Archive for snorkeling

hasty changes of plan (and of hemisphere)

Posted in Books, Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2021 by xi'an

As we [the entire family] were about to leave for La Réunion for a two-week vacation, the local authorities decided to start a severe lockdown over the whole island. Which makes sense given the large number of cases and the low proportion of vaccinated inhabitants that led to the saturation of the health system, to the point of flying patients to Paris for treatment. And which would have meant [for us] being stuck in our Airbnb except for sport activities on the nearest beach, but with no chance of trail running or hiking to the local tops or into the magnificent calderas. (Besides being rather unethical by putting local non-vaccinated people at risk.) Hence we cancelled the trip at the last minute (with great service from Air France and a full loss with Airbnb.) After first considering Iceland, which sounded fully booked, we then switched to a trip to Corsica, where surprisingly there were still available plane seats and cars to rent at the airport. And less surprisingly hardly any place to rent! After a whole morning of failed attempts, we eventually secured two rental places, the first one turning out to be quite nice. Last time I visited the island there was in the summer of 1980, where I hitch-hiked from Normandy to join high school friends for a month of camping, snorkeling, and wind-surfing! (And not much progress in reading Kant’s Critique I had taken as my beach book!)

Keys in and out

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , on August 30, 2011 by xi'an

Spending a few days in the Keys was both relaxing, replacing the rudimentary comfort on the catamaran with the amenities of an American house, and frustrating, because of the sudden decrease in the intensity of our activities during those days. Indeed, finding snorkeling areas in the area was much less obvious than in the Bahamas, with less variety in the fish population. The best snorkeling spot happened to be a few meters away from Fort Zachary Taylor beacht in Key West, with even a reported sighting of a manatee a few meters away. The few accessible beaches in the remainder of the Keys were rather disappointing, with a band of dried sea grass that put the kids away, and long flat plateaus that prevented swimming and favoured bacterias. The best memory of the Keys is presumably the quality of its sunsets, which were uniformly magic. (A related disappointment was a fruitless search for a rising full moon, due to the lack of accessible beach anywhere close to our rental place…) We also enjoyed visiting the turtle hospital in Marathon, a private charity that provides medical care for turtles entangled in flotsam, jetsam, and fishing nets, damaged by boat [and idiotic jetski] propellers, suffering from plastic ingestion (impactation) or from fibropapilloma… This was in sharp contrast with the dolphin and shark “research centres” we briefly considered, which are nothing more than expensive petting zoos!

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