Christmas Eve Sailing and Snorkeling with the Lady Leslie

This morning I called my family in Providence, Rhode Island and the phone was passed from person to person. Everyone asked the same question – “What are you doing for Christmas”?    With the kids going present-toy-candy crazy in the background, they always seem a little bit surprised (or maybe a bit wistful?) by my answers.

We are going over to our friends’ place for a barbecue…maybe a swim.  Oh and yesterday we went sailing and snorkeling.

leslie-5For those up north, it’s a very different Christmas down here and sometimes hard to imagine.  But different doesn’t necessarily mean bad – it can mean GREAT.

Here are some pics of our sailing trip yesterday – to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley for snorkeling and lunch on Caye Caulker.  Pineapple salsa, conch fingers, rice and beans, sushi rolls, lobster fritters and coconut tarts…

We chartered the 40 foot catamaran, the Lady Leslie — a gorgeous boat and a fabulous crew of father, Martin, son, Jody and son-in-law, Ricky.  All born and raised in San Pedro.

The day started off with looming clouds – both in front of us and behind us.  We only got a little sprinkle…

Hol Chan had more boat than I’ve ever seen…but everyone loved the snorkel.  The guides are great at keeping the groups separated.

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Jody lured the sharks to the boat as everyone jumped off to snorkel…

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They are like puppies climbing over each other to get fed.

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And off to Caye Caulker – we arrived by noon, ate at the Rainbow Grill (reliably taste food with DELICIOUS conch and lobster fingers) just at the end of the pier where we parked.

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The cute signs for the bathrooms.

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Christmas eve scandal alert:  I used the men’s room.  Women take FOREVER.

We walked around Caye Caulker.  It had turned into a gorgeous day.

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I like it…the new Cave Man Snorkeling Tours office.

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I hear these guys do delicious sandwiches…i need to return soon to taste test.

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A beautiful dock COVERED in sea birds.

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And then down to the Split where most of the people were hanging out.

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Things have changed a bit since the hurricane but if you hadn’t been before, you’d never know that.  Ready for business.

leslie2-2We headed back to the boat for a lazy ride back…

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Bean bags are shockingly comfortable for napping.

We were served SUSHI rolls! with lobster.  Made right there on the boat by Ricky and Jody.

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And then conch fritters made on the boat and then delicious coconut tarts.  Note:  When you are on the Lady Leslie, eat a VERY small lunch.

Such a great way to spend Christmas eve.  And surprisingly exhausting…I fell asleep at 6:30pm last night…and woke up at 8am.

You would think I swam to Caye Caulker.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all!  I hope your holidays are just as beautiful.

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