Not much better a night. Since Val was sleeping, I left her in the hammock, + tried the tent, but I soon was forced to abandon that – damned sand-flies again – + took my sleeping-bag out to the jetty, + slept there. Val joined me a little later. Hard on the back, but far more comfortable. The day looked fair set to be a good one, so the 4 of us decided to put into action the plan we’d postponed from the day before – of hiring a boat to go out to the coral reef + do some snorkelling. The reef is basically Belize’s attraction, so we thought it would be false economy to miss out on it. Shane was appointed business manager, + he duly trotted off + fixed up a boat for us. Our boatman was called Alfonso, a brown, old guy, who made his living fishing + ferrying tourists. He fixed us up with some gear, + then the 4 of us, along with 2 American girls, got ourselves out on the jetty to wait for him to turn up. Val was apprehensive about whether she would enjoy herself or not – she’s not usually much of a one for getting her face under water, but as it turned out, I was the one who had problems adjusting to the snorkel. I just couldn’t cope with getting water in my mask, or, worse, down my snorkel. Val was very good at it, + the others even better, so I’ll confess I was feeling rather pissed off ( and more than a little sorry for myself) when everybody else came back with stories of all the things there were to see. However, I persevered, + eventually seemed to get the hang of it, so I did get one good little trip out. And I’ll admit it was really good. Just swimming along, with the only sound one’s breathing, is a strange enough experience in itself, but swimming out over the coral, with tropical fish swimming beneath you, is beyond description (and I know that’s a cheat, so be quiet.)
We spent most of the day out on the water, but eventually the sun went in + the wind came up, so we returned to land, laden with booty – Alfonso found some conches + lobsters. Well worth the $8. So we paid for it, + Val + I cooked a moderately successful meal, + then the 4 of us went, of course, to the ice-cream shop. Tho’ this time we mixed our pleasures of the flesh with a few games of cards.
Sounds like a thoroughly splendid day, only marred to some extent by my own self-pity – I’d like to pretend this was a rare occurrence, but sadly not.
Pamela J Blair
Ah! The joys and problems of snorkeling. I miss it.