Clearwater lived up to its name – clear blue water, sandy beaches and dolphins!
We tried two dolphin tours – one on a slow tour boat whose captain had a comedy voice, in the manner of a game-show host. At first I thought he was doing it in an ironic way, but he then proceeded to talk like that for the entire tour. So it was “Cyuuuuuming up uoooon yuuuur leeerft is the hoooouse of Huuuuulk Hoooogan!!!”. Bless him – he made me smile anyway 🙂 This tour was relaxing and when the captain saw a dolphin he steered the boat towards it so we could all watch the dolphin in its natural habitat, which was really lovely. The boat then toured the bay, pointing out famous landmarks and celebrity houses, before stopping on a tiny island where you can go “shelling” (ie. collecting shells) for half an hour. The staff said it was way too cold for swimming, but they were forgetting something – we’re British, so it’s positively tropical for us 😉 My boyfriend wasted no time diving in and snorkelling, and there were some small fish to see.
We certainly had a nice time on the tour, but although the island part of the tour was nice, we took the tour to see dolphins, not shells. So I hate to say it, but by the end of the tour I felt a bit underwhelmed. We didn’t see as much of the dolphins as I had hoped, and I wished I had gone with the Sea Screamer instead. A discussion was had and we made the controversial decision to go on the Sea Screamer as well! – Expensive for both, but I thought as we’re here on holiday, we may never go back and I’d rather not regret not doing it.
So we did it. And I’m eternally glad we did! The Sea Screamer is a bright yellow oversized speedboat – you can’t miss it! It created a huge wake behind the boat, and before long a dolphin came to play! It jumped several times in the wake of the boat which was so special. I will never forget it (photo below). I would advise sitting on the backseat of the Sea Screamer, as the dolphins will tend to jump behind the boat. However, you might get a bit wet with spray, and there is a gap under the seats so don’t put your bag underneath your seat if you want to see it again 🙂
We tried out some of the smaller private beaches on the South end of Clearwater beach, where I had expected gold flakes mixed in with the sand 😉 I was surprised to find that these beaches were covered in seaweed. The main public beach was the best in my view and has less seaweed. It also had a pier and fun-fair type stuff for kids.
One night we got great entertainment from watching pelicans who were watching fishermen chopping up fish. They were hoping for scraps and so proceeded to act out an odd dance balancing on a rope (the pelicans not the fishermen).
We headed home and stopped off at McDonalds for an ice cream sundae. In the bar next door, after some frankly terrible karaoke, a man took the mike and proposed to his girlfriend there and then! It was really lovely (and slightly drunken!).
On our last night there was a terrible storm. We often see on the news the awful effects of extreme weather in America. Yet that night I saw fit to open our motel bedroom door in the middle of the storm to take in the “do not disturb” sign as I was worried it might blow away?! I realise now that that was pretty dumb – the door could have blown off, so I probably should have left the piece of paper (of approximate value 5 cents) to blow away 😉
Anyway, with the weather turning, we chose the right time to leave town, and we headed inland.
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