Six years ago, on our honeymoon in Maui, Cody and I promised each other that we would try to celebrate our anniversary in a new destination each year; and we’ve been grateful to continue this little tradition year after year. From island hopping around the Caribbean, to cruising the fjords of Norway, sailing the NaPali Coast, snorkeling in Koh Tao, and swimming with sharks in Mo’orea — our anniversary adventures have always revolved around the water, and this year was no different.
As we planned our trip to Turks and Caicos, Cody and I decided to spend the day on a snorkeling adventure with Island Vibes. The half-day snorkel tour promised four hours of fun in the sun with an opportunity for world-class snorkeling and an adventure to a neighboring cay (island). Also included in the reasonable price was a plethora of snacks, drinks, and unlimited rum punch! (Um.. Yes, please!)
After a relaxing morning — including breakfast on the beach and some light reading next to the pool — we walked down to the beach to meet the Island Vibes tour boat. And as we stepped onto the soft white sand, we saw that the Island Vibes tour boat was already pulling away from the shore, and it was full of people.
I double checked the current time.
As expected, we were right on time.
Yet our tour boat was already offshore.
As I picked my jaw up from the sand, I realized that our anniversary adventure had turned into a mis-adventure (missing a tour was a first for us–although, not a bad record in seven years of travel)… yet, before we could be too bummed out, a representative from Island Vibes came over and reassured us that another boat was already on the way to pick up the rest of the guests. What a relief!
So a quick word to the wise: if you book a snorkel tour, be advised that Island Vibes runs multiple tours each day. Don’t stress out if you think you’ve missed your tour… There will (most likely) be another boat. 🙂
We waited about five-minutes for the second boat to arrive and as we boarded the Sea Lion along with ten other guests we met our captain and crew for the day: Deloy, Mo, and Jimmy. These guys seriously rocked. They referred to themselves as the Three Stooges and went out of their way to make sure we had a great time.
Our first stop was at the third largest barrier reef in the world — and before jumping in, Mo explained that we were snorkeling next to the Continental shelf, which plummets 7,000 feet to the bottom of the sea. He advised us to stay away from the drop-off because the ocean current would take us on a detour vacation to Cuba. (Clearly, that would be no bueno!)
After wetting our fins and snorkels (and successfully escaping the massive barracuda who was a bit too curious with a few of the snorkelers), we boarded the boat and moved over to our second stop of the day: Little Water Cay.
Locally known as Iguana Island, this 116-acre island is home to the indigenous Turks & Caicos Rock Iguana. These large lizards used to roam throughout the Turks & Caicos Islands, however, their numbers have plummeted and they are now endangered. The good news is that they can still be found all over this tiny uninhabited island as it is now a wildlife sanctuary.
Our last and final stop of the day was just offshore Grace Bay Beach. The three Island Vibe tour boats moored next to each other and we had one big Island Vibes party out on the ocean. The music played, the rum punch flowed, and we showed off our skills on the diving board and the 12-foot water slide. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s probably not the best idea to swim/dive/slide while inebriated, but you know what they say… “When in Turks & Caicos”… at least I think that’s what they say. Also, I’m pretty sure the hip kids would refer to this moment as #yolo 😉
Whenever I book tours I always worry about the amount of people on board, and whether or not we’ll be able to enjoy ourselves in a big crowd. Thankfully, Island Vibes did an excellent job dividing guests among three different boats so that no one boat was completely filled to capacity. Our day with Island Vibes was absolutely memorable (even with the unlimited rum punch). 😉 Thanks Island Vibes!
Happy Anniversary, Cody! Here’s to a lifetime of new adventures and exploring new countries together!