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Day 2 - Coral World - Afternoon

Coral World was today's afternoon excursion. We were met in front of the boat after lunch. There are a bunch of people with signs and you group up. When they say bus they really mean van. A very tight van, where I bruised my knees while we rode around. A van is the bus for most of these tours on the islands.

Coral World and a scenic overlook were our two destinations that we went on this excursion. There was a total of about 5 people, 3 of use are included in that number. When we got there, she told us that we have 2 hours, and to meet back at this spot. That was quite a bit of time to use.

Coral World was compared in another review as being better than the aquarium in Baltimore. That was a total lie. They may have said that, but it's so untrue.

Once inside, it's a nice enough place. A small shark tank, starfish you can touch. Turtles to look at. Native to the island, but still wild, Iguana's, don't pick them up, they can bite.

The Coral World section is what I wanted to see. It's a big building, looks like a UFO. You climb down a spiral staircase. Once down, you stand in a cylindrical room with skinny windows. The windows are vastly scratched. The tanks are natural, because you are under the ocean. The room is no more then 20ft in diameter. The water is so cloudy you can't see anything. And the windows are so small and scratched, with fish that swim by or out, you can't see anything at all. It was a major disappointment. And I had some choice words to describe it, but I won't go into that here. Back up the stair case.

Coral World in general had the best views of the water scenes. This is the place to get those Caribbean water shots. That is, if you don't plan on going to the beach. The water is a transparent blue color, you'll see it in the pictures. I only used a polarizer to darken the sky, and remove reflections. A rubber hood, prevented a white haze.

Disappointed we went onto the next building. This was much better. They have tropical fish in a dark room. Deep blue background, under a UV type light. Large open room, most of the tanks aren't badly scratched, and there aren't a lot of signs behind the tanks. One tank had bad reflections of signs. There were no other people there, so it was a rare opportunity to try and get some good fish pictures. Be sure not to miss the flounder, it changes color to match it's environment. It blends really well, and changes instantly. I missed that part, darn.

After that room, is a darker one, showing UV only coral and fish. Outside of that building you can view little ducks, and supposedly flamingo's. But I didn't see any of those (I knew of them from other pictures I saw). There is a very small cactus garden, but it bored me to tears.

The park was done in about an hour, and hour and a half. We went to Coki Beach, a beach attached to the park. Whole beach was about 150ft long. The tide was rolling in, and the water was getting higher and higher on the beach. At the end of the beach, there was a guy weaving hats. This is when I determined the weird rule. If it's out of place, they probably want money. I was standing about 40ft away. I shot a few pictures. He saw us, and said that he want's money if you plan to take pictures of us. I said no problem, or something to that effect, I thought he was going to kill me. So that's two new stories to tell.

After the walk, we rested, removed the sand, got back to the van, went to a scenic overview. A small area with a small wall. Took some pictures of the boats below. Got back in, went to the boat. Got ourselves x-rayed again. As each time you get back on the boat, everything is checked all over again. Stopped at the Wind Jammer for a snack, went to the room, charged, rested, and cleaned the lens (to remove salt spray).

Tonight was the first formal night. I wanted to die. I had no sleep the night before. The Bonine was taking effect, but I was so tired, I still felt the boat moving. I was a bit feverish, I could barely move. I wore a sports jacket, and took it off as soon as I got there. I really did not care who said what. I didn't feel well. The photographers's came in this night. They are persistent, but not overly smart. They group husband and wive's together, but not their children. And they only take one shot - eye's closed, looking down, tongue out - didn't seem to matter, as long as they got the shot. We had a family shot, I looked bad, and I felt worse.


Excursion Collection

This is what your greeted with. A mob of people. In the morning, they are taxi cab drivers, for the most part. In the afternoon, excursion people.


Hills and Rocks

Waters of St. Thomas

Mountain, rocks, water, sky. There are very few tree's, but the water is nice.


It came from another world

"It came from another world" - The Coral World Dome thing is that main attraction. But underneath is a major disappointment. Cloudy water and scratched glass.


Tropical

There are some palm tree's here, but they are small. They add flavor mostly.


Rocky Coast

The coast is very rocky. It adds interest to the foreground. In the back you can see Coki beach. That's the whole thing, it's not very big.


Vast

"Vast" - This is taken on the beach. The beach is crowded, but if you point the camera in the right direction, you can make it look like it just about empty. Technically I can remove the kids in the water. But they add scale and interest.


Bad Fish

School's Out

"School's out" - Before and after. The top picture is the same as the bottom. The top is the Coral World Dome thing, that's what it looks like. I only shrank and sharpened it. After a lot of time in Photoshop, I was able to make it look like something. I wasn't this lucky with many shots. If you consider this lucky that is.


Dirty Fish

Here's another shot of what you typically see in that area. A few fish, and cloudy water.


Tropical 2

This on the other hand is a cleaned up version of the inside tanks I was talking about. The display is a lot better then the last. The tanks looked good until I edited them. There were still a lot of scratches on the tanks. The pictures here are pretty small, but you can still see them. At the top by that fish, you can see a bunch of lines - those are scratches. The rest I managed to remove.


Things

They have quite a few tanks featuring this. Fun to watch anyway.


Star Fish

This is from the touch tank outside. I never grabbed it, but I did shoot it.


Turtles

They have a bunch of turtles. But you need a good zoom to see them. The water is clear, but the turtles move. I used a polarizer to remove the reflections.


Hah Hah! I got your tail!

"Hah Hah! I got your tail!" - A set of Iguana's. I only saw lizards in a few places, and this place had the big one's. This was under a tree, I saw another on a rock, and another in a tree. It would have been a great shot, but some jerk tried to grab it. This one was a bit of a reach to get. Over the railing, and down about 6 feet.


Sitting Alone

"Sitting Alone" - The water is really this blue.


Two Craftsmen

"Two Craftsmen" - These are the guy's I was talking about. One guy making making a hat, or a bag. The other was the one who approached me. I think he was mostly mad, because he was making a joint.


Diving Bells

I saw on the excursion channel, something about diving bells. They press these onto you, and that's how you breathe under water. They have them here as well, and this is what they look like.


Overlooking St. Thomas

"Overlooking St. Thomas" - This is the Scenic Overlook the driver takes us to next. Not a big thing, but something else to see. You can see the boats down there. And if you read the morning review, you can see the harbor we walked around (seems tiny now). And those condo roof's I was pointing out. The boat looks really small there, but it's really the size of a school.


Closer to boat

This is a closer view of the little boats, next to ours in that same harbor. This is a full zoom, the other one a full wide.


Other side of island

This is the other side of the island


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Our Room 9526 Day 1 - San Juan
The Ship
Day 2 - St. Thomas
The Centrum Day 2 - Coral World
The Colony Club
Day 3 - St. Johns
The Stores Day 3 - Nelson's Dockyard
The Aurora Theater
Day 3 - Shirley Heights
Miscellaneous Day 4 - St. Martin
Books, Books & Coffee
Day 4 - Butterfly Farms
Outside Main Pool Day 4 - Marigot
Solarium Inside Pool Day 5 - 1st Day at Sea
Artwork
Day 6 - Barbados
The Food
Day 6 - Fisherpond House
Main Dining Room
Day 6 - Orchid World
The Wind Jammer
Day 7 - Montserrat
The Champaign Bar Day 8 - Old San Juan
The Schooner Bar
Entertainment
General Info Sunset's & Sunrise's