Today was the best snorkeling by far. We went to three separate sites to swim around, no project, no plan. The first was pretty and also marked the first time I properly dove down, and I was totally unaware that diving makes the snorkeling experience ten times better.
The second site was a lot deeper, probably an average of ten feet down, and that made diving a lot easier and more rewarding. The sheer amount of fish and my newfound ability to snorkel correctly made the experience a lot of fun. The most significant find at this site was a huge nurse shark, probably 6 or 7 feet long, sleeping in a coral cavern right beneath us. We could see the whole length of the shark, and we noticed a plastic bottle tied to a string attached to the shark’s fin. It was difficult to tell if the string was tied to the fin or not, but at one point the shark moved and the bottle went along with it. It honestly broke my heart, and we discussed removing the bottle but we didn’t have scissors and pulling the bottle might hurt and anger the shark. We had to let it be, but the image of such a majestic shark with a bottle attached was horrible.
The third site, though, was the real jackpot. It was a good mix of deep (10 feet and sometimes more) and very shallow (literally touching the rocks without reaching out), but the water was also insanely clear, almost transparent. I could see everything, and I swam with schools of fish, and above the most colorful parrotfish I’ve ever seen, and then swam right behind a black tip reef shark that went right up to us then turned away. Meanwhile, the sun was setting right above us, light streaming through pink clouds, and it suddenly hit me I was in the Caribbean sea swimming with sharks. Middle-school me would be so proud.
I saw a lot of green algae, but no new species. I only saw Halimeda tuna, Halimeda incrassata, Rhipocephalus phoenix, Penicillus pyramidis, and some species of Caulerpa. Yesterday was my green aglae today—I spent all of today enjoying the fishes and sharks. As you probably know by now, snakes are my favorite thing on land, and sharks are effectively the snakes of the sea.