Take Me to Church

The first two dives of the day were at a site called The Church- another wall dive. I saw my first sea turtle, a rather worried-looking loggerhead flanked by two remoras. There was only one shark today. I’m learning instead to appreciate the small jewel-toned fishes, the drama of the hunt- whether it be a feather-duster worm filtering plankton or a huge grouper swallowing a smaller fish in one gulp.

There is something so meditative about being underwater. My mind still wanders off in flashes, but that’s more static than anything else. As I approach homecoming, of course, anxieties rise. I had work nightmares last night, but my nap dreams today were of little living bubbles, blue and green and white, and in each bubble resided a small creature. The green one took you to the forest, the blue underwater, the white one to the Arctic. It was all narrated in my voice like I was reading a fairty tale.

Afterwards, we snorkeled an airplane crash- a cartel plane loaded with cocaine plunged into the water and tore itself in two a few decades ago. I practiced my freediving into patches of fish and airplane wreckage. Silvery damselfish swarmed like a blanket of mirrors over and under the rusty wings.

Next was Close Mon Reef, very shallow. I greatly enjoyed the schools of bright blue fish that kept swimming up to me and regarding me in a very frank and serious manner. I also found some shed shark’s teeth on the coral, with a little bloody spot where they came loose, like a child’s.

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