We were up bright and early for a boat tour from Island Vibes, which was a blast. We snorkeled in the world’s third largest barrier reef (meaning we have been to 2 out of the top 3…Australia, here we come). The water was crystal clear and full of giant, purple sea fans and bright green corals, as well as surgeon fish, parrotfish, tangs, and more.
For one of the first times in my life, I wasn’t totally freaking out about being in the open water. I actually closed my eyes and tried to imagine myself tasting the same salty water, breathing through the same snorkel, and opening my eyes to a great white sharking swimming toward me. Because that’s what I’m considering doing in South Africa. I’m still on the edge of doing this – but that’s another post for another time. Needless to say, my meditative attempts only gave me chills today.
After our snorkeling excursion, our guides took us to a private island where they showed us how to extract a conch from its shell – a pretty gruesome process that includes TAKING OFF ITS EYES AND SKIN WHILE IT IS STILL ALIVE. Terrible. Poor little conch. Then we cured it in lime juice and ate it in a salad!
Before that, this obnoxious woman on our tour gladly volunteered to eat the conch’s pistol, a slimy, noodle-looking part of the conch that is supposedly an aphrodisiac. If you listen carefully at the end of the video you will hear me say “OH MY GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH HER?” but kind of quietly because anyone crazy enough to do this would probably kill me without thinking twice.
I promptly threw up. Not really, but I thought about it. I don’t care if a conch pistol gives me freaking wings, that is NASTY.
Our time on the island was great, we got to explore its postcard-like settings and even see a few wild iguanas. Our tour ended with an adventure – our guides threw out the anchor in the middle of the ocean and offered us the opportunity to jump off the diving board on the top of the boat, which I gladly did, twice. I have a video of it but it’s on our other camera and I forgot the cord to upload it! I’ll post it as soon as I’m back.
The Veranda was generous enough to treat us to a massage this afternoon – not a bad way to end the day!! I also just realized it’s Leap Day – my super superstitious (and awesome) friend Erika told me two things I MUST do on Leap Day:
Do something you never usually do jumping off the second story of a boat into the Caribbean
Wear red I am sunburned.