Slut of the Sea

July 5th, 2007

Guess how I celebrated the anniversary of our nation’s independence? I made up a new quiz for you to take (because I love you. Yes, it’s true), and I conquered one of my deepest fears!

I have lived in one of the greatest snorkeling destination points in the world for three years, and yet I have never been snorkeling before, because one of my two greatest fears is actually getting in the ocean (the other is heights—I am not counting my fear of tomatoes because that is not a fear, it is a dislike, or my fear of driving, because that is not really a fear either, it is more like a lack of aptitude. In a way, fear of the ocean and fear of heights are similar. They are both about my being a tiny speck in an immensity of space, which, frankly, I do not care for AT ALL. I would much rather have something firm beneath my feet at all times).

But there is all this peer pressure in Florida to snorkle. There are snorkle pushers EVERYWHERE. My own husband is one of the biggest snorkle pushers of all. He even bought me my own pink snorkle mask and matching breathing apparatus three years ago, which I have refused to use, even in the pool. I guess he thought if they were pink I would become confused and put them on. But he was wrong.

But yesterday when we were out at the coral reef, miles from shore, my snorkle resistance sank to an all time low, due to it being extremely hot, and there being no sign of sharks anywhere, and also my being lonely being on the boat all by myself. Again.

So I was like, “Well, why not TRY it, at least, and see what all the fuss is about?”

At first when I put my snorkel mask on and stuck my face in the water and saw what exactly was going on under that blue water for the first time ever, I was like (in my head), “OH NO. I DO NOT THINK SO.” Because number one, it is not AT ALL like “Finding Nemo” or “The Little Mermaid” under there. In fact, the boat we were on was moored between two giant fingers of coral, and what I saw when I stuck my head in the water was a twenty foot deep underwater gulley that looked exactly like the kind of place Jaws might like to hang out (or Meg, that new shark with my name that I keep hearing about).

But I didn’t want to freak out in front of all the boys (and there were ONLY boys with me yesterday). My choice was to climb back on the boat and sit there like a big loser (like I’ve been doing when everybody else has been having fun snorkeling for the past three years), or to just suck it up, pretend like I wasn’t scared, NOT think about the vast emptiness of space all around me and how I had no peripheral vision whatsoever and how Meg could swim up from anywhere and bite me, and just get on with it.

So I decided to suck it up. Because seriously what is going to happen when all the zombies come and I have to combat them with the flame thrower? If I can’t even snorkle, what are the chances I’ll be able to handle the flame thrower? Right????

Anyway, I’m so glad I sucked it up, because it was so AWESOME!

Yeah, it was a little scary. But it was super fun too. I didn’t like swimming over the deep gullies between the fingers of coral reefs WHERE THE SHARKS ARE (no, really, I saw one).

But I loved seeing all the beautiful coral and the colorful fish (who weren’t scared of me AT ALL and just looked at me like, “What are YOU doing here, dude? You are one weird looking fish”).

And yes, when one of the boys in my party found a five foot nurse shark and tapped its tail and it came shooting out underneath me, I remained totally calm. Because it was WAY smaller than Jaws OR Meg. Plus I wasn’t the one who tapped it. So I knew it wasn’t going to bite me.

Anyway, see that pointy tower thing in the distance in this photo?

That’s what left of an ancient lighthouse on Sand Key. There used to be an island with a house on it and everything there. But it got washed away in a hurricane. Now people go there to snorkle. Bizarre, huh? That will be Key West one day when my boyfriend Mr. Al Gore is proven right about global warming and the polar ice caps have melted and my house no longer exists (except under water). And people will go there to snorkle to look at it (if there are any people left and we aren’t all zombies).

I saw a sea turtle too but I didn’t get my camera out in time to take a photo.

Then on the way home we saw some dolphins and when we cut the engines they came right up to the boat to say hi.

Because dolphins are basically the Slutty-McSlut-A-Lots of the sea.

In all, it was an excellent 4th of July.

But I don’t think I’ll be trying hand gliding anytime soon.

More later.

Much love,

Meg