we've had to move on
. We are scheduled to meet Ashley's mom and her mom's boyfriend in Nicaragua. A plan that was hatched just before we decided to take a trip on the vomit comet... before scuba diving.
But that's life... if you work, you probably need to book your holidays, and Ashley's mom was no exception. "Where are you going to be in February?" she asked.
"We have no idea," was our response, "Does Nicaragua sound good to you?"
"That could work." And so, we agreed to meet in Nicaragua.
Don't get us wrong, we are plenty excited to see Ashley's mom. Overwhelmingly so, in fact... how could we not be? It's been a whopping seven months since we last saw her, along with everyone else from home. It's just that saying goodbye can be tough. Leaving Utila is almost as tough as it was to leave home.
We know and have become attached to so many wonderful people.
But We Also Had a Reason to Celebrate
Now three months in, we've completed the PADI divemaster program. The typical course of action is to invite everyone out to what's called a snorkel test
. The snorkel test is exactly what you are imagining. You sit perched in front of all your friends at the front of a bar while your mentor pours a copious amount of booze into a funnel attached to the top of your snorkel. You sit there and drink until you can't drink anymore, then you wretch. There's usually some applauding, followed by some dancing, and occasionally a medical emergency requiring minor first aid.
Shane's Snorkel Test
We're too damn old for that nonsense
. We've become quite tame, living on our little Jewel Cay. We needed a more fitting way to say goodbye, something that suited us a bit better. Where someone that had spent the past 3 months living in the grand metropolis of Utila may have found a visit to Jewel Cay calming and relaxing, that wasn't an option for us. We needed something else, something smaller, something like... a private island!
Little Cay is a private island for rent. It's a bit pricey, costing $150 USD a night for up to 6 people, and an additional $10 USD per person after that. I'm not sure what the total capacity is, but I would hazard to guess that it would sleep around 15 if need be.
The house is really really nice. There's a huge kitchen and common area. Two fridges - one for drinks, the other for food. An electric generator and solar powered lights. The rooms are spacious with their own bathrooms, and there's even a guest house. The island is covered in soft sand, coconut palms, and hermit crabs.
What Do You Do on a Private Island?
Anything you want. That's the beauty of it. There's no one there to tell you no, or give you funny looks. For us, an island full of divemasters, divemasters in training and instructors, we chose to go on a shore dive. It was fun getting out to a new site that we hadn't seen before. We made the most of it, staying under for about an hour, and saw some critters that are a little bit more rare, like a Spanish Lobster. It was nice, but not the most spectacular diving we've seen.
After the dive, it was time for food. We had tuna (purchased filleted on Jewel Cay for about $1.50USD per pound), bread fruit, salad, potato salad, ham and cheese buns, cinnamon buns, and some coconuts to hold our rum.
After the meal things died down considerably, we drank a bit more, and eventually nodded off to sleep. Great time, great food, just the right amount of sleep. Our kind of going away party. We are going to miss you Utila. So much so, that I wouldn't be surprised if we crossed paths again sooner rather than later.
Hanging Out in the Kitchen
Preparing the Fish
Rum in the Coconut
That's it. Three months after arriving in Utila, it's time to say goodbye. It's bittersweet in a way, this is the only time so far in our trip where