Following our disastrous horse “swimming” experience, we decided to make some use of our time at Half Moon Cay. On our way back to the tender dock, we watched two boats with parasails in the air. One had a bright red and yellow sail, the other pale yellow and white. As we walked past the delicious aroma of the barbecue, John decided he wanted to go parasailing. Like just about everyone else on the island, I would have liked a bite of lunch. He did not want to take time to stop for it, and since I have a major aversion to waiting in any line I can avoid, I agreed.
We stopped at the welcome booth to book the parasailing. John insisted we must get the boat with the brightly colored sail. The other one just won’t due for photos, he explained to the exasperated person behind the desk. The only time they could give us where they guaranteed the right boat split our remaining time on the island into about half before and half after.
We caught the tender back to the Holland America Westerdam. First thing ditch the long pants and shoes required for the horse ride and get shorts and sandals. We already had swimsuits on since the horses were supposed to swim. Or at least that is what the blurb on shore excursions said. We grabbed a small bag of fishing jigs and headed back to the island to rent some snorkel gear.
Gear rented, we headed to a deserted stretch of beach in between the roped-off swimming area and the part where the horses go in the water. No we didn’t plan on fishing. We wanted to take some underwater videos of the action of each jig to post on the websites where I sell them so people would know for sure which one they wanted. I brought one each of the same size and color of the Point Wilson Dart candlefish, anchovy, and herring, and also a Deep Stinger.
Underwater video camera and jigs in hand, we headed out to the water, slyly
keeping the jigs from view of any passing lifeguard just in case they weren’t allowed. Under the water we went, only to find it much too murky for any good video footage. Strike two (strike one was the horse ride). Back on the beach we ditched the jigs in our beach bag and decided we might as well at least make use of the snorkel gear. We swam out a ways, though the water never got deep. Finally we spotted something other than sand. A stingray and its companion bonefish. (Attracted no doubt by the jigs….)
I turned on my trusty underwater camera and started snapping a few shots when suddenly a lifeguard in a rowboat appeared. He seemed sure we were in some sort of immediate danger and must head back to shore immediately. Where that danger came from I haven’t a clue. No sharks in the vicinity, no boats anywhere near, and if we wanted to stand up and walk back to shore rather than swimming, we could. Well there was that one lone stingray, but since they have a swim with the stingrays adventure on the other side of the island I don’t think the remote possibility of meeting Steve Irwin’s fate was the problem. We returned the snorkel gear, figuring it was useless if we couldn’t go out far enough to see anything but sand. Strike three. Much later I did find a map of Half Moon Cay showing a designated snorkel area on the other side of the swimming beach past the kid’s playground. Perhaps we’d have found something to see had we gone there.
Most people probably have more fun on Half Moon Cay than we did. It does have beautiful beaches and plenty of activities to do. Some probably just hang out in the bars. It just seemed that none of our plans worked out. Usually I’m easily amused. Now that it’s all over, the whole safety gone awry thing with the horse guides and life guards overreacting to every little thing does seem a bit funny. It didn’t at the time though. We felt pretty down until parasailing saved the day.