Winter is arriving where I live and it’s the time of year when my mind starts to drift to the future or the past.
I think of sunny, warm places I would like to visit. And I think of all the beautiful places I’ve been to.
I remember snorkeling at a shipwreck in Aruba in 2012.
We took a boat tour to snorkel around the shore off Boca Catalina, towards the west side of the island. A sunken ship, the Antilla, lay there and it had grown corals, attracting plenty of colorful fish.
The wreck was an old freight ship and it made for a good snorkeling spot, sitting there at the bottom of the sea, not too far from the surface.
Snorkeling at a ship wreck was an unforgettable experience – despite the crowd.
Several tour boats had arrived simultaneously, dropping way too many snorkelers into that same small patch of water. Getting kicked in the face by a random stranger who doesn’t even notice doing it can spoil the experience if you let it. But I kept calm, and tried very hard to only focus on the beautiful underwater views.
Seeing a ship lay on the bottom of the sea feels surreal. It looked like something you shouldn’t be seeing.
Onboard the different tour boats that had gathered, tanned and rasta-haired crew members were tossing bread crumbs into the sparkling water to attract even more fish.
After a while, so many fish had gathered that they were everywhere, bumping into my snorkel mask with a surprised look on their fish faces, making me want to laugh underwater. I imagine the look on my face must’ve matched theirs.
While I was snorkeling on the surface, hubby was diving underwater, getting very close to the wreck. It looked like he was having fun, gliding away from the crowd and eventually I started doing that, too.
Another day, we took the bus to Arashi beach to do some snorkeling on our own, directly from the beach. Arashi is very close to the Antilla shipwreck and you could clearly see the spot where our tour boat had taken us the other day, because the boats were there again.
It was an easy trip by bus but once we arrived, we noticed that the waves were much rougher than we’d thought. Hubby tried going snorkeling but finally gave up. I didn’t even try because it didn’t look safe, with the sharp rocks in the shallows. Advancing past them was too difficult in the current that day. We decided to just hang out there for a while, sunbathing and admiring the little lizards with blue spots on their tails.
So a few days later, we ended up taking the bus to another beach, Boca Catalina, where we found snorkeling bliss in shallow, sandy waters.
We also took the same boat ride for a second time, but with a different company, and went back to that shipwreck, again, to enjoy the snorkeling. We would have preferred to snorkel independently, without the plus 100, but sometimes going with the flow is just so much easier.
Well, on a scale of problems, that’s pretty small. We were lucky.