Chris Ryan and his four year old son, Liam, left the Bolongo Bay Resort to visit Coral World in St. Thomas. This is an interview with Scotty, the head trainer at Coral World. There are seven different types of encounters available. You can go under water to view the coral reefs. There is Sea Trek where you can experience being a diver and Snuba which is like scuba diving but without the tanks and lengthy training requirements. You can even go under water and stay completely dry by going in their Nautilus Semi Submarine. There are three encounters which involve entering the environments of three different sea animals–sea lions, turtles and sharks. Chris and Liam had an out of water session with Remo, the Sea Lion. Coral World is proud of the diverse experiences that it offers to its guests and of course their animals. The encounter is tailored to the size and interests of the visitors and this helps to give a varied experience for the animals. So, intelligent animals like the sea lions don’t become nervous or bored. For instance, Liam wanted to know why sea lions had such small ears. So they looked at the ears and Liam could see how the small ears allow the sea lion to swim very fast. Sea lions have a level of intelligence similar to dogs. For that reason, there is some routine, but the trainers vary the activities, feeding, and training to challenge the animals. During their encounter, Remo did a number of tricks. He showed his swimming prowess, joined them on the deck to do the hokie pokie, and Chris held a bar 12 feet in the air that Remo easily jumped over. Next they checked in on the sea turtles and sharks at Coral World.
It’s Carnival Night at the Bolongo Bay Resort! There is lots of Caribbean food at the buffet; delicious rum drinks at the bar; live music; and colorful, local entertainment acts. Starting with a Moko Jumbie or stilt dancer, Chris goes behind the scenes to interview the performers at Carnival. Stilt dancers perform 18 feet in the air to lively Calypso music. A Moko Jumbie named Israel tells Chris about the history of these dancers which can be traced back to Africa. He also explains how he became a performer, how the stilts are made, and how to prepare and train to perform. Israel’s goal is to perform at over 50 feet.
King Heron is another Carnival performer who specializes in dancing on broken glass, eats fire, and does a flaming limbo dance. He tells Chris how he became a performer and how he uses nervous energy to prepare. When he was asked why he does what he does, King Heron gave an amazing answer that says it all,”I just love dancing.”
Every Wednesday night is Carnival Night with vacationers flocking to Iggy’s Beach Bar and Grill from all over the US Virgin Islands in crowds that swell to 500 or 600 party goers.
Bolongo Bay Beach Resort
Iggies Beach Bar
Virgin Islands National Park