There are a wide variety of things in the water under a sailboat.
The keel – which helps stablize the boat.
The rudder – which helps steer the boat.
The ridiculously huge manatee who comes up to snort at you as you try to not crash the rental boat into the dock.
Before I continue, I must let you know, there are NO beautiful pictures of beautiful fish as I was too busy being simultaneously terrified and in awe.
A few years back, we took our 10 foot bathtub with a sail to Destin and piddled around in Destin harbor. We had many offers to 'help' get us back to shore, when we thought we were doing just fine.
We managed to avoid the gross of jellyfish along the shore where we put in, so we were feeling pretty smug.
Then the sea turtle showed up.
Rob noticed a shape under the water. We were hoping it was a dolphin.
Instead, a shell, the size of our boat, I swear!, came closer to the surface. His head popped up and snorted, decided we weren't some visiting turtle and took off.
In retrospect, a lot of sea life likes to snort at us.
Naturally, on our trip to Tortola, we knew we would snorkel. The sea is so clear. It was just inviting us to come in and maybe snort back at some of its inhabitants.
(This was a couple years before my ill-fated attempt at SCUBA.)
We caught the excursion boat from Fort Recovery with our borrowed snorkel equipment from the questionably clean storage trunk. The boat captain seemed less than confident in the motor on the powerboat, what with its sputtering and hesitation. Eventually the boat mangaged to cut through the beautiful blue water and we arrived at The Caves.
|seriously. beautiful. as they say, #NoFilter. also, note the other boats in the picture.|
They are not giving chase, only following to the Caves for some diving.
I should mention here that I am a decent swimmer. I am not afraid of the water, but carry a healthy respect. I have splashed around in the ocean before, generally along the shore. Our lake swimming was done off a dock. Occasionally with a life vest, if the goal was to just lazily float around. I had never swam with flippers and the only mask was a kiddie one borrowed from our kids.
|One of The Caves|
So with much assistance, I managed to pull on my flippers, slip my mask over my eyes and place the snorkel in my mouth.
As I slid off the swim dock of the boat it occurred to me that I had NO life vest and was now past the point of stopping my decent into water reported to be MILLIONS OF FEET, or possibly twenty feet, deep.
It was so clear it was impossible to know for sure.
And here is where I learned a fundamental truth.
You can scream as loud as you want, but with a snorkel in your mouth, no one can here you.
Consequently, I exhaled in a variety of 'OH!!' 'HEY!''WOW!'
And then the pretties bright blue and yellow fish swam by....
I continued to yell – but now the Oooos and Aawwwws had an appropriate direction.
Later we powered over to The Indians, another formation jutting around 45 feet from the ocean floor. I was feeling pretty brave by now, until I swam close to one of these giant monoliths.
All I learned from earlier in the day went right out the snorkel tube.
Once again I felt several screams coming on– directed at my husband, whose arm or maybe leg – I had grabbed onto.
We managed to snorkel several more times on the trip.
|Beware fish. I am not to be trifled with...|
But rather than heading out on a boat, we waded out into the waters just off our beach at Fort Recovery where we were treated to a guided tour of sea life from Dominic.
Dominic, the 10 year old son of one of the resort workers, swam with no flippers, held his breath forever and could only get in the water if there was an adult around who knew he was there.
|The large floating head is Rob. The smaller floating head is Dominic.|
It was a win-win.
He pointed out the fire coral, which you should never touch. And tried to show Rob how to pick up a sea urchin, although that demo did not go as well as hoped.
|This is really the best place for an urchin.|
During our afternoons in the water we saw a wide variety of colorful fish, including a puffer fish whose bright blue eye looked more like a rock until he blinked at us. And that big 'leaf' on the sand floor was actually a pretty irritated sand shark who WAS sleeping but is now looking for a better nap spot.
Which leads me to that other fundamental truth.
ALWAYS reapply sunscreen to your back when your plan for the day is to float face down in beautiful blue water under a bright yellow Caribbean sun.
This has been part of the A to Z Challenge. For more entries click here: a-to-zchallenge.com
H-Head to Heel
P-Points of Sail