Friday Harbor

16 years ago I woke up to a message on my answering machine from my father, telling me he was okay, and that a plane┬áhad flown into the Twin Towers. I turned on the TV and there they were, one tower trailing a stream of black smoke. All throughout the morning- the tower collapsing, the women in the green dress … Read More

Fort Flagler

When we came to the boat, it was covered in ash. The rain had not yet washed it clean. Our fingers turned gray as we readied her to leave the slip. I was still glum from saying goodbye to the dogs- even leaving for a week renders me slightly heartbroken. The air was congested with mist and drizzle, the horizon … Read More

The Last Day

On a shuttle to the airport. No air conditioning. I am coated in a thin layer of sweat and sunscreen. Unlike our taxi from the airport, this one at least has working seatbelts. Foreigner is playing on the radio. I have the worst case of sea legs I have ever had. The ground heaves as I walk, and when I … Read More

Down in a Hole

An amazing dive today at The Blue Hole, a perfectly circular sinkhole down in heavy blue depths. The walls were full of bright red-banded shrimp, and the center was full of sharks. They circled and whirled, swimming by to eye us with their usual impartial gaze. Exiting the hole, we found a blunt-headed, spotted nurse shark resting on the sand, … Read More

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 … Read More

Independence Day

I am salty and pleasantly tired, with water in my ears; I yell when I try to talk. We did another night dive last night- it’s always eerie. There is a moment before jumping in where some sensible part of myself says, “Underwater? At night?” We did see some lovely stingrays and a few slipper lobsters. I find their appearance … Read More

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 … Read More

The Wall (We Don’t Need No Education)

The first wall dive of the trip. It’s funny how 90 feet seems so deep from the surface, but underwater I feel like I could sink another 90 feet and be just fine. It was a beautiful dive: lionfish sporting their spines like striped feathers (even their eyeballs are striped), a murderous-looking barracuda. Tiny, fluorescent indigo fish scattered among the … Read More

High on Ambien in the Tropics

Nassau- Last night I opened the shower curtain to be ┬ástartled by a tiny opalescent gecko struggling for escape. I eventually cornered him with a washcloth and he perched on the rim of a plastic cup left on the counter (for water that isn’t safe to drink.) I looked him over delightedly while he slid sly glances at me out … Read More