Friday 11/25/2005 - Secret Harbour, Latitude 18

We woke up at around 10:00 a.m.. Craig made coffee. We ate some Fruity Pebbles and Cap'n Crunch peanut butter cereal. It was sunny and warm this morning, which was a nice change after yesterday's rain. Outside our room was a grassy area with palm trees and flowers. There were sprinklers watering the plants, and the lizards took the opportunity to soak up the moisture. We had heard about the pool at this hotel, but since we usually stay down at the beach, we had never even seen it in five years of staying here. This morning we got our first glimpse of the pool. It was very nice, on the hill overlooking the ocean. Gina and Roger showed up at around 11:15, having already checked out of their room. We hung out in our room for a while. We flipped through some of the maps and tourist magazines that we had picked up at the airport. We noticed that there were an over-abundance of advertisements for wristwatches, from very fancy Rolexes on down. It became an inside joke, "Hey, do you think they're trying to sell us some watches?" Gina laughed and said that she doesn't even wear watches.

Eventually we called the front desk to see if our new room was ready. They said that it hadn't been cleaned yet, but asked us to check out of the current room anyway. A staff person came to put our perishables in the new fridge, and we put our bags in the car. We went over to the Blue Moon Cafe, the onsite restaurant. The dining room is on an open air porch right on the beach. Craig got the tuna steak sandwich and I had crab cakes. We had conch fritters with the meal and we drank bushwhackers. We had a nice table in the corner. After all these years of coming here, we had never noticed the little gift shop between the restaurant and the dive shop. After finishing lunch, we went into the gift shop and bought some souvenirs from a teenaged West Indian girl. We went into the dive shop too. By then it was 3:00, which meant check-in time. We thought for sure our new beachfront two bedroom would be ready by now, and we went to the office to check. We saw Ernie the general manager and he told us that our room was ready. We went over to 414, a two bedroom on the ground floor (still a few steps down to the beach). We got settled in the room. Craig and I had a room with large dark furniture. There was a TV in there too. We found that not all of our perishables had made it into the fridge as they were supposed to, but the room was a cool temperature anyway, so we assumed anything that had sat out was ok.

We then went outside at around 4 p.m. and did some swimming. There were a lot of rocks and coral on our end of the beach. You really have to be careful where you step. Roger dove underwater and scraped a big chunk out of his nose against a rock. He and Gina went back to the room to clean up Roger's wound, and we were worried. We wondered if a trip to the emergency room would be necessary. They came back to the beach after a short while. Roger had a bandaid on the bridge of his nose, but was taking it like a trooper. While we swam, the hotel staff were setting up for a wedding on the beach in the late afternoon sunlight. We watched as the bride and groom arrived, and the ceremony took place. The photographer wrote the couple's names in the sand and took pictures as the shadows grew. As the sun sank lower in the sky we got out of the water and took some pictures of the sunset from the beach. Secret Harbour Beach overlooks the dump in the distance, but you'd never know it. There is a fantastic view at sunset. We then went back to the room and got changed and had a couple of drinks. We sat out on the porch and listened to steel pan music wafting over from the Blue Moon. Tiffany was supposed to get out of work at 6:30, and we had planned to get together with her and Marty for dinner. We called Marty but had to leave a message. They ended up calling us back at around 7:20, and Marty was too tired to get together.

We were on our own for dinner, and we decided to go to Latitude 18 since it is close by and has a nice outdoor atmosphere. We sat at our "usual" spot, up on a little deck, away from the main bar. We were right next to the ocean, where sailboats were bobbing along the dock. The guys drank Heineken and Gina and I had madras. Lightnin' Phil was playing an acoustic guitar and singing songs including "Ripple" and "Friend of the Devil". He was then joined by fellow acoustic guitar player Jason Jones. They sang some Simon and Garfunkel, performed "Dueling Banjos", etc. As we listened to the music we became hungry. Craig ordered a mahi sandwich and I got a burger. We ordered some rum punch. At around 10:20 the music stopped and we headed out. We came back to the room, laughing about the road you have to take to get to Latitude 18, that no tourist would probably believe that it pops out at a restaurant.

We came back to the room, and Gina dug a little game out of her pocketbook. It was called Pass the Pigs, and included two small rubber pig-shaped dice. We had never seen this game before and decided to give it a try. We had a lot of laughs, and it was a fun way to pass the time. Check out this link to play Pass the Pigs online. At home we had videotaped the digital blues channel Music Choice, and we popped in the tape for some background music. I typed up the journal, and then we went to bed.
Gina and Craig at Secret Harbour Beach

Sunset off Secret Harbour

Secret Harbour Beach at night

Craig, Steve, Roger, and Gina at Latitude 18

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