Saturday, April 10, 2010

This and That

We have gone on a couple nice dives lately and one crappy one (30 minutes and current in Rincon). There is a wall in front of the police station in Aguadilla (when you come into town down the hill and before the courthouse) that we dove on Thursday night. It was raining and blustery in San German, but Jeff said it was calm up north so we rounded up with David and went for a dive. It was really really nice - for over an hour we mingled with a sting ray, large puffers and cow fish, a huge trumpet fish, parrot fish in their bubbles and of course...over 7 lion fish. Visibility was great, and seas were calm. We also collected a large crab for Friday's dinner. Today we went to Corseca in Rincon and had a 77 minute dive on the wall there. It is a long swim but worth it. We went to "Tarpon Point" and the Tarpon were there finally - they have been out where ever tarpon go for a few months now. We saw a sting ray, a large turtle (not a hawksbill) with 2 remoras on it, hundreds of tarpon, huge angelfish, loads of other fish and spectacular (over 100 feet) visibility! We are headed back that way tomorrow and will go to a Lion fish Seminar thing at the UPR campus in Aguadilla afterwards. Maybe they will give out free nets or something...or some hints on killing them humanely or a place to send information about locations and quantities. We hope there is some kind of organized effort to get rid of them. We saw two large ones in Rincon this morning...a first for this wall.

We ate the last of the tomatoes and now the garden only has blooming berejena and cucumbers. I have held off on gardening since the aquaponics course is coming up soon, but have now decided that it will take us a while to get something (hydroponic or aquaponic) up and running so I better plant stuff. My compost pile reduced down to around 10 buckets of stuff. It isn't completely decomposed so I hope it gives the soil a better texture.

I went out to Pan American Fertilizer Company in Guanica and bought some big bales of growing media (4 cubic feet of soil, vermiculite and perlite - standard grow mix) to add to my now compressed- down garden area. I have already added sand and my compost and fluffed the area up, so the good stuff is going on top.

At Kmart I actually found some good seeds! There are a couple of nice salad mixes, yellow beans (for color), bright lights swiss chard that has neon pink and yellow and orange stalks (I've grown it before), basil, zucchini (round 5), spring onions, snow peas and a short carrot that is good is more compact soils. Now I just need more chicken wire to keep cats and chickens out!

When I am out and about in the yard I always have friends with me - I keep expanding the the area under my little trees so I can plant things under them and connect them with trails. This is part of the terracing plan for the arboretum. Part of the little cat "pride" was hanging out under the pomegranate tree taking a snooze.

Puff, Chicken and Tuca love each other!

Since it is cool today we came home to some drizzle and piles of cats. Mars and Blanco are hogging one cat bed...

Princess, Stripes, Puff and Bepo are piled close together for warmth and Chicken is on our bed and Dakota is on the chair in the TV room.

When I was wandering around the yard I noticed that my ornamental pink banana is blooming. The tree is only 4 feet. I was surprised since I thought it would get taller.

It'll be exciting to see the fuzzy pink bananas! Supposedly they aren't really edible since they are seedy, but I got the plant for the cool factor.

After Thursday night's dive we unpacked the truck and Jeff posed with the crab. Chicken, who I am sure has never seen a crab, seems to understand that this is good eats!

After pawing it and having it snap its claws Chicken decided to try to bite it. Jeff butchered it and cooked it up and we had it on Friday. It is different than Dungeness Crab, but still sweet and yummy. This was a large one. It was really hard to get at the meat - I used adjustable pliers and finally just hit the cooked legs and carapace with a hammer. There was no way to crack it and then use your hands. It was worth the effort, and now that we know we like it we can keep a look out for them. We saw 3 on the dive, but never take everything and wanted to know if we liked it. We do! So yummy stuff, pretty stuff, fun stuff, and cute stuff this week!

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