Thursday, May 21, 2015

Snorkeling along

The kid was understandably annoyed with me.
He'd been whistling at me for 10 minutes and I had been ignoring him.
When I finally surfaced and peered at him from behind my snorkeling mask, he was ready to bench me.
I had apparently been heading the wrong way into the ocean, kicking merrily away and risking life and limb.
I thought I was doing good.
It was my third attempt at snorkeling in Maui.
The first time, Marc and I tried to just walk by ourselves into the ocean at Makena beach and the waves promptly knocked me flat.
I staggered out and tried to recover on my towel. I was covered in sand from head to toe and my pride was badly wounded.
Everybody on the beach that morning witnessed my humiliation. It was pretty sad.
I just didn't realize how different it would be to try snorkeling from a standing position. (I've done it once or twice before but once by tipping backwards from a boat and another in a bay of still water.)
The second time on this trip we signed up for a tour. I walked down the stairs from the deck and I had people around me to save me from disaster. I had a wet suit on and a noodle to rely on. Marc had shown me how to fit my bottom lip over the mouthpiece which worked better than just trying to bite harder and cover it with my hand.
I really wanted to succeed at snorkeling this time around.
It's never been easy for me. I always take on sea water but I'm older and wiser now, I thought, so I should  be able to handle it.
My biggest worry was about sharks. Some lady got bitten a couple of weeks earlier at the beach near Makena. I figured if there was one around, it would know I would be easy prey.
I didn't see any but I did see blue fish and yellow fish and little black ones with white edging. I was moving along steadily this time, breathing cleanly and avoiding panic.
Turns out my biggest fear should have been my lack of sense of direction.
"You should be more aware!" said the Hawaiian boy who was sent to fetch me. "We've been trying to get your attention for a while!"
I really thought the whistling was all about turtles. The Molokina Crater we were in has a lot, apparently.
I appreciated him coming after me. I didn't want to die or get washed out to sea. I didn't want to bang into the coral reef. I didn't want to get tangled up with anyone else or lose sight of the boat.
In fact, when you think about it, I might be a little offended. I doubt anyone in the ocean that day was more aware of the things going on around me than me!

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