Islamorada Alligator Reef – This was my second ever snorkeling trip and I feel that I have now just about advanced from ‘wimp’ status to ‘slightly nervous snorkeler clenching a noodle’. I smugly noticed that some people were more wimpy than me on this trip. It was satisfying to hear intermittent shrieking that definitely wasn’t my own.
Mind you, my swimming abilities haven’t improved much. I still don’t stray too far from the boat and probably look like an impaired baby whale clinging to a noodle for dear life.
I also had a slightly unnerving moment while snorkeling this time. Most of the other snorkelers this trip were battling with plenty of huge moon jellyfish that graced us with their presence. Do you know what a group of jellyfish is called? Apparently, it’s a ‘bloom’ or a ‘swarm’, and yes, I had to look that up.
We had swarms of jellyfish (yuck) flowing past us now and again, but that left me relatively unfazed, even if some of them looked bigger than dinner plates and no, I wasn’t keen on making acquaintance. However, my scary moment came when I suddenly noticed some schools of fish darting around me and out of the water, right next to me. They were frenzied and terrified. It looked like several small schools of juvenile yellow-tail snappers.
At first, I was elated to be seeing all these fish so close. Then, I began to think (never a good idea) and got suspicious. It dawned on me that they didn’t put on such a fine display for my pleasure, but were clearly swimming for their lives and being hunted by something. Something bigger. Potentially much bigger. In my mind, nothing was implausible now < insert Jaws theme here >.
Story by Tamara Scharf TamaraScharf.com