Last time we were here we struggled not to sweat in our tent. In the morning we learned that a couple had slept on the beach – why didn’t we think of that? Last night we had no problem staying cool with the strong breeze that is still blowing this morning. I heard less crabs and more crickets chirping, rats running, and leaves falling. We are camping next to a fisherman and a group of three that will leave today upon learning that the ferry will not be coming to the island tomorrow due to expected high seas.
With the tent door open I can see ants patrolling the sand, our plenty of gallons of water on the picnic table, the wind blowing the coconut tree, and the sun lighting the clouds on the horizon – above that they are the color of rain – which would bring a change and offer a different snorkeling experience. The bladder calls. It’s time to get out and take some pictures and get in the water regardless of how tangled my hair is.
We make our way to the beach and then around the moat. Multiple times we are splashed by waves crashing over the brick wall. The water gets rougher as we go, but soon we are back on land. We go into the fort to explore the second and third levels and the wind is even stronger, but there’s a sense of peace as we walk quietly together on a 42 acre piece of land 70 miles out in the ocean. This place has survived for over 150 years and with the dedication of funds and construction can continually be repaired to last even longer.
We eat our breakfast with hopes that the water will calm and soon we will be seeing starfish and sharks. We take our books to the beach to wait and it seems too quick that the catamaran can be soon zooming around the island making its way to the dock. We fear we will soon be overpowered by a hundred people, but only twenty ventured to come today bringing two couples to replace the other campers.
Caleb had gone to use the compost toilet and the ramp was closed while he was in there. I made my way to the boat and inquired about the weather. The captain said I was more than welcome to come back today and I shared that news with Caleb upon my return. We continue to read our books for a while as the birds that kept us company this morning find other toes to peck at. I see that these small birds have no problem coercing crumbs from tourists, but this is a national park (their rules – don’t interfere with the wildlife), and an island and these winged vertebrates have survived long before processed food.
A fellow camper, packing up for the day, came by and offered to refill our water jugs with what he had left to lighten his load. I met another couple that will be here until Friday too that plan on fishing and kayaking. The captain said he was offering people their money back this morning instead of coming out and now I know why. Three people were brave enough to snorkel in the high water for just moments and after a four-hour nap the tide is higher and the wind stronger.
Some Gardettos will be had to help wake us up and to satisfy our appetites while we wait for some noodles to soak in hopes of a semi-crunchy cheesy noodle dinner. The birds out here are like our dogs at home – a crinkly food wrapper easily gets their attention and soon we have two pigeons keeping an eye on us as we sit in our tent. We check the noodles and they are soggy after their hour-long bath and taste like paper. We hope the Alfredo cheese will help – yum, paper mâché.
I have stuffed sinuses, sunburned legs and ears, and a windstorm that keeps me inside – part romantic, part sad that I can’t be out looking for sea turtles. The ocean calls to me and I want to be on its shores watching the waves crash upon it, but the wind is demanding too and calls the sharp coral to follow. It’s demands – blow in my face and tent. The wind is so strong that either all the other animals are hiding in their ‘tents’ or I can’t hear their evening calls as they are quiet in comparison. I will read for a while longer and then go to sleep as the tent walls waver around me.