We had another day at the Bohol Beach Club, this time with a rented snorkel and fins to round out our experience. Here’s Prescott getting ready for his first snorkeling adventure:
The reef life here would not suit any true snorkeler — it’s too kelpy in most places, and there aren’t enough fish — but we were more than satisfied. We saw many different kinds of sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and starfish (including blue ones twice the size of my palm). The coral, though somewhat sparse, came in a stunning range of colors and shapes; some of it even had wafting floral sea anemones attached. And we did find fish, from black and white clownfish (Nemo’s cousins) to humuhumunukunukuapua’a (less amusingly known as reef triggerfish) to Australian butterflyfish. I also saw my first ever juvenile emperor angelfish, which has to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in the ocean.
Sadly, I don’t own an underwater camera or camera case, so I can’t share any photos from these adventures. Instead, I satisfied myself with taking lots of pictures of us hanging out on the beach.
I love the Bohol Beach Club for many reasons: the sand is as soft as cornstarch, it’s not very crowded, and they have lots of lounging options (hammocks, chairs under coconut trees by the beach, chairs under umbrellas by the pool). They also have a restaurant that serves real food. On the whole, Filipino food is lousy — there’s a reason you don’t ever see or hear about Filipino restaurants. The cuisine is fairly bland and, on top of that, poses a real challenge for those who do not eat anything that walks on four legs (we were despairing of ever finding a decent meal for our first two days in the village of Loboc). So we were thrilled (and surprised) to find good food at a beach resort. My lunch for two days running has been an excellent tuna fillet served with a vinegar-soy sauce and local pickled papaya.
I also had fried mango ice cream for dessert, while Prescott enjoyed a banana split (with vanilla, chocolate, and ube — a violently-colored purple yam — ice creams).
From the restaurant we could watch the lifeguarding school next door (I called it the “Help! Help! School,” but Prescott informed me that people don’t really scream out “help” when they’re drowning). You can barely see a few of them out on their boards here:
Another wonderful feature of this particular beach is that the view is unimpeded by dive boats. From what I’ve been able to gather, a couple of the nearby resorts have somehow gotten together to create a no-fishing, no-motorized boat area. This makes for great swimming and snorkeling and ocean-watching. Down the beach not very far, it gets a little busy: clusters of outrigger dive boats sit looking like pretty bugs lined up on the water (it’s hard to appreciate the bug part from this photo — you’ll have to trust me):
In other news from my old life (though something that’s still very close to my heart), the Park School Mock Trial Team won Baltimore County Finals today! It’s very exciting — they’re a great team, the same group I coached last year, and they worked to earn this win. I miss and am extremely proud of them.