s called the mongoose because those little elongated furry cute ass rodents live well on this island.  While there are no snakes on this island (which is nice), the Riki-tiki-tavis of the island seem to make due with the multitude of other lizard inhabitants (and im sure insects and fruit and whatnot).  I digress.  Anyways, as we are driving, the radio station takes a mini-break for station identification.  I swear that at the same time that the dude says “the mongoooooooooose,” a mongoose flies out from the forest along the road and runs full bore in front of our car.  Awesome.

If you believe in signs, which I usually do not, seeing all of these animals pre-snorkel is a good one. Animals beget more animals is the theory there.  And if you are one of those people, then I’m glad you weren’t with us, because in this particular story you would be right, and then I would have to deal with a whole car ride home of “be open to the signs” this and “Celestine Prophecy” that.  And you might get left roadside.  I digress once again.

We met up with one of mmf’s closest childhood friends from VT who happens to manage one of the most well-known and awesome bars on the island.   We don our masks and fins and get out there.  Before entering, however, we see a baby nurse shark, cruising the shallows.  We also watch the tourists reaction to this, which is to all converge around the poor little guy in a circle.  I think, “make a shark feel cornered.  That’s perfect, just like they tell you.”  Had I known the stupidity they were about to share with the beach, I might have even said something then.   Thankfully, the shark had the wherewithal to get the hell out of there.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see him again.  I blame the morons.
We are in the water, masks on, fins being adjusted, when mmf looks over to the bloated tourists once again.  (I should clarify that while tourists can be annoying, I have no real grudge against the population as a whole.  And I realize that I fall in that weird Brittney-esc middle ground myself, “not a tourist, not yet a local.”  But these tourist were fuck-wits, so allow me to vent on them without generalizing to all people getting away from it all.) 

To fully describe what was taking place, and my reaction, I need to tell you of a different snorkel spot on the island.  A place called Waterlemon Kay.  While I will spare you a full description of the spot, it takes about a mile hike to get out to the kay itself, but 9 times out of 10 it is the best snorkel you’ll have on the island.  Because of the extra effort necessary, less people end up finding there way to this gem, and its coral and aquatic inhabitants (a big nurse shark, a huge turtle, squid, etc.) has remained more undisturbed than some of the other, more popular, beaches.  One particularly beautiful oddity of this spot is that, during the right seasons, it is absolutely covered with deep sea starfish.  They are these big jumbo starfish that vary in color and, especially when viewed in the 100’s, are breathtaking.  My brother, in particular, feels deeply connected to these starfish.  Deeply.  He may or may not have declared himself the starfish king.  And while this may seem crazy on the outside, for our family it is completely par for the course.  We all love octopi (finding them in particular), I search for whales, mom loves collecting shells (like in an almost scary way), and dad’s a turtle man.  All of this is to say, I’m glad that my brother wasn’t here to witness what these fuck-wit tourists did next.

I look over and the large breast mother (of a family that we would later find smoking together at the waters edge—a sight that would make me mentally imagine I had a flame thrower and could seer the skin right off their bubbly bodies) has two starfish in her hands!!!  You don’t touch the wildlife.  You idiotic self-centered crap columns.  You don’t touch the wildlife!  Then, with her family’s high school egging on and cameras at the ready, the orca floats onto her back like an otter that ate a manatee, and places one starfish on each of her flour-sack breasts.   I am livid.  Mmf is livid.  Our island friend is livid.  You’re not the little mermaid whorehat.  You know how I know.  Because what you are doing is so stupid that not even a cartoon woman would use cartoon live animals to cover her breasts.  She used shells.  I want to assure her that she DOES resemble a certain octopus-bodied character from the same film.  I am about to say something to the family about their blatant disregard for anything other than themselves when mmf’s friend says that she often has to physically bite her tongue.  I think, “its not my tongue I want to bite.”  But I’m on vacation, so I turn and head out to enjoy the sea responsibly (I regret not saying anything now).

To be continued…  was it a good snorkel?  (amazing)  could there be MORE animals (many more).  Tune in next time for the exciting conclusion of these are the animals in your neighborhood!!

1 comment:

  1. If that crab found it's way into MY house, it would've died a delicious death.