January 11th 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 1
The famous jetty

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.

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