Just before my feet hit the soft white sand the pressure in my ears cleared. It was the kind of quiet rarely experienced on the surface of the planet. My eyes adjusted to the pale turquoise water, and I noticed the coral with fish swimming about unhindered, and uncaring of my presence. Walking upright, barefooted on the ocean floor was magical and surreal.
The heavy helmet placed on my head as I descended the ladder into the water felt almost weightless here. This must be what it is like to walk on the moon. Our guide advised us not to jump in case we fall. That could be dangerous, as we are tethered to the vessel above us that pumps oxygen into our helmets via a narrow tube.
In my experience, Caribbean waters are always warm, and though we were 30 feet below the surface, the water here is still warm and clear.
I needed no dive lessons or license and yet here I was experiencing the incredible beauty that lays below the surface of the Caribbean Sea in the Cayman Islands thanks to the Sea Trek experience.
A little bit of food in our hands meant a school of fish came to nibble the delicacies out of our hands. The tiny nibbles made me chuckle and all I could see in front of me was a sea of black and white stripped fish with some yellow scales for contrast. It was a joyful sight.
We were allowed to look at and photograph the coral, but not touch it within the confines of a roped off area that was large enough to enjoy without disturbing the sea life around us. Our one-use underwater cameras did not fail, though many shots were blurry due to the excitement of trying to capture all the eyes were witnessing.
There were times however when I stopped, listened, and just absorbed the magic. This was thirty minutes of complete bliss. Aside from the low hum of oxygen pulsing into the helmet and the sound of my own breathing there was no other perceptible sound. I’d describe it as silent, but after reading my blogger friend, Rebecca Wallick’s recent post discerning the difference between quiet and silence, I’m more apt to use the term quiet. Extreme quiet.
Walking on the ocean floor, or in this case, the floor of the Caribbean Sea was an enthralling and joyful experience that I will never forget. I wonder if this qualifies for Jo’s Monday Walk?
Have you ever experienced life below the surface?