Friday, 19 April 2013

You must do the thing you think you cannot do

I might be wrong but I'm guessing Eleanor Roosevelt wasn't talking about snorkelling.

So, today a trip on a Real Genuine Pirate Ship, me hearties, to go swimming with sharks. That is, as opposed to swimming FROM them at high speed.

Sharks? Pah! Don't bother me in the slightest. Even when the commentator announced cautiously, " Sharks are almost never aggressive." But apparently, these were vegetarian sharks. Of course they were. I regretted the salad and tropical fruit I've been eating all week.

Sharks. No problems. Snorkelling, sheer blind terror panic-making, for me. I just hadn't got the technique. The mask kept filling up with water. I was choking and spluttering and thinking I'd drown. If there's a news broadcast about the level of the Caribbean dropping by several inches...it's in my stomach. Sharks were far from my mind. Staying alive wasn't.

For 87% of the time in the water, I was struggling. Like a fish out of water. Ha ha ha. But then I got it. I did see the tail end of a shark, laughing to himself at my ridiculous performance...but I had conquered the fear. I thought.

Next on the menu was 'interacting with stingray' - possibly the most bizarre and ridiculous thing I've ever done in my life. I did quite enjoy poking a small fish into its square mouth, but being massaged on the back by a stingray? Well, I was weeing myself with laughter so just as well I was in the sea. (That might have compensated a little for the amount I swallowed.)

I didn't like the idea of using a wild being in this way, but who knows? The stingray might have been enjoying itself. It was hard to identify a smile though.

So with my three minutes of experience of successful snorkelling in the shark pool...yeah, ready for the open sea! Not really. There were waves. The Caribbean lost another few gallons and I was so very nearly sick and only saw one stripy fish.

Overall, not the best day in my marine life...but at least I DID IT.

The ensuing green complexion matched my eyes.