December 7, 2009.
It’s actually been pretty hot here with humidity near 85%. We had planned to walk town and hit the grocery store, the bakery and maybe jug a little diesel to top off the tanks. But at 10:00 it was already 85 degrees with that oppressive humidity so we changed the days itinerary to swimming. Yeah.
We loaded up the snorkeling stuff and headed out for a nearby large rock wall. There are no real coral heads here but a limestone rock wall runs along the shore for over a mile. There are numerous chunks of stone the size of railway cars submerged just under the surface and the wall has been undercut into a series of caves by the pounding of the sea.
The baitfish were so plentiful that at times you couldn’t see more than a few feet. I discovered a few things today. First, I rediscovered the fact that everything looks bigger underwater. The way I remembered this was by shooting a Hogfish. Unfortunately, once he was impaled by my spear I realized that he was only big enough to make a sandwich. A small sandwich desperately in need of a side order. Damn.
The second thing I learned was that my conscience is still intact. The only lobster I saw today were 2 undersized babies. One was so small he would have been nice in an aquarium while the other was close, but just to small. So I left em’ to grow……
The third thing I learned is that I need to get back into the swing. The water seemed deeper, the fish faster and me a bit slower. Crap.
We saw more than 50 undersized grouper and a few really nice ones but we were unable to corner them. The caves in the wall are cut into the rock in such a manner that there’s no way you’re getting a shot once the fish has dodged inside. On the bright side was that I only encountered 2 lionfish so I dispatched both of them. I did get to swim with a school of forty barracuda that shadowed me for 10 minutes. Christy even drove the dink right into their midst and they just moved along with me in spite of the dinghies presence.
We were back at the boat by 1400 hours and after lunch the weather changed dramatically. Big ugly thunderheads rolled in and rain was obviously falling in several areas around us. The rain never did find us and the best part was that we got to enjoy a great double rainbow.