Joanne commented she was concerned she would be too much of a planner and always thinking about where they would be each day. My thoughts are, if you spend some time planning and making reservations ahead, you can stop worrying about the future and live in the now. I only worry when I don't have a plan. Although some do like the feeling of being able to choose their overnights as they go. Different strokes for different folks.
(From Craig) Just wanted to alert anyone out there that eats food, of a terrific new snack that I found. Wheat Thins new Sweet Onion flavor, combined with your favorite spread like low-fat cream cheese, makes the best and most satisfying snack that I've tasted in years. If your food store doesn't stock them yet, just ask the manager to do so. If he doesn't, you'll know you haven't been as nice as you should have, in 2014. :-)
We have had some interesting experiences this week.
On Wednesday we went on a glass-bottom boat trip from here at John Pennekamp SP, and got to get a look at the coral reef from above. The viewing windows were smaller than I expected, but we did get to see lots of coral, sponges and fish. We even saw one sea turtle swim by.
Corals come in hard and soft varieties, but some that we thought were "hard" waved in the currents, just like trees in the breeze.
I was told the Florida coral reef fish are not as colorful as those in Hawaii, and having seen some of them in the visitor center's aquarium, I was not disappointed by their somewhat drab colorations. It was just wonderful to see them in a wild ocean setting. No keepers were feeding these!
Note: The pictures we got of the coral were better than those of the fish, but at least there were fish!
On Friday we went on a four hour snorkel trip. I have to start by saying I have never been a "boat" or a "water" person. In fact up until the last few years I was reluctant to go on boats, and downright scared of swimming in lakes. Heated swimming pools are more to my liking. But as I have gotten older I have wanted to try some of these things, and snorkeling seemed like fun.
Craig was a little nervous, but I was all gung-ho as we got suited up in wet suits and boarded the boat at 9 AM with about 30 others. The reef is several miles from shore, and during the half hour it took us to get there, our captain and his first mate Stephanie told us about the reef and helped us adjust our equipment. She talked to each of us individually or as couples, and learned who had never snorkeled before. We felt like we were in good hands.
When we arrived at our first stop, the more experienced people jumped off the back of the boat, or went part way down the ladder and did a sort of belly flop into the sea. Then it was my turn. I was not at all afraid and flopped in.
OH MY! Although the sea was as quite calm, it felt like the waves were huge. I had never had flippers on before, and they felt like weights on my feet. I started flailing around, the snorkel mouthpiece felt wrong, and I forgot to breathe. I was close to having a real panic attack.
Stephanie was watching me carefully, and when she saw I was in trouble she talked me back to the ladder. It was only a few feet away. When I got to it I held on, but couldn't get my flippers off to come back aboard, so one of the other snorkelers helped me.
I was very disappointed in myself, but felt I just couldn't do it.
Craig's first time in lasted a little longer, but he too had some troubles. The flippers didn't work for him, perhaps because he uses a frog kick rather than a flutter kick. Also he had a hard time breathing. He too came back aboard quite quickly. But he went back for a second time without the flippers and although he didn't make it out to where the others were, he did swim about a bit.
If this had been the short trip, I would have been done, but we were to make three stops, with most of an hour water time at each. Here I was, 45 seconds in the water and back on the boat!
Stephanie suggested I try just going down the ladder, getting into the water, and just hanging there for a while to get the feel of things. Knowing I was being cared for, I gave that a try and found I wasn't afraid as long as I could hang onto the ladder. I didn't have my flippers on, so I was able to get back up the ladder without help. I think this made me more comfortable too. Knowing I wouldn't be stranded in the water.
At our second stop, I was able to go down the ladder, hold on to it and get my mask into the water.
|Picture from the web|
I saw fishes! Lots of fishes.
I kept a firm grip on the ladder at all times, however. After a short time I came back aboard.
|Barracuda from the web|
I can see fish in an aquarium any time. But I was actually snorkeling and that was enough for this trip and
I am satisfied, and even a bit proud of myself for not giving up.
We may try this again sometime.
Craig also did better each time he went in. and although he too did not go all the way out to the reef, he was able to see more than I did. We have bought each other goggles as Christmas presents, and will be wading out at the beach next week to practice in some shallower waters.
Have you tried anything new lately?
How did you do?