Jan 1, 2010

I don't like this.

Happy New Year.  I have mixed feelings about New Year's.   I hate the pressure to have a good time on New Year's Eve.  What if your idea of a good time is to curl up in bed with your new Stephen King novel and a nice Sarasota Slicker?  This does not tend to meet with approval.  So we watched the sad spectacle of Dick Clark counting down the last seconds of TWO THOUSAND NINE, kissed each other and toasted TWENTY TEN.

I am skeptical about New Year's resolutions.  In my experience January 1st is no different than any other date when it comes to mustering resolve.  I either have the desire and motivation to do something or I don't.   No date will magically infuse me with the necessary determination. 

Yesterday we went snorkeling.  It was my second time.  The first time was in Cozumel Mexico and it was the stuff of Corona commercials.   Beautiful, calm, blue water that was as warm as the bath I draw for myself on a cold winter night.  Leisurely flippering around in a calm lagoon.  We ended the day by sipping cervezas on the patio bar and sharing our nachos with a stray cat looking for handouts..

Yesterday was the antithesis of that experience.  We drove down to Key Largo and bought seats on a snorkeling tour boat.  It was a chilly day so we had to stuff ourselves into wet suits.  The ladies who run the shop advised that we rent them.  They suppressed a laugh when we proclaimed that we were from Michigan and 74 degree water sounded warm.  Have you ever dipped a foot in Lake Superior?  That's cold.  When they started talking about core temperatures it sounded ominous so we decided to follow their advice and were glad that we did.

The boat took us 1/2 hour out into the Atlantic ocean to a place called Grecian rocks, a coral reef built up behind a sand bar that breaks the violent waves.  The water was still wavy and choppy and there was no land in sight.  I didn't like it....  at all.  Sure the fish were amazing and the coral was beautiful but every time I pulled my head above the water I panicked. I might have been OK if I could have touched the ground but you can't do that in or near a coral reef or you kill the coral. 

I ended up swimming back to the boat and having a beer while I waited for my family to finish.  One New Year's resoluton I can keep is that I will never again snorkel in any body of water other than a calm, bathwater lagoon.


  1. My snorkeling experience is much like yours, except both were in Aruba. The first was great fun in clam water where I could stand up. It was beautiful. The second was in deep choppy water. I was not strong enough to swim back to boat and had to be plucked out of the water by a lifeguard boat. It was very scary. I'll never snorkel again. That' a resolution I am confident I will keep.
    Happy 2010

  2. I think back on my body surfing days as a kid,fearlessly swimming out to the 'middle' of the ocean,confident that I would catch a wave that would deliver me safely to shore..That was just plain crazy!!
    Even kayaking at Fort Bragg last summer was a little usettling.

  3. Won't find me out on a boat in the ocean for any reason unless Steve decides to be an ass and toss my ashes out there. I can't swim and there is no coral beautiful enough to look at underwater. As for resolutions and staying up 'til 12....we cheat every year and watch that ball fall on our east coast channel. Pretty much tells you how I keep my resolutions of which I have made none this year. Love your new blog look. Not red at all....well, maybe some of the lettering but that doesn't count.

  4. Duly noted about the snorkeling--I've never been, so I'll save my first experience for a warm bathwater lagoon. :) (And I've also dipped my toes in Lake Superior--brrrr!!)

    And I feel the same way about New Year's. Iwanski & I drank some beer and watched t.v. It was nice and relaxing--as it should be. :)

  5. Mom - I know exactly how you felt. I did the backstroke back to the boat and kept peeking back to make sure I was making progress.

    Sling - It's funny how your perspective changes. Youth really is wasted on the young in some respects. In my case middle age has brought an appreciation for the fragility of humans, hand in hand with a deepening awe of natural wonders.

    Rosemary - I am not much of an ocean person. I attribute it to Jaws coming out during my impressionable tween years and a really mean cousin in Florida who exploited that fear.

    MHP - Sounds like a divine New Years to me. Growing up near the Great Lakes you know what I'm talking about when I say we know about frigid waters. Stay warm!

  6. 74 does call for a wetsuit, I usually also wear a little beanie on my head when I dive in 74 degree water. Being from New England that sounds warm at first, but after a few minutes BURRR! so very jealous that you were in Florida though, we're buried under snow!

  7. Kate - I forgot that's what you did for a living. I have a newfound respect for you. Braving the elements, not to mention the physical struggle of putting that dang wetsuit on.

  8. I am so envious - but I live near the beach and river...I could do all this stuff - am a good swimmer -

    I haven't learned how to be ..able to do things without thinking I am meant to be doing something else...

    Maybe tomorrow thanks to you I will start relearning these things and just take a boat trip up the hastings river with all the visiting tourists...

    I need to do stuff like this. Thanks okay