We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The busy dive shop at our place. Mrs. BD wanted to dive, but didn't really have time to get re-certified. Best to do that at home before a dive trip. However, the snorkeling was excellent, and Mrs. can do a 20' surface dive easily. I can't. I can do 10', no problem, but I prefer to just float around and observe.
The weather is here. Wish you were nice.
More pics, etc, below the fold - including a pic our our suite's cool bathroom!
Condiments. Also, homemade chutneys. Banana ketchup is for grilled meats, esp. grilled chicken.
That's a Vanilla Vine hanging from a wall in an old sugar mill building.
Not a swimming pool. This stone-lined pool, 20' deep, was dug by slaves as a reservoir to drive a sugar mill. After emancipation in 1835, indentured servants from India were imported to do the work. Hence the good Indian influence on the cuisine of what the European explorers thought were the West Indies.
A jungle trail
The main drag through our resort. As I said, no TV, no cell service, no Wifi, no phones, no A/C, no pool. That's why it's expensive, relatively-speaking. Not mass-market.
View from our suite's porch
View from the cliffside reception area. This is not a place for bad knees or weak legs. Live music there at night. No limbo rock, no steel drums, I am happy to report. Some fine reggae and Motown, though, and some Tango. No glass windows in the entire place.
A cool walk-in shower in our suite in foreground, just like an outdoor shower. Great. All of the indoor lights are yellow to deter bugs, but we only got mosquito-bit once. I took more pics of our bathroom because it is so much more elegant than our own. I wouldn't mind one like this, but I think His and Her's bathrooms are the best.
Our terrace. Hardly ever there, though. Bats flew through at night. No problem for me. I dig bats.
Bedroom in our place. Very pleasant. Mosquito netting not really needed in Feb.
Geology: A combination of coral limestone, rough limestone conglomerate as in this pic, and volcanic.
A hillside farm seen on a hike. Pineapple, Sweet Potato, Onions and Chives, Banana, Lemon, Avocado, Beans, cabbage, Papaya, Mango, Tomato, and herbs.
What do you mean by re-certified?
My certification is still intact, though I haven't gone diving in 10 years or so. Certification doesn't have an end date.
I can understand wanting to re-acquaint yourself with dive habits and customs, make sure your gear is up to date, etc. That's just good common sense. But you can do some easy dives in a place like St. Lucia which can help you get back in the swing. I'm sure they have inexpensive resort courses, too, if you'd prefer.
Most good dive locations will help you by providing low level (check-out style) dives if you are uncomfortable. The cost is much lower, in many cases, if you do them at the location you travel to rather than home.
As an example, I like to dive in North Carolina (again, I haven't in 10 years), and the cost of an easy dive there (with all my gear checked out by the dive shop) is easily 1/2 what I'd pay up here in the Northeast.
Even if I was in Bermuda (as I was recently) or the islands, the cost is lower for the dive itself, and I'd be renting their gear anyway rather than lugging mine onto the plane.
Aha. Yes, I had a dive shop in the islands ask me to do that once, for liability purposes. Anyone can show up and show a PADI or NAUI card.
Of course, on my first dive after certification, the dive boat captain was a fellow who brought the bell up off the Andrea Doria. When I told him I was uncomfortable going to 120 feet, he laughed and said "You have had more training at certification than I did when I brought up the bell."
Even so, he sent his divemaster down with my wife and I, and we had a tremendous dive, finding a lobster and seeing a sea turtle at depth. Lobsters are very rare in North Carolina.
Some people don't mind the liability issue, I guess. Dive captains tend to be a very Libertarian bunch.