Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sun and snorkel in Islamorada

Yesterday I was off to a very early start. After breakfast and a tour of the property, Nila and Josh (a couple who is on the trip with me - there are only a few of us) decided a tennis match was in order. (Oh my, it was so hot, but what a good workout.) An hour later, we met up with some others at the pool where we lounged, lunched and started getting ready for our big snorkeling trip.

Now, if you've been reading my blog, or if you know anything about me, you know I'm not necessarily adventurous, I'm a little claustrophobic and I'm not really interested in doing anything that could (even the slightest possibility of) hurt or injure me in any way. I'm also not a big fan of fish, they kind of just freak me out. (Stace, remember when that stingray swam past me in Jax that day and I started walking on water to get to the beach? :)

My friends in Orlando refer to me as the "boat bunny" when we are out on the boat. Why? My job, to sit there and look pretty (never get out of the boat!) while everyone else wakeboards. (There is also a bit of an alligator problem in the Orlando lakes - not really the way I'd like to go.)

Well, Tara, (you know her, the roomie/best friend - what a combo!) is a PADI Divemaster who is about to get her IDC. She will then be able to certify me (and Liz !) to dive. She has been begging me for months to learn to dive with her. Um, NO. I say firmly. The two biggest fears I have are 1) drowning and 2) burning to death. (I'm sorry T, I have to say it here, "Please save my friend from the invisible fire!") And I just think that I would freak out underwater, especially when Jaws swims by to say "hi".

Anyhow, we decided awhile back that snorkeling would be my "baby step" to seeing what I might think about diving. And then, when I found out I'd be on this trip and I could snorkel, well, here's my chance.

As we are getting ready to go today, I learn that we are getting on a boat and driving out into the middle of the ocean to a few different coral reefs. (Excuse me? What?) Nope, this isn't what I signed up for. I thought we were snorkeling along the beach, NOT in OPEN WATER! Uh-oh. What am I doing?

So we drive out to the reef, they teach us about de-fogging our masks, and basically say "have fun!" (Um, anyone going to tell me how to use this breathing tube thing?)

I finally got my mask on tight enough, think I've got the breathing thing down, slide my fins on my feet and jump in. (Oh boy, here goes nothing.) It took me a few minutes to calm down and get the breathing right. (I didn't like the fact that I couldn't breathe out of my nose at all.) And when I thought I had it, I stuck my head down in the water and started looking around. Oh my! It was amazing. The colors of some of the fish (one looked like it had blue lipstick on, very 80's if you ask me ;) and then we spotted a sea turtle. SO CUTE. I pulled my head out of the water, looked at my buddy RaeJean and said, "damn, this is cool."

I saw big fish, little fish, so many types of coral, two sea turtles and an old lobster trap. At one point, I'm swimming along looking to my left, and when I look to my right I see a giant school of fish about six inches away from me. (And, I didn't freak out at all!) I also noticed how relaxing and peaceful it is. The only sounds you can hear are your breathing, the water and the sound of the fish eating at the coral.

Two hours later we are back at the resort and I'm grinning from ear to ear. I rush back to my room to call Tara and Liz - I definitely want to learn to dive now. (So many times I had the urge to swim deeper and look around. So weird, it's not like me at all!) That was so spectacular. There's a whole new world underwater ... and, I definitely think it's worth exploring.

So now, I'm going to do it. I'm going to learn to dive. Liz and I both are. We are getting certified and we've already started planning "Girls Going Diving" ... our first diving trip together ... so fun!

Mom, Dad, I knew you wouldn't believe this unless you saw a picture for proof. (Look at that cheezy grin!)

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4 comments:

  1. That's awesome! I really want to get certified as well! I have gone snorkeling a million times, but never diving! How long does it take! I am willing to travel! Lol! I figure since I live near the beach time it's about time to start diving!

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  2. Anonymous11:18 AM

    Such fantastic writing. It is amazing that you are not published. I look forward to your blog...filled with such powerful information...about such real things.

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  3. Thanks for such an encouraging comment! My ultimate goal IS to BE a published chick-lit author. It is encouraging to know that I am (hopefully) making my way there. Although I'm already published in magazines, a novel is what I want to do next. Please keep reading. :)

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  4. Love the picture!!!! You are such a cut up but I love ya anyway.
    MOM
    PS You are such a great catch for a great guy. Maybe I can find you one. (Just Kidding)

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