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As I plunge into sparkling water, I adjust my goggles and look over to smile at my cousin. She waves back to me and we head over to large rocks by a rocky cliff. The coast of Costa Rica has so much wildlife. I never knew going under the surface of the water there was so much to see.
We were in Costa Rica on a family trip with my grandparents and my cousins. Something that I loved was snorkeling with my cousin. At one of the hotels we stayed at we could snorkel as much as we wanted. Me loving the ocean and wanting to be a marine biologist when I grow up, I took every chance I got to go into the mystical depths of the sea.
I had never snorkeled before, but my cousin scuba dives all of the time so she taught me how. It was pretty easy to pick up, all but the walk down from the booth that is. It was only one hundred feet to the shore from where we got our gear, but when it would usually take us one minute it ended up being almost five. We tripped all over the place flopping around like fish and laughing like crazy. When we finally got to the water’s edge I turned over to my cousin and asked, “Are you ready?”
She says back, “Let’s do this!” I count down.
“3, 2, 1 GO!!!”
We dive into the crystalline water with a rush. I look around me and I am slightly disappointed. I give my cousin the signal to go to the surface. We pop up out of the water and take off our snorkels. “Where are all of the fish? I ask.
“I don’t know. Let’s go over by those rocks and see if there is anything there. There are less people over there so we should see some,” she replied back. We put our snorkels back on and go back under. We swim over to the lava rocks that line the sides of the little cove we are in. As we get closer and closer to the rocks we start to see more and more fish. It was incredible! There was so much to see. There were vibrant blue puffer fish swimming by the sandy bottom. Small brown minos darted in and out of the holes in the rocks. Bright pink starfish were suctioned to the sides of the rocks.
The next day we went out again. I thought to myself, as we put on our gear, how this time might be different. The waves are bigger and more powerful than they were yesterday so maybe it affects the fish. My question will be answered soon as we triumphantly walk down to the water (having finally mastered the great skill of walking in flippers) and hopped on in the cool h20. I could feel the pull of the waves trying to convince me back to the shore with them. I shook off their strong grip and went forward to the rocks we visited the day before. As we get near the edge there weren’t as many fish as yesterday. I was right; the pull of the tide did affect the fish. Instead of paying attention to the fish like I did before I looked at the rocks and shells weathered down by the water. I run my fingertips along the jagged lava rock and it made me think of how it all got there. Then I spotted a fossil. A small fish forever remember in the jagged rock. Did it get caught in the lava? How did it get there? These questions bounce around in my head and I am looking for answers.
The shells on the sandy floor of the ocean invite me in for a closer look. I pick up a shell and rub my fingers on it. Nice, smooth, and simple. I pick up another shell and see and feel something different. This one is jagged and rough. I think of the animals that once inhabited those shells. How different a life they lead then us. I want to know how long ago this shell was formed.
This is what I want to do when I’m older, I think to myself. I want to spend hours under the water discovering things people have never discovered before and being around the unique creatures that live there. I love to be around animals and the ocean so I think that would be something that I would enjoy. I love learning about the Earth’s history and the changes of the ocean floor. It’s all so fascinating to me. I love the feeling of weightlessness when I’m in the water. I feel like I can be or do anything. It is one of the best feelings in the world.
As I think back at this amazing experience it was one of a kind. I got to spend time with my cousin and do something that I love. As we left to put back our gear I say to my cousin, “Let’s do this again sometime.”
“Sure,” she says, “I can’t wait.”