Here is the fact. This is an experience you don’t want to miss. I am a reluctant swimmer and often shy away from excursions that require me to jump into deep water. On my most recent trip to Sandals Barbados, I was asked to accompany my group into the sea. Saying yes was easy knowing that I would probably back out at the last minute. Unlike most the Sandals and Beaches Resorts, the snorkel and dive boats do not leave from the property. We traveled by bus the short 15 minutes from the resort to Bridgetown, both snorkelers, and divers, to collect our fins and masks. Standing and waiting for my turn to say, “size 7 please”, I cursed my decision not to stay back at the pool and hoped they would run out of fins in my size. Nope. One very happy gorgeous hunk of a bajun man found me the perfect fit and sent me on my way to the boat.
…. Snorkelers to one and divers to the other. The level of excitement as promises of “millions of fish and turtles to swim with” was a chorus swelling around the boat. Oh, I’ve heard that story before on other snorkeling misadventures. Quietly I sat wedged into a corner of the boat as it zipped out to the calm, clear cove in which we were to become inhabitants. Yellow life vests and snorkeling gear was passed excitedly up and down the boat as the crew humorously gave instructions. Over your head, back strap up between your legs … tighten and clip, waist strap … tighten and clip, blow in the tube to fill the vest … check and double check. First one in was our guide. My compatriots starting jumping, flipping, and flinging themselves over the sides of the boat with whoops of joy. Last one in, I slowly inched my way down the ladder easing myself into the water…mask down, face in…yup, nothing, no fish.
I followed my group over to the first wreck in the marine park, WWII I think, and put my face down. MILLIONS OF FISH! Silver, blue, yellow, tiny, pencil thin, and so much more. I had blown up my vest so much that it restricted my ability to keep my face in the water. I also hadn’t tightened the back strap enough to keep the vest pulled down and away from my face. I was able to let the air out a little at a time but the vest needed to have been tightened on the boat. Lesson learned. We swam over three wrecks in an hour and swam with a huge variety of fish and turtles. The water was crystal clear and the view was breathtaking all the way to the sandy bottom. It was especially exciting to see our diving friends 20 or so feet below us swimming in and out of the wrecks and to watch their air bubbles coming up to the surface.
What a day! What an experience! DO NOT forget to purchase an airtight pouch for your cell phone. I missed out on many outrageous shots. There is always my next trip!
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