Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Half Moon Cay

A few days ago, Jennie (Miakoda) and Alyson (Aly Cat) made friends with the Jamaican horse tenders on Little San Salvador. For marketing purposes, Holland American Cruise Lines has renamed it Half Moon Cay and set up a cruise ship fantasy land on the island. Living onshore are 25 or so ex-polo ponies for the cruise ship passengers to ride on the beach and in the water. Our cruising guide says, "boats are not allowed in the harbor or ashore except in an emergency" as the island is privately owed. Well, no one owns the water and we find a little kindness goes along way. Sure enough, minus one bottle of tequila, Jennie and Aly arranged for the kids to ride the horses at 9:00 a.m., before the 4000 cruise ship passengers swarmed the island. Parker and Casey bagged out, so 6 girls and Aly (who Rodney, the dentally challenged Jamaican seemed to have taken a fancy to) rode polo ponies around the corral. Aly also arranged for the ladies to come back at 2:00 p.m. for a real ride at the end of the day.

Kristin (Pelican) and I enjoyed the hiking trails and almost lost our way in the interior of the island. School was put on hold and 5 kid boats with 8 kids and 10 adults tried to blend in with the mostly older, sun burned cruiser ship passengers. The caretakers encouraged us to take part in all of the festivities. First stop was the stingray lagoon. However, by the time we got there the first group of paying cruise ship passengers were donning life jackets, masks and snorkels to swim in waist deep water with the tamed sting rays. With no shoes to protect our feet, we ran to the ocean while Aly and Jennie negotiated a return trip.
By now, 4000 people has crowded the beach, filling beach chairs, cabanas and even private houses for rent at $100/day. Sabrina said, "I feel like I'm back in Florida". Casey (Pelican) and Parker made for the water park and ocean tramps while the girls went back to the stingrays. Green backs talk and the kids got to
feed sting rays for a little kindness passed to the low paid workers.  Marc spent the day photographing Americana while the rest went back to the horses. Riding horses in the water was an exhilarating experience.
Staying on was tricking with breaking waves. The horses keep doing their business in the water, requiring legs up to let it passed by.

The adventure kept going. Ally (Miakoda) split her chin open on a water slide. Dr. Johnson to the rescue and he did a professional suture job on the boat, applying 4 stitches. As the wind has picked up and changed
directions, all of the dinghies on shore were flooded with shoes, masks and snorkels strewn across the beach. Bailing, bailing, bailing and all three dinghies were floating. The gas tanks were flooded also so
Casey and Parker got our dinghy from the boat to tow the other boats in. Side by Side is now missing a few packs of cigars kept on board just for trading and a bottle of tequila. Thanks to Carnival Cruise Lines for a
great day.