Danger

Today I jumped off the boat into a cluster of sharks. We were at Danger Reef, where feeding sharks used to be the norm, and those sharks have memories. As soon as we moored the boat they were circling underneath- one with a fin piercing the water in classic style. I couldn’t wait to swim with them. Underwater, they cruised by me curiously a few times. They are dark gray fading to a creamy underbelly, with unblinking beige eyes like huge plastic beads. The Danger Reef dive itself was stellar, with every type and shade and shape of fish imaginable. Little fish with a neon blue front half and a fluorescent yellow back half are ubiquitous. They guard their tiny slips of goggle-eyed babies just above the reef. There are also blennies in the sand, backing into the little holes they call home, then inching out, then backing up again, like the world’s most indecisive agoraphobic. Coming up from the second dive, I spent my 15-foot safety stop staring down a huge barracuda the size of my leg. Silvery, prognathous jaw, inimitable eyes. I should probably take out my earrings.

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