Yesterday I was getting ready to go snorkeling in the coral garden.
I was putting my flippers when I heard the radio,
"Pura Vida, Pura vida, this is Dragonfly"
(Dragonfly is a kid-boat we have been hanging out with)
"Yes, Dragonfly want to go One-Seven?"
One Seven is the channel we use to talk on the VHF radio to other boats, because we do not have a phone on our boat so we communicate with other sailors by calling on the radio. Channel 16 is a hailing channel but you are not allowed to talk on it other than to call another boat or if you have a real emergency problem.
My mom was the one talking on the radio and I couldn't hear what she said because I had jumped in the water to see if the tide was flooding. A flood tide is when the water form the outside ocean comes flooding into the pass. It makes the water very very clear so this is when we like to go snorkeling.
"Hey" my mom shouted down to me,
"Dragonfly wants to know if they can come snorkeling with us?"
We got all our gear in the dinghy and headed over to the coral garden. I like to dive outside on the reef that surronds the island but a lot of times other kids find it pretty scary. It sounds worse than it is. As long as you keep in close to the rest of the grownups and stay in the shallow cuts in the reef, it is really amazing.
The visibility is so good and you see so many kinds of fish and corals and we also see alot of really small blacktip reef sharks. These are not at all dangerous as long as you keep an eye on them. If we ever see anything bigger than I am, we keep in a group and just keep a close look out. We also never hunt for anyhting when i am in the water. If my daddy goes spearfishing he doesn't do that when their are little kids in the water but my brother is big enough to go with him sometimes.
The coral garden is inside the pass, so a little bit safer i guess, but there can be even more current here inside the pass than on the outside but people seem to think there wont be as big a sharks inside so maybe that is why they feel safer.
We parked the dinghy and put down the anchor and I got my gear on. Mask, snorkel, fins and weight belt. I ploped into the water and the first hting I saw was lots of colorful coral (the spacific types were, Acropora and Docillopora ) My mom was blowing some bubbles to get my attention and I dove down fifteen feet to where she was pointing at something under a rocky ledge. It was a juvenile Lion fish.
ID:long, slender, pectoral fin rays,that are less fethery than they are when they are full grown. Often they are dark when they are babies-like this one was. Usually they are solitary but sometimes they can be found in small groups of two to four animals. During the day you can ususally find them in small caves or under rocks and ledges (like this one was). They are really poisinos so you cant touch them. Thy have venom that can come out of the spines on their backs.
(we are not allowed to touch anything on the reef just to be safe and its best to look and not disturb things anyway)
We also saw a giant moray (that is actually the name) this guy can get up to seven feet long. The one we saw was only sticking his head out of his hole ( they live in rocks and coral clumps). His head was so big though he looked like a dragon. These guys can be mean sometimes and get really grumpy if you get to close to their holes but sometimes you find a nice one and my daddy or my big brother will kill a little fish with the Hawaiin sling and feed it to them!
Mom said we should go back to the dinghy becuase of the current. We had other kids with us and mom likes to make sure no one gets tired because you always have to make sure to have enough energy to swim back to the dinghy safely. I didn't feel tired at all and I wanted to keep snorkeling with our new friends on Drangonfly but It was true the current was strong that day and even though the dinghy was not far by the time I got back to it, I was sure tired, after all and now I was freezing, too!
I got in the boat and started the engine right away and mom said "Hunter wait!...We still have to pull up the anchor!"
I was so freezing I just wanted to get back to our boat and get cozy again!