Just beneath the surface

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We haven’t tried the scuba diving yet but snorkeling right off of our dock is like Disney World for the aspiring reef junkie.  The water is warm and clear and marine life is plentiful. It is especially interesting to go with Jim who is a passionate and knowledgeable salt water enthusiast.

I had no idea there was such a bounty of colorful life right under the surface in shore water.  We have seen blue tangs, blenny’s, bassets, and barracudas, cuddle fish and corals. The list goes on. Sargent Major damsels, sea urchins, anemones and puffer fish flourish.  Fist-sized hermit crabs crawl along undulating sea grass. On supporting dock posts there is a whole microsystem of life; sea sponges in purple, brown, blue and yellow, schools of ultra-tiny fish, red and white striped banded coral shrimp, and sea fans.

We gently floated into an enormous school of sparkly small bluish green fish that encircled us as they darted about. Then some bigger ones swooped in chasing them and they swam for their life.  I was in King Triton’s kingdom with the possibility of seeing anything. Jim saw a big nurse shark and an eel right off the dock.  As we were wrapping up our swim, a three foot long sting ray swam right past us. None of these wonderful sea creatures are interested in us; we are the lucky observers in their world.   

Soon we will go on a scuba trip but snorkeling off the shore is great practice (and free). Even though the reef is only a few hundred meters away, we don’t swim out there as the area between us is a marine highway. The risk of getting smoked by a boat is real and many swimmers have not lived to tell the tale.  

 

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