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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Odd Memories, Part 2.

That monkey memory got me thinking about my other experience with masses of beings (besides my ex-life in NYC - the animal-type masses were much more enjoyable).  Although by now we all know that I am not a beach/water person, back in my early-mid-ex-life, I went to the Virgin Islands (St. Thomas) during one rather brutal Cleveland winter.  This was also the time when the only 'live' stock I tended were a pair of curmudgeonly Hermit Crabs, named Christian and Dior.  They were named thusly as it always took AGES for them to try on and settle on new shell overcoats.

It was my first trip to someplace exotic.  I will have to say that, even though I am not the sun worshiping/sunbathing/bikini type, it was a wonderful vacation.  The sun was saturated in a way not felt in the north.  The beaches were white, you got to drive on the left side of the road, iguanas and goats darted everywhere.  Bougainvillea covered most of the trash. 

I did two things that were very much outside of my comfort zone while there.  I went on a large sailing vessel to St. John's Island for a picnic lunch with a group and I went snorkeling.  Not only am I terrified of being on the water, I suffer from sea sickness.  And motion sickness.  However, once the ship got a full wind in her sails (that is nauticalese for going fast), I was too busy watching the sea gulls and birds and dolphins to think about pitching overboard and drowning or being eaten by sharks or sea monsters.  I was so fired-up when I got back to the dock, that I signed up for snorkeling lessons.

In order to attract fish to adventure-seeking tourists, the fellow in charge gave us each a hunk of bread to break up once we got going.  Once I realized that I could actually breath through the snorkel without drowning (I was trying not to think of sharks), I relaxed and bobbed in the turquoise waters, pinching off bits of sodden bread, leaving a trail of flotsam in my wake.  The first fish to come were small groupers (I love grouper in a carnivorous way).  Then there were all sorts and manner of bright little fish, darting around me, gobbling up the floating bread crumbs.  Then there were much larger groupers.  Much.  Then there were about one million small, medium and large fish inhaling what was left of my bread.  Then, it seemed, they turned their fishy eyes on me.  All of a sudden, they were taking bites of my t-shirt (I burn easily and was swimming with one over my suit).  And then my snorkel gear.  I managed to turn in a blind panic and churn towards shore.  I staggered out of the surf and didn't stop moving until I was a quarter of a mile from the water. 

I vowed never to eat grouper again. 

18 comments:

  1. i would have walked on water to get out of there. i hate fish and really don't like the ocean. things with fins and such belong there. things without fins and stuff belong on land.

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    1. Jaz - Well, if memory serves me correctly, I don't think I touched the water on the way back.

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  2. You are one wild and crazy, adventuresome gal! Having those fishies starting to eat me alive (;o]) would have sent me hydroplaning to shore. And considering I can only dog-paddle, that would have been some sight.

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    1. Mama Pea - LOL!!! I have always been a strong swimmer (visions of wo/man-eating sharks on my trail being motivation) and I put every ounce of energy into my escape. I did not come within three miles of the beach for the rest of my vacation.

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  3. HaHaHa! What a visual! I loved it!

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    1. Laurie - I always thought it would have been fun having a video of all my "exploits". It would have been a sell-out on Stupid Home Videos or whatever...

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  4. Interesting; monkeys probing with their little fingers puts you in a heavenly swoon, fish probing with their lips (hey, they don't have fingers) puts you in a blind panic. Oh, to be Freudian; there's got to be something there! ha!

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    1. Michelle - After a brief period in my youth where I was big into self analysis, I thought better of it and decided to live the rest of my life in ignorant bliss. :)

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  5. Susan,

    LOL.....sorry, I'm laughing with you!!!!

    I can swim with the fish in any type of water but can't do this......
    In the big cities, they have a new way of giving a pedicure. Have
    you seen those little fish.....the ones that eat the dead skin off of your feet?
    Put your feet in a bowl, and the little fish are all over your feet.
    NOPE......not me!!!! I will continue to do my own pedicures thank you very much.
    I had to bring this up because of your comment above about fish.

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    1. Sandy - OMG. I would NEVER allow some skin-eating fish anywhere near my toes or anything else! I will have to check with my youngest sister, who knows everything there is about such things in the city....eek.

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  6. Oh dear. I love the water. I would rather be on or in the water than on flat land any day! But to have those little fishies biting at you....that's just really frightening!

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    1. Mrs DM - It went from fascinating to horrifying pretty quickly! I am much happier with both feet on dry land. That said, I do love to look at the ocean. From a safe distance. How far can sharks jump?

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  7. I first saw the fish-manicure when I was in Bangkok - and regretting not having the time to try it. The fish are TINY. I bet it tickles!

    I have only been snorkeling once, in the Red Sea. I didn't see much and didn't stay in very long because the water was a bit chilly for me. I preferred the glass bottom boat for fish viewing. I do love boats.

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    1. Jen - That would be a problem for me from the get-go. I am extremely ticklish! I wonder if I could do a glass bottom boat.

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  8. Geez that's scary- fish eating your clothes off!! LOL!!!

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    1. Nancy - It was a little too much stimulation.... LOL!

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  9. I am laughing...with you not at you but the image of you running away from the beach makes me think of several of the Garth Williams sketches in the "Little House " books when the girls would lift their skirts and run like the wind!

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    1. Fiona - I know I was clutching what was left of my t-shirt as I skimmed the sand!

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