Not sure what kind of fish this is....
TONS of sea urchins. Like sooooo many of them, and some of them were crazy big. By the by, does just LOOKING at these things make anyone else nervous? haha
Another fish I'm not sure about (what kind it is, I mean)
Aaaaand even MORE fish...
Remember that "other surprise" I mentioned? Well...SURPRISE!
We saw that octopus - which was probably well over a foot in diameter even in the first picture with it's tentacles all tucked in - grab hold of and eat a couple of shellfish. It was *SO* awesome!
Aaaanyway...back to our snorkeling trip!
We had about an hour and a half between anchoring the catamaran off Honeymoon Beach and when we had to leave, and between waiting for the dinghy/setting up on the beach/snorkeling/getting back from snorkeling and drying off for a bit while waiting to be picked up by the dinghy again, we used up every moment of that time.
At one point we were *still* sitting on the beach and hadn't seen the dinghy come back for pickups in quite a while, so we were thankful that Rachel had grabbed one of the proffered noodles and waved it around a bit in hopes that they would realize they still had a bunch of people on the beach.
^^^ Waving the "noodle of distress"
(Really, they had to have known they still had the four of us PLUS a few other people on the beach, this was more of a joke on our part than anything. That said, not sure if they were joking when we boarded and they did a head count and claimed that they had more people than what they'd brought TO St. John, but if they weren't, then I'm still kinda glad we had that noodle to wave around so that we weren't forgotten...haha)
As soon as we boarded the catamaran again, it was FINALLY champagne time! Or, more accurately, champagne/mimosa/rum punch time.
We actually sailed back to St. Thomas and it took - again - about an hour, maybe a little longer. We were lucky in that we happened to sit on the front of the catamaran right under where the sail gave us shade for almost the entire time...
Now, I have to explain to you this amazing drink that we had on this excursion. We dubbed this drink...
Basically, you have your rum punch. And when said rum punch is half empty and the next crew member that comes along has the mimosa jug but not the rum punch jug, and you don't want to wait and are too lazy to get up and go to the bar, you have said crew member top off your rum punch with mimosa.
And then you drink some of that, and the next time they come around they're carrying straight champagne. Again, you don't want to wait for the rum punch round, and you are even lazier than you were awhile ago so there's certainly not going to be any getting up on your part. So you have said crew member top you off with champagne this time.
And that, folks, is how you end up with a "rumosa". And it is delicious.
After another harrowing drive back to the shopping area, we still had over an hour before the ship left port. Steve and I did a bit of shopping, just to pick up a couple shot glasses for my collection and a bottle of rum that we thought looked interesting. Honestly I could have cared less about having extra time in the morning and in the afternoon if it had meant more time on the Champagne Catamaran excursion! Seriously, that thing should run from at least 10:30 AM until 4:30 PM! haha.
No but really, I've had one really crappy excursion on a past cruise, a couple okay ones, a bunch of really good ones and a couple amazing ones...out of them all, I can only think of one that even comes close to matching how awesome the St. John Champagne Catamaran excursion was. I literally cannot recommend it enough - unless of course you don't like gorgeous paradise-like beaches, don't snorkel, and don't drink, in which case I'm not sure why you're on a cruise in the first place...
So we boarded the Liberty a little before 5 - thankfully the lines weren't too bad.
Goodbye St. Thomas...
Here's the rum we bought - Bones Rum. $22 for this jug, so no, it wasn't "cheap", per se. But you can only get it in St. Thomas (and I think maybe St. John) and it is DELICIOUS. Plus it comes in a cool bottle.
Yes, that is me, on our balcony, in St. Thomas...with the bottle of liquor that we bought in St. Thomas in my hand. You can ask me how I accomplished this, but in the words of that creepy character from that movie Don't Say a Word, "I'll never teeeellll..." haha
(that said, while we did TASTE the stuff while we were on the ship, having it in our room did not stop us from wracking up one hell of a bar bill on our sign & sail account...and I'm blaming THAT on Alchemy!)