Google Webmaster Central

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sleeping With The Cheesy Fishes

I love snorkelling. It's one of those activities that I could do every single day, a pleasant mix of weightlessness and aerobic exercise -- and when carried out under the crystal waters of the Caribbean, I am as close to heaven as I can get on this planet.

I started eons ago -- when the only masks, fins and snorkels you could buy were made by a company called US Divers. All the gear was black, hard rubber -- and not entirely easy to use as a result. The mask was pretty claustrophobic--a heavy glass, metal and rubber contraption that allowed you to see only directly in front of you via an oval-shaped window. The snorkel was just a tube bent in the shape of the letter J which filled up with water as soon as you ducked your head under the waves. And the fins? They weighed a ton, had to be strapped on over a pair of booties and they had very little "give," so you really had to work at moving forward. They were better than bare feet, but not by much. And heaven forbid if you accidentally thwacked one of your buddies over the head with one of those beasts.

Nowadays the gear has changed substantially -- better, lighter materials, snorkels that wrap easily around your head and keep the water from going into your mouth each and every time you go under. The fins, ah, the fins -- these days I'm loving my slip on Mares, and if you consider this an endorsement of their product, then so be it.

I was amused and horrified when I went back recently to Cemetery Reef on West Bay Road in Grand Cayman, watching two couples wearing every bit of gear possible, all of it ill fitting as rental stuff albeit goes, and to my chagrin, each one carrying cans of yellow cheese food for the purpose of "feeding" the denizens of the reefs.

I'm one of those -- believe that above all harm none, and I do not touch anything whenever I am snorkelling or diving. I could not help but notice how much more aggressive most of the fish were since the last time I had visited that particular reef -- now even the more juvenile ones getting in my face to an unusual degree. I had one of those yellow underwater cameras and realized all too quickly that the color must have reminded the fish of the cans of cheese -- and got bit a couple of times before I just put the thing away.

I wanted to swim after the foursome, wished like hell I had on my old trusty US Divers fins so that I could clock each and every one of them on the head for their stupidity. Not only were these idiots making the fish dependent on human feeding, they were also "nourishing" them with something their digestive systems are not meant to handle.

No, I didn't go after them, of course, but I DID hope that they would suddenly find themselves surrounded by barracudas.
Amen, and pass the mustard.

No comments: