camera obscura travel

barbados, ya mon: part 3 – the cliff sharker

March 31, 2013
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Welcome to a short series of essays about a 5 day/4 night adventure we recently experienced on the island of Barbados. Hopefully this will prove useful to anyone planning an excursion to this fabulous Caribbean destination.

We will forever be indebted to an escaped yappy little Jack Russell terrier that got loose in the neighborhood of our vacation rental. If not for its incessant barking throughout the night I’m not sure we would’ve embarked on what ended up being the highlight of our trip.

Upon arriving at Zed’s we inquired about going out on their boat for a snorkel tour–but as it turned out said boat was in need of repairs. Admittedly, we were feeling a little let down.

The next day the owner went out of their way to find us a snorkeling adventure. The total cost was $160 on a boat called “The Cliff Sharker“; ultimately, however, we decided to spend our last day on a beach so we politely declined the tour.

Then something magical happened. Well… not so much magical.

Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!

All night long, barking. Two nights in a row. A bark so shrill it was able to penetrate the sound of millions of pounds of surf crashing at our doorstep. The next morning, after digging bark shrapnel out of my eardrums, I mentioned the nightly occurrence to the owners.

They were exasperated as well and explained it was a neighbor’s dog that kept escaping only to come over to their yard to harass their dogs.

They felt really awful about the sleepless nights and offered to put us up at a fancy hotel. (!) I explained that this wasn’t necessary. They pleaded that, at the very least, we let them pay for a snorkeling trip.

This is why Zed’s Surfing Adventures has almost a perfect 5-star rating. An amazing and thoughtful gesture…

bow of the cliff sharker

bow of the cliff sharker

Our trip was scheduled to leave at 2PM out of Carib Beach just past the St. Lawrence Gap. Unfortunately, earlier in the day we had been soaking up the sun towards the Northwest part of the island (revisiting Mullins Beach). We got a bit lost and didn’t find the meeting point until 2:30PM. We were both feeling anxious, i.e.  trying to find the beach, driving on the left-hand side, trying to find this guy… the sun is blinding… is he even going to wait for us?

And then we see Charles, the captain of The Cliff Sharker, standing on the beach.

Ya mon.

Charles looks like he jumped off the cover of a Caribbean period-piece romance novel–dreamy long curly hair, dark tan, shirtless… ripped.

He points to his boat which is rocking out at sea and explains that we will need to walk out into the water and he will help us climb aboard. Before this he collects all of our shit–camera bag, purse, all kinds of crap–and manages to get everything inside the boat completely dry.

We must’ve looked really stressed out because the first jam to pump out of the boat’s sound system was, “Everything little thing… going to be alright…”

Charles told us to relax and that we’re going to have an awesome trip. We believe him.

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like diving in pellegrino

Our first stop was at a ship-wreck dive site. I can’t remember all of the details of the three boats other than one was centurion and one was a ten year-old Columbian drug boat that had been intentionally sunk.

exploring the ship wrecks

exploring the ship wrecks

The best part of hitting the sea with Charles is that he takes photos at no additional charge–an amazing souvenir.

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Talk about lung capacity–at one point he dived down 55 feet to snap some cool photos of us from down below.

taken from 55 feet below, one breath

taken from 55 feet below, one breath

I didn’t get the names of some of the tropical fish we saw, but I was partial to the little guys with the pointy noses. They accepted me into their school and then followed me around.

my little friends

my little friends

bond girl

bond girl

obligatory peace symbol

obligatory peace symbol

We then bounced around the Island getting a tour of Bridgetown and some of the other beaches.

bridgetown

bridgetown

barbados fishermen

barbados fishermen

Our trip ended swimming with some giant sea turtles… really quite a cool experience. I’m telling ya… if you go to Barbados, please look up Charles on The Cliff Sharker… free rum drinks, amazing attention to detail… patience of a saint… you will not have a better time anywhere else.

hi turtle, nice to meet you

hi turtle, nice to meet you

sea turtles

sea turtles

That’s it! If you’re curious about the rest of our trip you can read part one here (about the island) and part two here (about the food).

Ya mon!

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  • barbados, ya mon: part 1 – navigating the island | david the tornado April 1, 2013 at 12:24 am

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  • barbados, ya mon: part 2 – one fish, two fish, flying fish, food | david the tornado April 1, 2013 at 12:26 am

    […] If you haven’t already, you can read part one of our trip here. Click here for the next installment. […]