Quirks on a Reef

For the holidays we spend a whole week on a small Carribean island with the Quirks and Brian and Anna. The outfit, called Slickrock, was a good combination of low tech and well organized. The guides were gentle, kind, people, who kept us snorkeling and kayaking and snorkeling and windsurfing and snorkeling and eating and snorkeling and kite surfing and snorkeling and SCUBA diving and snorkeling and kayak surfing and snorkeling. And snorkeling. We also ate *very* well, and spent time with the delightful other guests on the island that week. It was unlike anything we’ve ever done.

Reid and Liam wait to board the batfish, the boat that will bring us to Glover’s Reef.
It was a 3 hour boat ride from the coast to the reef.
And this is the island! The wind gives the coconut palms a wild feeling.
This was the group of visitors the week we were there.
Nico and Anna weave palm fronds.
Reid collects some coco plums.
Shortly after sunset.
Our family’s cabin at sunset.
The harsh rock and shell beaches of the island.
One of the hundreds of conch shells that line the paths around the island.
Daddy opens yet another coconut. Daddy loves opening coconuts.
Liam and Reid discuss important matters with their island friend, Lolla.
Liam and Daddy windsurfing!
I don’t think this needs a caption.
A pencil sea urchin
A scorpion fish
A baby Caribbean lobster
A baby decorator crab
The tide pools reveal brittlestars
Our superhero snorkeling team
A large iguana
Reid lines up for his turn for coconut bowling the day we leave.
The Quirk-Waring-Quirk-Vodickas wrap their week on the reef.

We saw an unreal amount of sea-life that week. Here are our highlights. Seriously, our note taking proved inadequate to the task.

Black Tipped Reef shark (Reid’s favorite fish)
Nurse shark
Queen Angel Fish
Queen Parrot fish
Black Durgeon
Queen Trigger fish
Damsel fish (their immatures are small dark blue numbers with brilliant iridescent blue spots)
Sergeant major
Blue-headed wrasse (Tim’s favorite fish)
Spotted Eagle ray (everyone’s favorite ray)
Scrawled file fish (Liam’s second favorite)
Honeycomb Cow fish
Spanish hog fish
Lion fish (invasive, beautiful, the guides were killing them when possible)
French angel fish
Blue tang
Scorpion fish (Tim was proud to have spotted a couple of these camouflaged deals)
Yellow-tailed goat fish (digs in the sand)
Fairy Basslet (another favorite)
Black grouper
Tiger grouper
Golden tailed moray eel
Change more ain’t you
Purple moray eel
Spotted moray eel
Stoplight Parrot fish (Liam’s favorite fish)
Puffer fish (juvenile)
Porcupine fish
Trunk fish
Needle fish
Trumpet fish
Midnight parrotfish
Some kind of flying fish that we saw while kayaking

Non-Fish ocean creatures
Sea cucumber
Bandage coral crab
Spanish lobster
Caribbean lobster
Elkhorn coral
Staghorn coral
Fire coral (branching)
Fire coral (leading)
Brain coral
Sea fans
Barrel sponges
Christmas tree worms
Squirrel fish
Yellow stingray
Glass eyed snapper
Spine sea urchin
Long spine seat merchant* Poisonous
Pencil sea urchin
Maritime hermit crab
Brittle star
Fairy shrimp
Sea goddess (small sea slug)
West Indian sea welp (a sea snail the shell of which was a common choice of for terrestrial hermit crabs)
Sea turtle (Tim saw on a scuba dive)
Hammerhead shark (Brian and Anna saw on a scuba dive)

Frigate birds
Brown pelicans

Coconut Palm
Coco plum

Land life
Hermit crabs