Category Archives: Snorkeling/Swimming

Sea Glass on Sun Bay

Sun Bay didn’t get a lot of our time.  Nothing against the sand on that beach —the shores of Isla de Vieques are simply alternate slices of heaven. We had found more private digs on Silver Beach around the corner but appreciated Sun Bay’s alternate view of the little island we swam to in pursuit of a sea turtle.

Sun Bay was the meeting point for our kayak/swim tour of Bioluminescent Bay (more on that later).  More significantly, it was the best beach we found for collecting sea glass.

Sea glass?  It’s basically recycled garbage, but this is a truly artistic reprocessing.  During a stay at Cape Cod, I found publicity for a sea glass festival in Hyannis, Massachusetts. And with a couple of Google clicks, I discovered that the annual festival is not an isolated incident but a major hobby and business for many ocean lovers. The “Shard of the Year” fetches $1000 at the North American Sea Glass Festival.

Sea glass is ocean burnished bottle fragments and chips of glass. Bottle stoppers, marbles, channel markers, thimbles —tossed and tumbled by the ocean until finally washed up as smooth startling bits of color amidst seaweed and shells at water’s edge.  I’ve found them along the shores of disparate seas.  On beaches in Cape Cod, Bermuda, Hawaii, St John, Puerto Rico, Spain and… Vieques.  My aunt’s artful scatter of the glass over a patio table a few years ago  breathed inspiration to me. And so, I gathered my own colorful treasures at Sun Bay.

At Sun Bay we had to get choosy, tossing the similar in favor of the unusual. So much beautiful glass, so little space in our moderately sized hands. At home we arranged the bits of vibrant glass amongst seashells, coral and sand in sea gardens we create in glass bowls to commemorate beach trips.

And with a glance at the glass, I’m back on the beach…

Family Vacation on raveable

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Chilly Challenge

This time, the adventure belonged to another. I was but an observer standing silently to the side, impressed but uninspired to follow.

Walking in Wellfleet, Massachusetts on pristinely beautiful Cape Cod one October, I happened upon one of the area’s many kettle ponds. These freshwater basins —Thoreau’s Walden Pond is one of the better known examples— are virtually self-contained ecosystems dependent upon precipitation for their continued existence. Formed by melted glacial ice, they receive no waterflow from a river or stream. Their clear fresh raindrop waters sparkle blue within settings of verdant evergreen forests. Striking. Captivating. Inviting.

But still…  the air temperature was struggling toward 60 degrees Fahrenheit. I was bundled and zipped into a winter coat. And as I admired the vivid crisp color of this particular pond, I saw a splash. I watched for the fish to leap again. Instead I spotted the steady stroke of a swimmer making his/her way through frigid waters. No wet suit. Warmed only by the standard insulation with which our bodies are equipped.

As one with an aversion to cold water -who always does the toe dip temperature test before diving into a lake or pool, I was awed by the swimmer’s fortitude. I watched as he/she reached shore’s edge and then began the long swim back. Methodical. Unwavering. Uncomfortably chilled by my few stationary minutes spent watching, I pulled my zipper just a little higher to my neck and finally turned away. Walking briskly across pine needles to warm myself again…

Cape Cod Things To Do on raveable

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Tracking Turtles

Or rays or fish…

I’ve trailed many sea critters through multiple oceans. Chilled to the point of shivering in some waters while virtually sweating in other seas, I’ve always been fascinated by the revelations of a beach-bound universe.  I haven’t carried an underwater camera in a while, and subsurface video was an altogether new experience when we traveled to Puerto Rico and Isla de Vieques in August of 2011. We had a lot of fun playing with our camera.

For those of you who have not yet ventured into the underwater world yet, this is but a small glimpse from an unending gallery…

Tailing a Sea Turtle in Vieques:

Updated from November 12, 2010.

 

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