St. George

Saint George Travel Blog

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The narrow passage to St. George

I'd set the alarm for 7:00 to see the ship arrive at St. George's but was up at 6:50 anyway. It's amazing how such a large ship can fit through such a narrow channel! We'd booked the first "Peppercorn" Helmet Diving tour of the day, departing at 10:45. After breakfast in the dining room, we met the gang on the pier. As we were leaving the ship, Mom and Dad were re-boarding and were very upset. They said they'd been "stood up" by two cabs and were getting something from their room and were then going to rent a scooter! I strongly expressed my reservations about them doing that since I know from experience it's a dangerous and downright scary way to travel down there. Dad insisted he knew what he was doing and brushed by. I was to spend the balance of the day stewing about their wellbeing.

The group going on the dive met on the pier. The guide walked us through town and, after filling out release forms, we boarded a rather large inflatable for a ride through Castle Harbor and into the ocean. The dive boat was already anchored near a reef in about 10 feet of water. The bad news is that, while there were eight of us together, only six plus the divemaster could dive at a time. I volunteered to stay back 'til the second group but, since I had the underwater camera, I was elected to go with "the group". Helen and Earl volunteered to stay behind. After instructions from Darrin, the divemaster, we were off. I was first down after Darrin. There was an extension ladder mounted to the stern and reaching to within a couple of feet of the bottom.

Nifty Boy Scout camp!!
Once on the ladder, I descended to my shoulders and stopped until the assistant, Kevin, placed the 90 lb. fiberglass helmet on my shoulders. Its weight, of course, virtually disappeared as I descended the ladder to the bottom. Darrin handed me a large plastic ring and left me standing on the bottom while he went for Linda. Linda seemed to hesitate on the ladder so I thought she was in trouble but down she came and she indicated that all was OK. Once down, Linda was brought to hold the ring with me as we awaited the next person. That continued until all were on the bottom. Once we were all together, we dropped the ring and followed Darrin on a tour. He pointed out lots of coral and fish and handed around a sea cucumber. Linda was stuck to me like glue but I didn't realize she was starting to panic 'til she got my attention and I saw the look on her face.
I banged on my helmet and Darrin took her back to the ladder. She later said that the instant Kevin took the helmet off her, her head seemed to explode and she had a terrible headache. Lin was glad Helen was topside as Helen is a nurse practitioner so she know she was in good hands. Meanwhile, we continued the tour for a while, then Darrin took off his helmet and, setting it on the bottom, swam to the surface for some squid. Back on the bottom, he re-donned the helmet and started feeding the squid to the fish. He was totally engulfed in fish and they were so intent on feeding that they could be easily touched. Being first down, I was first up and that was OK 'cause I was eager to check on Lin.

When the next six went down, I gave my Earl my underwater camera.

There was a mask and snorkel (but no fins) on board so I did a bit of snorkeling. I wish I'd have known this was in the works because my own mask, fins and snorkel were sitting in my stateroom. I swam down and surprised Helen as I swam past her helmet. I eventually took the camera from Earl and got some additional shots of them.

The inflatable that had earlier dropped us off returned with a fresh load of people and took us back to the dock. The sky was starting to look pretty dark and we got the word that they were expecting a major storm. They said they figured the balance of the day's dives would be cancelled. We'd lucked out!

While the others headed for the ship, we walked with Helen and Earl to the town square where we had lunch at Freddie's.

This is the same place where we had lunch when we were last in St. George's but then it was called O'Malley's. Luck was with us again because, just as I walked onto the porch, rain hit the back of my calf. By the time we were seated in the restaurant upstairs, it was raining in torrents! In all, a very pleasant lunch.

Helen and Earl headed for the ship and Lin and I walked around St. George's, mostly in the rain. We visited St. Peters and talked to the same old lady we'd met the last time there. As last time, she was charming and informative as she showed us the silver in the sacristy. After a couple of trips through the city and buying a picture from Diana Amos, a local artist, we headed back to the ship. I checked in with my office before boarding, of course.

Cathy & Joe

After laying down for a while, we dressed and headed to the Rendezvous for drinks. We sat with a couple somewhat older than we are. The woman was charming but the man divided his time between belittling his wife and trying to impress us with his Rolls Royce and other evidence of wealth (and ignorance). Eventually, Eunice & Nila came along and we gladly turned our attention to them.

After leaving St. George's last time, I regretted not having walked the streets at night so, after dinner in the dining room, Frank & Pat and we walked back into town. We walked around a bit and had a drink on the waterfront patio at the Waterfront Café before heading for the rack.

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The narrow passage to St. George
The narrow passage to St. George
Nifty Boy Scout camp!!
Nifty Boy Scout camp!!
Cathy & Joe
Cathy & Joe
Melinda
Melinda
Melinda & Fred
Melinda & Fred
Me
Me
Joe, Cathy, Fred & Melinda
Joe, Cathy, Fred & Melinda
St. Peters Church
St. Peter's Church
St. Peters Church
St. Peter's Church
St. Peters Church
St. Peter's Church
St. Peters Church
St. Peter's Church
Pat & Frank
Pat & Frank