Archive for April, 2012

Coral World


Coral World is located by Coki Beach on the East side of the island.  The best way to describe it is to say that it reminds me of a smaller Sea World.  We had never been and wanted to do something different with the kids.  We ended up buying a yearly pass for the whole family.



My birthday shoes


Equipped with my new walking/hiking shoes, we rolled up to Coral World.





Coral World is a beautiful, well kept facility with awesome views.  You can hear the surf crashing on the rocks below as you walk up to the entrance of the park.  In the background, you can hear faint music and smells of fried food coming from Coki Beach, which is right next door.



Why, hello there?


Just like in Sea World, they give you a map with the presentation times on the back for all the exhibits.  First we went to the shallow pool that houses some juvenile sharks and a sting ray, who is kept in there for cleaning purposes!  The juvenile sharks are nourished and cared for and then released back into the wild when the park feels like they can make it.



Big Fella


There is a side viewing area for this shallow pool.  We stood there are these creatures would slowly glide by us sending a shiver up my spine at least.  The nurse sharks did resemble large catfish.  We listened to the young girl explain which type of sharks are typical for the Caribbean waters.  Ignorance is bliss!!!



Joaquin, don't look to your right!!!



Keep your hands and feet out of the water.


After the presentation by the Coral World employee, her co-worker put one of the nurse sharks in a bin, so, that everyone who WANTED to, could touch it.  I was proud of Isabella who immediately said she wanted to do that.  Since my 11 year old was brave enough, I put my hand on the shark.  Expecting to feel a smooth almost rubber like exterior, I was shocked.  His skin was like sand paper.  Huh?  How much I have to learn about sharks!



Isabella, are you sure you want to pet the shark?



Oh, what's down here?


We continued on our way down to the sea turtle area.  These wonderful reptiles are part of the endangered species and are just spectacular.  They were my favorite.  Coral World will take a few of the babies that they find in the wild and assist them to then be released, just like the sharks, in an effort to help stabilize the population.

Supposedly, with the yearly pass, you would be able to see the babies and watch them grow up and catch in on their progress.



Sea Turtles


As we left the sea turtles, we encountered a curious pelican.  He was hanging out waiting for someone to give him some food.  With the sea turtles and the pelican, my mind started replaying the Finding Nemo movie.  We had already found several of its stars.



Nigel, is that you?



Creatures are all over the place.


I can relate to the iguanas.  I like to sunbathe as well!



The underwater observatory


One of the biggest attractions at Coral World is the underwater observatory, which allows you to descend to the ocean floor and gaze into the “blue” with staying dry!  We went down to the bottom and walked around listening to our kids saying, “Oh, look over here!”  With swarms of fish swimming by and brightly colored coral waving, we enjoyed our underwater views.



The petting zoo


Coral World is very hands on, which is nice for kids and adults to see and feel what is in the ocean.



It felt fake.



Look, a human!


Then it was time to see the aquarium that houses a huge variety of ocean life.  The tank itself is filled with ocean water, and then the water is recycled back into the ocean at 15,000 gallons an hour.  This allows Coral World to help keep the reefs alive.  They had someone in the tank cleaning the glass.






Feeding Time


As the feeder sunk into the tank, the fish just swarmed.  We saw the sting ray gobble up pieces of food in his mouth located on the underside of his body.  One of the employees was there to identify the different types of life in the tank and answer any questions that you had.



Omar the painter


I didn’t get very good pictures of the sea lion presentation, but I had to, at least, put up one.  That presentation was informative and just plain cool.  They brought out two different sea lions and had them do different tasks.  One of the tasks was painting.  You read that correctly, they had them paint.

Well, the paintings were definitely more abstract!



Isabella feeding the sting rays.


Right outside the sea lion exhibit is the sting ray lagoon.  Here they will let you feed them, and they have someone talk to the group about these fascinating creatures, which have gotten a bad rap after the Steve Erwin accident.  They are actually quite gentle.  They would rather flee than fight.  They bury themselves in the sand because they are trying to keep themselves from being burnt by the sun, not that they are trying to hide in wait to attack humans.



Coki Beach


After wandering around Coral World for several hours, we decided to leave, but will definitely be back.  I snapped this picture of Coki Beach, which is within walking distance of Coral World.  We have been to this beach.  It is a beautiful beach with probably the best snorkeling on St. Thomas.  You do have to put up with the vendors bugging you to buy, rent, or eat their products.


Sugar Bay Resort


As we were leaving from the parking lot, I glanced over and saw the Sugar Bay Resort.  This was the first place Jonathan and I stayed at when we came to St. Thomas in 2008.  This was the beginning.  This is where I turned to Jonathan and said, “I could live here.”




Careful Honey!


So, how do you open a fresh coconut?  I’m not taking about the ones you buy in the store where the hard green shell has been taken off for you.

The only answer is:  A Machete

This is such a necessary tool for the Caribbean.  We have used it for hacking down the jungle, opening a coconut, and slicing through frozen meat!



Oh,,,,,please be careful!


The only problem is where do you keep such a useful tool that can be used for almost anything.  You keep it where we do:  In the hall closet next to the toilet paper.



The Prize

Limetree Beach


I had reserved a room at Bluebeard’s Beach Club for two nights for our family.  I thought it would feel like we were getting away for the weekend.  We went to see the movie, “Hunger Games” first, and then drove over to the hotel.  We have stayed here before, but it is a breath taking view from the parking lot before checking in.



The crew


We took our overnight bag up to the room and plotted out our weekend plans, which amounted to relaxing and sitting by the pool all weekend.  I snapped a couple of pictures of the pool at night, but we spent all day at the pool Sunday.  We woke up and threw on our bathing suits and cover ups.  We sat at the pool bar and had a satisfying breakfast while hearing the waves crashing on the beach.



Night Swimming


The kids spent the majority of their time in the pool making a new friend.  Jonathan and I got in the pool to cool off and access the swim up pool bar that even has bar stools in the pool.  Nice touch.  We visited with the bartender, Vince, whom we had met back in November.  We acted like total tourist by ordering the fruity blended drinks.  All and all we had a wonderful, relaxing weekend and didn’t even go to the beach at all.



They love the water.


Blluebeard’s Beach Club is a wonderful place to stay.  We didn’t have to drive very far to get here, but it felt like a real vacation.



The Grounds




While our friend, Jana, was here, we went to park at Red Hook.  I like to park next to nice vehicles, so, that if someone was going to break into one, they wouldn’t pick mine!


Though we did not spot Paul Walker, this particular one even had the NOS canister built into the engine.  I might have to get me one.  I could picture myself cruising in that on these curvy roads.