Sunday, February 14, 2010

Aruba! Jan. 22

This is the flag of Aruba...

We arrived in Oranjestad, Aruba with its beautiful turquoise waters early in the morning. Aruba has a unique language called Papiamento, which is a combination of Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, English, African and Indian words. It is spoken in the Dutch “ABC” islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. These islands were first discovered by the Spanish in 1500 and then inherited by the Dutch in 1634. Aruba is the world’s leading producer of aloe and it is their primary agricultural crop.

The Caribbean Princess is one of the largest ships in the fleet and it is in port with us. Here it is about to sail past us to dock at the pier…

We decided to do a submarine tour in Aruba. Here we are on our boat going out to the submarine. An intimate group…ha ha!

We got into the submarine which seats about 45 people and checked out a card showing all the fish we “might” see.

Here we are with our little portholes. The sub is expected to go down about 130 feet. It isn’t claustrophobic at all and is nicely air conditioned.

And here we go…the different kinds of coral are just stunning.



A school of fish swim by…

Lots of fish in amongst the coral.



A group of tiny blue fish whiz by…

They have sunk a ship that is slowly eroding, but it offers a great refuge for the fish.





About this point, we are seeing more ship than fish. I think they are all looking for Nemo…

Coming close to the bottom of our dive and the coral has all gone.

Here we are at 126 feet just before we land on the bottom.

More parts of a wreck on the bottom…from all the ooohs and ahhhs, you would have thought we had discovered the Titanic!

Oh! Wait a second…some fish!

I’m pretty much taking pictures of anything that moves at this point. We’re on the port side and our narrator is consistently sighting things on the starboard side. “Look at that turtle! Here’s a barracuda!” And I have…wait a second…another…fish!

We’re leaving the sunken ship and beginning our ascent to the surface. We go back through the coral and the trip is over.



We might not have seen as many fish as we hoped for, but it was a beautiful trip and well worth it. We get back on our boat as the next group arrives to get into the sub. The subs are owned by a Canadian company out of Vancouver.

As we pull away from the sub, the next group is making their way down below.



We’re not wasting any time getting back to shore. There are four cruise ships in port and these tours are busy! One of the guides said they will do seven dives in that sub today.

The ride back is wonderful and we stand at the stern to take pictures of the beautiful water.



Happiness is…

We arrive back in town where the Caribbean Princess looms over everything.

The town looks so pretty.

We get off our boat and, after writing and mailing a few postcards, walk into the town. How gaudy and yet cute is this place?

The license plate says it all…

There are over 10,000 tourists in town today from all the ships. Talk about port overload! They are everywhere!

Other than jewellery shops (I have never seen so many in one place!), there are lots of restaurants, each trying to stand out.

Lots of money here as evidenced by all the nice boats at the marina.

Hey! We pass the submarine tour place. We booked our tour through Princess and I am curious now to see how much we would have paid if we had just gone through the tour company directly. Jim comes back out of the office and says “Guess how much it is?” We paid $99 through Princess and I am thinking “Grrrr…it’s probably only $49!” But surprise…the price is exactly the same. Yay! That makes us happy with Princess!

Lots of colourful tour buses…

We walk back to the ship which is a long and hot walk. We are happy to get back!

They are always doing some kind of maintenance work. Looks like he is covering up “oops” marks. We noticed you might get a few of those going through the locks in the Panama Canal.

Back on the ship, we finish up our poster and head down to see Mike. He is very touched by the poster and proudly puts it up. The countdown is on!

Tomorrow we are in Colombia…

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    My name is Janet Griffiths and i work for Atlantis Submarines Caribbean Regional Office, i am so glad that you liked our sub tour, please could i have permission to put this link on our website and our facebook page. you can e-mail me at jgriffiths@atlantissubmarines.com

    thanks
    Janet

    ReplyDelete