Close your eyes . . . remember back to when you saw the movie The Blue Lagoon. Yes, the one with Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins. Specifically, I want you to think back to when they are both old enough to dive in the lagoon. They swim so freely . . . the are smooth about their swimming . . . the shot in the movie is from below - you see long legs shadowed from the sun . . . they are the picture of perfection swimming in something other than a pool.
Now wake up . . . that so wasn't our snorkeling experience today!
We have used the same diving company for 5 years, Diving Dog our of Puerto Morelos. The owner Cathy does this on the side. Her real job is the Central American Editor in Chief of the USA Today newspaper. You wouldn't guess that in a million years. Cathy has hooked us up with some of the best guides.
We always request a private charter . . . we always request they provide snacks and drinks . . . and we always request they keep their eye on our son, pull him through the snorkel and to identify "stuff" for us as we go along.
We arrived just before 9:00am. The water is the most smooth early in the day which gives us the best visibility, it is also not as hot and more sea creatures are around. So . . . we arrived. There was 4 of us . . . me, the husband, the son and the sister.
They walked down as I tried to find a spot to park and then just made my own. I am sure you are familiar with my parking issues . . .
As soon as I catch up with them they are trying on life jackets as they are required in order to snorkel. This year Cathy has switched to the belt support. It works best since the other ride up and chafe the neck and under arm. I stick with the traditional one . . . the rest go with the belt.
We load into the small boat, probably a 16' boat. Thankfully it has a canopy, being fair skinned a break from the sun is appreciated.
We motor out about 15 minutes to the National Park reef. Over the side goes our son, my husband, the sister and reluctantly me . . . the initial shock of the semi chilly water is eased once masks are on and we are face down.
Snorkeling these last five years here I would have thought we had done it all . . . well we hadn't. Immediately the guide pulls up a conch shell. You cannot paint or manufacture something this pretty. The conch was still in residence. The colors span from an orange to a bring pink with the curve of the shell. We all touch the conch. Unfortunately we cannot keep it . . . it must go back.
I look up from him replacing the conch only to be in a school of fish. Truly . . . I am in them . . . they are all around me. They aren't afraid and they don't run. It is times like these that I am grateful for a good underwater camera. This camera has been around the world and seen water all over.
We spot lobsters, grouper, barracudas, tiburons, needle nose, sting rays, blue fish, yellow fish, black fish with sparkles, some thin and long and not so much of either.
In total we snorkeled for about 2 hours.
Full disclosure . . . I am not a fan of snorkeling. It is a true loss of control for me. I don't enjoy it like I enjoy swimming in our pool. I feel that I am an unwelcome visitor in someone else's place. Any wrong move can get you some attention you weren't wanting. Like from this barracuda below.
There are a few brief moments when my loss of control fades away . . . and I am amazed at all I cannot see from the shore and now is just inches away.
Our snorkeling trip had ended. It was time to get back in the boat and get home as the massage therapist were due to arrive within the hour. My son had a souvenir from the bottom of the ocean . . . a cracked lobster claw, that he was most proud of. (By the way . . . don;t pack it in your luggage . . . everything smelled like sea creature ass.) My husband was already on the boat and as I was approaching the boat . . . I saw something.
It was a mermaid striking a pose.
I fumble with the camera . . . get back under water . . . . and snap away . . .
It was mermaid Julie . . . and she would kill me if I posted pictures of her!
She has mermaided all over over the world! AND . . . should you EVER need to black mail Julie . . . I have the pictures!
The snorkel guides are busting a gut with her mermaid poses!
It was an afternoon of massages . . . final night spaghetti dinner (tradition), birthday cake and a Mexican mafia singing Happy Birthday to the birthday boy!
Poobie - I hope you had the best birthday ever! Love ya!