Our 3rd Day on the ocean brought our first port of call: Grand Turk, part of Turks & Caicos. I really don't know whether that's part of the Bahamas, or part of another country or what. Just know that when we woke up, we were at some land. :)
That morning we stopped by the shore excursions desk to sign up for the excursions we had planned for the next 2 stops (nothing planned for Grand Turk), only to find out that the two we were thinking of doing (parasailing and sailing to an island for snorkeling and stingrays and stuff) were both sold out. I'd been a little uncomfortable waiting so long to try to sign up for something, since my cousin had said that the good ones would sell out. We'd had a big planning meeting trying to work out what everyone wanted to do, and hopefully find some things that would be fun for everyone. Now, in the matter of about 30 seconds, we scrambled and came up with some other options that were still available (stingrays not on their own island, and sailing on a catamaran to a reef with snorkeling) for a reasonable price ($25 and $55 respectively).
Grand Turk - view from the pier
After getting that worked out, we headed down to get off the boat. This shore stop was the shortest of the 3 we did, and we were only going to be in port until about 2 pm, so it was okay that we didn't have anything big planned, other than hanging out at the beach and swimming in the ocean. Speaking of which, swimming in the ocean would be about 10 times as fun if the water didn't make you want to throw up the minute it got in your mouth. Do people who grow up by the beach get over that aspect of it?
Group shot on the beach
Anyway, the water was nice and refreshing and we had fun swimming around. Floating on your back in the ocean is much easier than in a pool. Guess that whole salt water aspect goes both ways, huh?
While we were swimming around, we swam out to the rope that divided where were bathing from the open ocean (not sure what the point of this was, other than to perhaps let you know you were far enough out and not to swim too far from the beach and die). I tried to rest on the rope, but found that it wasn't nearly buoyant enough to support me, so I moved over a tad to a plastic buoy on the rope. As soon as I put my arm up on the buoy, I felt a sharp pain in my arm, and quickly pulled my arm off of the buoy. I couldn't see anything at first but on closer inspection found a tiny red pinprick of a mark where the pain originated. I'm assuming I was stung by some type of jellyfish, but was surprised at how tiny the mark was. It continued to itch/burn/mildly bother me and eventually it blossomed into a minor bruise along with some red welts. The bruise faded quickly enough, but surpisingly the welts are still faintly visible even now (3 weeks later!), though not at all painful. Good one Mother Nature!
After some swimming time, we wandered around the tourist trap of stores located on the island and eventually I went for a walk down the beach with Eric and Kellen to see what we could see. Which really wasn't much of anything. After that, I decided I was ready to get back on the boat, and Julie-Ann and Brandon also joined me.
Brandon and Julie-Ann by the welcome sign
Grand Turk - view from on deck
We got back on the boat, had a late lunch, showered, and then found a nice shady spot (due to some clever thinking on our part about which way the boat would be going once it left port) for some reading that quickly turned to napping.
I woke up in time to go downstairs and win a medallion playing Win, Lose, or Draw (I was way too competitive for the crazy way that had that set up, but our team ended up winning anyhow), and then another "Piece of Ship" trophy (along with a hat and some cheap wine) for sports trivia in a trivia round that went to sudden death overtime. I gave the runner-up the wine (after getting my photo taken with it).
Me with my sports trivia prizes
After trivia time, we went to the theatre for the nightly show that consisted of, first a guy who sang old Motown hits who was hugely popular with the audience. When he said he had to end his show, I thought people were going to riot. Did I mention a huge portion of our cruise consisted of African-American families? After he had left the stage, we were treated to a redneck-type comedian who bombed unlike anything I've ever seen. He was not funny. Painfully so. Probably didn't help that the crowd wasn't happy about the first performer ending his set.
Anyway, that was an awkward 30 minutes, and then we got to go to dinner. Another delicious meal, I'm sure, followed by more warm chocolate melting cake, which Eric managed to misname every time (Molten lava chocolate cake? Chocolate molten cake?). Probably the highlight of Wednesday's dinner was a dance number put on by the wait staff, to "Jai Ho".
Wait staff getting their groove on
After dinner, we wandered up to the deck and hung out and watched part of another movie on the deck (Quantum of Solace). I lasted about 5 minutes before falling asleep, and when I woke up, I headed down to bed.