Kay and Wes and Debbie White came for a visit last week. Kay is Gaye's twin sister, more of which has been said and will yet be said. Suffice it to say that most of what you hear about twins is surely true with them.
|Kay, Debbie, Wes|
Today they left for home. It was especially hard for Gaye to let them go, but much easier knowing that we have only two more months left. Not that anybody is counting.
We first went to see Old San Juan. It really is a dynamic place, full of historical sites that go back to shortly after Columbus discovered Puerto Rico in 1493.
We all piled into a rented Corona and drove to Arecibo where we visited the Rio Camuy Caves. Our guide made the trip worth while, that’s for sure. The subterranean river that originally hollowed out the hue cavern is now 150 feet deeper into the cave.
|Rio Camuy where it darts back underground at the bottom of a sink hole.|
It flows underground for 9 miles to the Atlantic Ocean. I have no idea how far the stream bed runs in the other direction. The area is riddled with caves, many of which are not completely explored.
We also drove over to see the Arecibo Observatory. This is a 1000-foot diameter dish-shaped collector of signals from outer space, the largest on earth.
It is built in a natural bowl that resulted from a sinkhole, which was in turn the product of limestone being dissolved and carried out by a subterranean stream.
It was interesting to read of what has been learned by interpreting the data gathered by the huge antenna. It was also interesting to read how some scientists try to explain life on earth and elsewhere without leaving any space for involvement of a Supreme Being.
Some day believers and non-believers will all shake our heads in amazement when we learn how it was really done. Anyway, part of the Jodi Foster movie Contact was filmed there.
We attended church at our Spanish-speaking ward, then drove an hour to Fajardo, where we caught the ferry to Vieques. (Spell check doesn’t like either of those names.) That small island is a 90-minute ferry ride off the east end of Puerto Rico.
We stayed in a wonderful hotel where the owners love to have Mormon missionaries and guests come and visit. We had two rooms with plenty of beds, and they even provided an old car for us to drive around the island.
We stopped at a huge Ceiba tree. What a strange tree, too.
|Don't know the old guy, but the chick is Sister Patterson|
Monday we visited Blue Beach on the edge of the old Navy bombing range.
That bombing activity has necessitated the closure of more than half the island to human visitors, although there are some wild horses on the island that wander in there. There are bombs that have not exploded, so it will be closed for a long time. Snorkeling was fun there, with several different coral varieties out in the rocks. We saw several species of fish, too, including the dreaded Lionfish. The first recorded sighting of this invasive species is 1985. You can see a short video showing the explosive spread of the Lionfish since then. http://lionfish.co/lionfish-faq/ It really is a serious problem.
Later Monday we went to Mosquito Bay, also known as Bio Bay, for a very interesting evening of exploring. The bay has the right conditions to support a viable concentration of dino-flagellates. Lately the little critters have not been putting on much of a show, but it was still impressive to drag a hand through the water and see hundreds of little sparkles light up. http://www.biobay.com/
As impressive as the sparkles were, the night sky was absolutely amazing! Orion was straight overhead, so the brightest constellation with its companions put on a show that I cannot adequately describe. It is pretty humbling, though, to sit under that starry canopy and realize that for every star or planet visible there are billions more that are not visible to the eye. Yet, we are children of a loving Heavenly Father who has made this earth specifically for us, and who wants us to succeed in overcoming our challenges here and return to live with God and hosts of faithful brothers and sisters, also children of God. All these things are God’s handiwork. We are his children.
This Hubble photo was taken of a spot in the sky about the size of a grain of sand at arm's length.
Each dot, smudge, or smear is a galaxy with billions of stars.
|A couple of 2-month old Chihuahua pups. $400 each.|