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28 October 2013 @ 08:14 pm
Day 3  
Oh gosh today was great! But I need to recap on yesterday. We watched Toy Story 3, then after that we went to the 80’s party. We didn’t stay long because they allowed smoking. The music was the best part, but we found out something funny. At night most everyone gets all fancy walking around the ship. Haha, Chris and I felt so skuzzy just in T-shirts, shorts and tennis shoes. Oh well. We weren’t the only ones but the night life on the ship is totally different than the day. I was disappointed no one dressed 80’s to the 80’s party except me and one other guy. And the one other guy had everyone beat. He wore a flashing LED Michael Jackson glove and Miami Vice style shirt and pants. Unfortunately I didn’t get a pic of him but I did get some of the dance floor where everyone was formal. I’ve had my fill of formal growing up with my mother though to last a life time. We didn’t bring any formal or fancy clothes. We even requested to do only casual dinning.

It’s been wonderful watching the ocean go past our room. But it’s amazing how man is all over the planet. I thought we’d be alone on the open ocean especially at night. But no there are other cruise ships and cargo ships out there. I’m not complaining. I was just surprised. You see at least one almost every time. So (not that we would do this anyway) no ideas about walking around naked in your room with the window open.

Ok so today was just awesome. We had breakfast delivered to our room. We had cereal,orange juice and toast. OMG the orange juice was so yummy! Oops, before that actually. I slept very well. I remembered my acid reducer. I had a great horror dream. Yeah sounds weird but it was in my typical flair where I’m not afraid of the monsters and was fighting back. I woke up early and excited in time to watch the sun rise. I wanted to see how we made it into Haiti. I could see an island ahead of us in the foggy distance. I thought that’s where we were going. Suddenly a HUGE island appears from the side. Woah, I guess that’s where we’re going. We arrived ahead of schedule so that’s why I thought we were going to the other one. And it was a cool surprise to just see these mountain pop up. So after breakfast we took pics from deck 16. Then we went to go to our snorkeling tour. I forgot my cash though and had to run back to the ship. It was a long run. But I wanted it so I could rent an underwater camera. It was cool that on the pier there was a guy dressed like a pirate and saying ARRR over and over very loudly. I didn’t get a pic unfortunately. So I got back and was very winded. I saw some birds I couldn’t ID and wanted to look for birds when we returned. So we got on the little boat and they took us to the dive site. I haven’t swam in years and was out of practice. The flippers they gave me were terrible. They slowed me down instead of helping me and they cut into the back of my ankles. Not fun! But the masks were nice and I’m so glad my contacts didn’t get lost. I brought my glasses with me in case that did happen. I did see lots of cool corals, some fish (not many though) and lost of sea urchins. The captain of the small boat was with us and he found a crab. It was big and he was scaring people with it. Chris has a blast and I’m very happy about that. This was for him and his choice. It was his early birthday trip.

Then we ate hamburgers and I got pics of a new lizard I had never seen. Then we explored some of the nature paths. Near where the fort was we found some awesome stuff. I found some thrushes of some kind and a type of flycatcher. I can’t find them in my book and it bugs me that I can’t ID them. Then Chris noticed something amazing. He found a GIANT caterpillar. It was a type of sphinx moth. It was about 7 inches, had a red head, black body and yellow stripes. I was in love and want to know what kind of moth it is. I wonder what the moth looks like? I started to look for the host plant and hit the jack pot. I found it and these giant caterpillars were EVERYWHERE! I don’t recognize the plant either. I hate no know what stuff is but I can’t wait to ID this stuff. I’m going to post pics tonight if I can and if you guys can ID them for me please leave me a comment! It’s killing me. Anyway I was in love with these lovely caterpillars and thrush birds. The thrush were brown on top with lots of stripes all the way to the tails on their tummies. They had dark yellowish beaks and dark reddish eyes. Nothing like that in my book. I’m disappointed my book has not been helpful this time like it was in the Bahamas. And of course I don’t have the luxury of the internet to look it up for hours.

We got back to the ship we were so tired and sore. I spent a lot of time in the sun taking pics and videos of the birds and bugs. My triceps hurt from the swimming. We took a shower and relaxed for a while in our room. But when we tried the CD they gave us of our underwater camera it didn’t work. So we took it to guest services. They couldn’t get it to work either. They’re going to email the guys and see if they still have the memory card, though I have a bad feeling because there was one more tour after us. So I hope I can get my $20 back but it’s not about the money. We really had some great underwater photos only to have them get lost. I don’t know how the guy screwed it up transferring it to the CD. We were both pissed about that.

The other thing I’m not too happy about is that tomorrow in Jamaica I don’t think I’ll be able to go to that bird sanctuary. There’s no way to know if we can get a taxi there and back. It’s a hour from the port and that might be expensive and I really don’t want to risk missing the ship. Our second choice is too early to risk going on land not finding choice one then getting choice too because it starts at 11am and there’s only one tour. So I reluctantly have let that go and booked us for a cave expedition. I’m sure I have to see SOME birds before we go in the cave. But I am disappointed about not being able to go to Rocklands Bird Sanctuary. To feed rare streamer tail hummingbirds and have them land on me would have been the experience of a life time. I don’t know when I’ll have the chance to go back to Jamaica. So I am disappointed. But I know I’ll like the cave tour as I loved the one in the Bahamas.

I JUST IDed that unknown bird and can’t believe what I have seen. It’s not a thrush at all. It’s a Palmchat! That’s an endemic found only in Haiti and Dominican Republic. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I have seen several of these rare birds found nowhere else on Earth. Just awesome and the reason I was looking in the wrong place was that they looked brown. But they had stripes going all the way to the vent feathers. No thrush in the book looks like that or has red eyes. In the shadow of leaves green birds look brown I guess but now I know they were Palmchats. Wow! So I’ll only post one pic then. The one of the caterpillar. So yes please if you guys can look this up for me I’d be grateful. It’s a sphinx so that should narrow it down and it was found in Haiti. I was inspired today and made a little doodle of George looking at the giant caterpillar. His colors remind me of Gallemotch. So he’d have liked these and how big they were.



Well that’s it for now I think. I’m having an amazing time despite the few annoyances. I hope I feel better tomorrow. Oh and I felt great today. These are normal feelings from exercise, and has nothing to do with my back. I’m so glad I was so physically active today and my back and knees didn’t give me problems. So it’s caves and waterfalls tomorrow and hope that I stay painless and keep all my stamina to do all of this. It’s been so nice to just be normal. Oh and I keep watching the water hoping to see a whale. I hope I see some kind of large marine mammal. I don’t know if there are any in these waters. Our little daily paper gives us neat stats like the water we sailed through was 6,000 feet deep! Ok time for me to go.
 
 
 
earthmother45earthmother45 on October 29th, 2013 01:04 am (UTC)
Hi Des. It took me awhile, but I think I might have an ID for you on the caterpillar. Huge Tetrio-sphinx caterpillar, the Tetrio sphinx (Pseudosphinx tetrio) is a moth of the Sphingidae family. It ranges from Brazil in South America to the southern United States. This huge almost 5 inches long caterpillar seen along the coast in Panama City.

Also this: a common moth in the American tropics and subtropics that less frequently occurs in southern parts of Florida. Although the adults exhibit mostly drab grey coloration, larvae are conspicuous, large caterpillars that often occur in gardens feeding on frangipani and other members of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae).

There's lots of stuff on line about it and when you get home you can look it up and find out more and also what the moth looks like. A picture showed it to be mostly brown.

I am really enjoying your posts! They are full of such interesting and exciting adventures. It sounds like you and Chris are having a fabulous time and I am so happy for you both! I am very glad you have had minimal pain and am praying it stays that way.

Well, carry on and I hope you have a great day tomorrow at the caves and waterfalls! And I hope you get to see that whale. :))
kabuldur: Asterkabuldur on October 29th, 2013 10:18 am (UTC)
You are having a great holiday! First of all, let me say that I would have loved Toy Story 3. I have not seen that one, yet.

What a pity people didn't dress in 80s style for the dance. It sounds like people get dressed up to go for walks - like the nineteenth century! Whoever would have thought that people would bring dressy clothes on a holiday!

The snorkeling would have been awesome. That sucks that the flippers didn't fit properly. I'm glad that you got good goggles, though. That would have sucked to lose your contact lenses. I wouldn't even have thought of that.

What a pity you can't go to the bird sanctuary. But you can't risk missing the boat. well, the caves will be cool and I hope you get to see some birds.

That is awesome that you got to see such a special bird, and that caterpillar is so big and colourful! Unreal. I'm glad that Earthmother IDed it, because you sure have a lot of sphinx moths!
actipton80actipton80 on October 29th, 2013 12:53 pm (UTC)
What a pretty caterpillar. I'd love to see all those birds.

Also, Happy Birthday to Chris.
The Silver Wolf of Darkness: Borrissilvolf on October 30th, 2013 09:53 am (UTC)
Sounds like you're having an awesome time. It's a shame no one was really dressed 80s apart from you and the other guy but at least you had fun! It's interesting that there are other ships and things on the ocean as well nearby.
It's a shame about the photos though, I hope you can get them sorted out.