I seriously considered telling Vita what she could do with her HD goggles and snorkel gear after trying several times to breathe through my mouth and stick my head in the ocean at Little Bay.
It wasn’t why I’d come to the beach. Sunday was for Imani, my second girl, about to turn 13. I was looking for cool mom points and ensuring she and her friends had a nice afternoon. Anxiously waiting for cake. Getting in the water was not a priority and certainly not snorkeling.
Although I’d put it in on my mental to-do list that before school holidays ended I wanted to snorkel I hadn’t given it any thought beyond that. This would be one more thing I would put on that list that I don’t go back to but it wasn’t to be.
The kids were after me to try it after their first round with a couple from Coral Cay Conservation, who’d come to help out. Vita, the owner of Aqua Montserrat, suggested in passing that I should try it before the day was done.
I got my gear on and listened to the instructions and learned the signs. The idea of shutting off air to my nostrils and breathing through my mouth was where I was stuck. “I should know this,” I thought. “Think about labour” but that got me more stressed. I tried several times to put my head in but freaked out at the thought of not being able to breathe. (The secret is breathing in and out…not just in 🙂
Vita kept at it and said just imagine the stress leaving your body. I took a few breaths and I felt my body literally get light. My shoulders sank and I felt like I was already floating. “You know I can’t swim,” I told her. Seriously what the heck was I doing out here. I should leave this for the kids.
Nia (my eldest) comes up to ask me if I hadn’t put my head in yet. Talk about kiddy pressure. They were all swarming in a bit and wondering what was the problem. Vita shooed them away and I am sure it was the thought that they would call me a chicken when this was all over that got my head under the water.
I’m glad I did it.
Before long, we were heading out towards the rocks and the ground fell away. I couldn’t touch the sand anymore and my breath started to catch as I momentarily panicked at the thought of something going wrong. It really is pretty effortless once you get the breathing right. Your body seems to naturally know what to do, to move you through the water. As I kept focusing on breathing, and moving forward I realized I was okay and that it was much better to be looking at the fish.
In the end, it was worth the moments of doubt to dip my head in the water to see one of the most amazing places that God created.
If you live on Montserrat or ever come for a visit, be sure to check out Vita and the team at Aqua Montserrat. They’ve created a very simple but memorable way to enjoy our waters. Be sure to stick around for the seafood cooked outside and there is always some local fruit available on the bar for free.
* I was not compensated in any way to write this post. Just a very happy customer.
Photos by the Aqua Montserrat team.