We started the day at Store Bay Beach for lunch in the pavilion before a boat tour to the Coral Gardens, Nylon Pools and No Man’s Land on Buccoo Reef. This was the same pavilion that we ate lunch at the previous day, though this time I decided to try the crab and dumplings. The crab and dumplings were served by itself in a curry, but the shocking thing about it was that it was in the shell. We were informed that you’re supposed to eat the shell along with the crab. I did not try the crab. This was something that was too far outside of my comfort zone and while I appreciate that it is a cultural difference, it was one of few that I just didn’t want to try. The dumplings were delicious, but I wouldn’t advise ordering this delicacy unless you’re prepared to eat it the way the locals do.
The glass-bottomed boat was reserved for our large group exclusively, you had to board it by walking about knee-deep in the water and then being helped up the two steps into the hull. The ‘glass-bottom’ is some double-paned glass near the center surrounded by seats, or you can go up above where the panoramic views are spectacular. It was about a twenty-minute boat ride that was relatively smooth to the Coral Gardens. The Coral Gardens are a shallow area of coral reef that would be beautiful snorkeling, except that the reef in that area has been mostly destroyed and is bleached and dead. If you’ve never seen a reef before then it will be beautiful, but for those that have been scuba diving or who have seen a healthy reef, this part of the reef is not in good shape. The other thing to keep in mind is that not all of the boats will have masks and snorkels, ours had a limited number of masks and no snorkels, and that the area is fairly wavy. The Caribbean Sea is also notably saltier than the Pacific or the Atlantic Ocean.
Following that, we went to the Nylon Pools, a sand bar in the middle of the ocean. It was about 500 meters from shore and the water was two to three feet deep all around. The sand was made of broken down corals, which was different than the sand on the beach. We were told it contained iodine, which is what the fish eat. The iodine in the coral is also good for acne and blemishes and so you should use it to exfoliate your body and your face. I wish I’d brought a jar to take some home with me!
The boat ride back to Store Bay Beach was about forty minutes and we spent another hour wandering around the shopping area before the bus picked us up. I tried nutmeg ice cream, which was absolutely delicious and I wish existed in the states. I will definitely be trying to recreate some of these recipes back home so stay tuned for videos of that!
We got home at around five that evening and I made myself a salad and drank some homemade Turmeric Kombucha from the convenience store near our guest house.