Water Baby?

26 05 2009

Now, I wouldn’t say I’m the most comfortable in the water.  I’m definitely not a ‘water baby’, and my preference is never to be in water where I can’t touch the ground.  So it’s safe to say that I frolick in the water and I have a mean doggy paddle.  So with this being said, it makes ABSOLUTELY no sense that I would be off in Mexico snorkeling, kayaking, sailing and scuba diving.

But, that is exactly what happened.  We went out snorkeling twice and saw some amazing parrot fish and coral.  We were able to snorkel 5 minutes away from our resort at the 2nd largest coral reef in the world.  We saw a young sea turtle swimming along by itself, live conch shells, moray eels, baracudas and held baby star fish in our hands.

We were lucky enough to enjoy all of these water excursions by ourselves with just our guide.  Our snorkeling guide was Jaime (pronounced Hi-May) and all week he kept asking us if we wanted to go scuba diving.  Finally on our last day there, he said, “Traci, just admit it, you’re just scared.  You’re fine, so I’m going to bring the equipment to the pool and you can practice with all of the gear”.  So, Nathan went off to drink, and I frolicked in the pool with my flippers, my mask and my tank and respirator.  Let’s just say, I looked pretty cool.  So cool that I had a crowd of little mexican children swimming around me as if they were little fish trying to get in my way.

The pool practice worked and within the hour we were back in the boat and on our way to 25 feet under the water.

nathan on boattraci on the boat

It’s a good thing that we had another private excursion, because I definitely needed some one on one attention.  It appears that my body is very bouyant.  I had all of my gear and an 8 lbs weight belt on me, and no matter what I did I kept floating to the top.  I was following the lessons, breathe in to float up, breathe out to sink.  I got rid of all the air in my lungs….and nothing.  At one point we were maneuvering in between coral reef beds and with Jaime leading the way we followed.  Jaime looked back at us and looked past Nathan and all of a sudden zoomed over Nathan’s head, arms stretched out as if trying to catch a runaway balloon.  That balloon, would be me….  So he dragged me back down and pushed me forward.  Little did I know that he was adding weights to the back of my tank.  All of a sudden I started descending.  I didn’t know there were more weights on my tank so I started filling my lungs to give myself some lift.  I couldn’t get any more air inside me, and I was still sinking.  I had to exhale, and then I hit the sea floor with a not so graceful thud.  And that was it.  I couldn’t get myself going again and I was lying spread eagle on the bottom of the sea floor.

We spent 50 minutes 25 ft under water and it felt like 10.  We saw a huge lobster, crabs, trumpet fish, baby starfish, and unwittingly I pretended to be an injured fish to attract the attention of a 5 ft barracuda (I thought it was just another hand signal….apparently not).

I apologize that we don’t have any photos of our underwater sights, but here’s a video from one of our kayak trips to give you an idea of our surroundings.

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