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The Caribbean Sea
As I slid my feet to the edge of the ship, I could feel the excitement flow through my body. The sea salt had caked on the boats rough edges, and I couldn’t help but wonder why something so displeasing had landed in a world full of wonder. Adorned in all of the bulky gear that would keep me afloat, I took a quick glance at the water below. Swirls of blues and greens put an instant smile on my face; the water was so clear I could see the dark depths of the sea floor. All of a sudden I heard “One, two, three, dive!”, and before I knew it, I was immersed in an entirely new world.
The water was the perfect temperature, not cold enough to make goose bumps form on my skin, but just warm enough to make me feel refreshed. I gently floated on top of the water, paddling around with my large flippers. The sea was calling my name; waiting for me to explore. I quickly realized that I had limited time, and I couldn’t waste anymore of it sitting (or more correctly, swimming) around and thinking about what I wanted to do. I had to go out and do it.
On our quaint snorkeling boat, we were told by the instructor that there was a sunken vessel just to the left of the boat. My dad, who was also eager to explore, and I started to swim around and try to find it. As we reached the back of the boat, I saw the old, rotted, moss-covered hunk of wood. It was distressed in a way, as if it had given up on itself. The sunken ship was quite large, maybe half the size of a football field. Decaying and in shambles, the once mighty fishing boat was imbedded in the dense Caribbean sand. Untouched for centuries, it had become a home to many creatures that I had never seen before. As I was paddling around above it, I couldn’t help but notice that it was broken in two. Just like the Titanic! I thought to myself.
After several minutes of gazing upon the sunken beauty, we decided to make our way to the other side of the ship where my mom was. Unlike my dad and me, my mom didn’t quite take to the whole breathing-out-of-a-tube-with-a-big-mask-on idea. As we approached her, I couldn’t help but notice something wasn’t quite right. She was just flailing there, on her back, breathing extremely hard. Great, she’s having another one of her “moments”. I swiftly swam over to her, and asked her what the issue was.
“There’s water in my mask! I can’t see! I can’t breathe!” She wailed, clearly having some sort of panic attack.
“Mom, just lift your mask up and get the water out. Then you’ll be fine.” I instructed.
“But I can’t! It won’t come out!” My mom screeched as she started to laugh at herself.
We all started to laugh along with her. She was clearly freaking out about nothing, and we couldn’t help but find the humor in her dismay. I floated over to her side and helped her get the water out of her mask. “That’s better. I’m okay now!” she stated. Thank God. With the drama behind us, my family was eager to sneak a peak of the beautiful coral reef that was below us.
There were a million colors. Pinks pinker than a Valentine’s Day heart, greens greener than the Green Mountains during the warm summer months, and blues bluer than any sky I had ever seen. It was magical; I felt as though I were in the Little Mermaid. Dozens of dark blue fish with yellow stripes, like Dory from Finding Nemo, swam around me as I dove underwater to get closer to the coral. I felt as though I was in an alternate universe; a better and more peaceful world than the one I came from, and I never wanted to leave it. But sadly, as I swam back up to the surface, I heard the horn. Our hour in paradise was up.
As my family and I made our way to the back of the ship to board and return to shore, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that I may never get to come back here again. It’s a weird feeling; trying to take in a place and experience for perhaps the last time. Before I climbed on the ladder, I took a moment to be at peace in the ocean by myself. I smelled the ocean breeze and took off my mask so I had clear vision to glance at the sea one last time as I was immersed in it. I felt as if my body was melting away in the waves. I was in my own living heaven.
“Kor, com’mon! We have to get on the ship!” My dad yelled. Just a few more minutes. “Seriously, lets go!” he shouted, clearly getting aggravated. I began to swim back to the ladder, pulled myself up with all the upper body strength I had, and said goodbye to the sea once and for all.
The snorkeling ship started its roaring engine, and we made our way back to shore. Once again I felt the wonderful ocean breeze flow through my damp hair. I didn’t want to leave this place; a culture and sea that were completely different than the world I lived in. Back home there was work and school and responsibility. Back home there was friends, family, and a life that I had to live each and every day. In the Caribbean, there was only peace and a sense that no matter what happened in my life, things would be okay. The ocean was in itself a world of its own, with the colors of the rainbow flowing around me, cradling me to safety. Here I could be anybody I wanted to be. I could be laid back and relax; able to take in the beautiful scenery around me. But, like the saying goes, all good things come to an end. And before I was ready to leave, I was back on solid land, watching as I drove away from my freedom which was the Caribbean Sea.