Our days slowly settle into some semblance of a routine: exercise, chores, school, boat tasks, doing some kind of off-the-boat activity. With this extra time, we are also trying to meditate, something that is challenging given our confined quarters. I have only a beginner’s level of concentration. Normally, I’d lock myself in a distant room or the basement of a house to ensure quiet. No such options here. The diesel engine is running because we’re powering the fridge. Malachi is jumping on the deck three feet above my head. Ten more minutes, I think. Hang in there for ten more minutes.. Someone yells down something about a sea
turtle. “Shh – Mom’s MED-I-TA-TING!” Joshua yells from his perch, a mere four feet away from where I’m sitting. I hear Malachi come below and try to block out his noise. All of a sudden I feel small hands on my arms and someone is shaking me. I open my eyes. Malachi’s face is three inches from my own. “Mom,” he says, looking intently into my eyes. “I wanted to make sure you weren’t sleeping.”
There are many cool things to see here. I walk down the dock and see a dark shape below the water. Is that a … ? I wonder. I quickly crouch down and stick my arm in the water to see if I can get it to come closer. It’s what I thought it was … a shark. This is so wild. I run back to the boat and tell the boys but the shark has disappeared. Later, we dinghy to a nearby beach and explore the sand and water. When we get back to the boat, a charter fishing vessel has pulled in.
They are cleaning their catch on the dock and throwing the scraps into the water. We are treated to the sight of 3-5 nurse sharks swimming around and coming up to grab pieces of fish.
We’ve also heard about the glowworms. They show up 3-6 nights after a full moon. The female comes to the surface, glowing, and lays her fluorescent eggs. The male, attracted by the light, comes up glowing and fertilizes the eggs with his fluorescent essence. We take the dinghy out one night to search for them. We see a few and they are worth the ride, as are the stars. Back on the dock, we see even more which just shows that sometimes what you are searching for is right where you are.
The resort offers a free shuttle to its sister properties. On one day, we go to the Alexandra Resort and have lunch at the Mango Reef restaurant. It looks out over the stunning crystalline water. Another day we dinghy over to Little Salt Water Cay (aka Iguana Island). It is a protected habitat for the rock iguanas. They are endangered everywhere else due to predation by dogs, cats and rats. The tour guide walks us through the wooden boardwalk and many
come right up to us. He introduces them by name (Rocky, Christine, etc.). The TCI magazines talk about Jo Jo, the famous dolphin. He is 25 years old and has been declared a National Treasure. He never leaves the area and pops up all along Grace Bay. I didn’t think we’d see him because our resort/marina is in a more secluded area but one morning he comes into the marina. The boys and I race up and down the docks following him and snapping
photos. Another day we take the shuttle to the Beach Island Resort. We hang out on the beach and use the kayaks and paddleboards. I go snorkeling but don’t really see much.
Later that day, Joshua loses a tooth. He writes a note to the tooth fairy and, along with his tooth, puts some seashells for her in the envelope. In the morning, he finds a $2 bill
and a note from the tooth fairy saying she loves the shells and is going to put them in her garden. “Mom,” he says to me, “I know she’s real because she left me a note.” I nod. Someday the boys will notice the eerie resemblance between the tooth fairy’s penmanship and that of Santa Claus.