Today after we finished up school, we decided that we really wanted to go snorkeling again. Yesterday we went exploring and found a great beach on the main island of Eleuthera only a short dinghy ride away. Thankfully we had our snorkel gear with us, because right off shore was some coral. It’s not lush thriving coral, but it looked as if it was recovering from something, and had a nice amount of sweet little fish all around it, and even a barracuda or two hovering around the edges. We checked the tides, because we wanted to go over the top without rubbing our bellies, and realized that we would have to wait for late afternoon. So, we packed up and walked to the grocery store, which is only 4 blocks from our current boat slip. It was a fast, pleasant walk (despite Audrey’s declaration that she ‘cannot endure the heat any longer’ in her most dramatic Scarlet O’Hara voice). The water at our slip is a little salty, unfortunately. It’s fine for washing dishes, but not drinking, so along with our normal purchases we had to lug two jugs of drinking water. I carried one plus most of the bags, Audrey carried one, and Lorelei carried a shopping bag. It was really a struggle to get everyone home with our burdens. I spent a lot of time chanting ‘I think I can, I think I can.’ Finally towards the end, when the boat was almost in sight, Lorelei said, ‘I’m sure I can!’
After a quick lunch we packed the dinghy up with our snorkeling stuff again, put on bathing suits and sunscreen and headed for the beach. The girls have been practicing their driving, so I gave them each a turn, which at times is fun but mostly stressful. I now have a little more empathy for my mom when she was trying to teach me to drive her stick shift when I was 16 and I stalled in the middle of the intersection and she freaked out!
I always have lots of grand images about snorkeling with the kids. In practice, it consists of a lengthy struggle to get everyone’s equipment on properly, then swimming out peacefully for a couple minutes, then I hear screaming and and fix Loey’s mask, swim a little, then I hear a scream and help defog Audrey’s mask, swim a little, rinse and repeat. Then on the way back they start getting silly and splashing at each other with fins or play mermaids that try to jump out and end up smacking each other with a fin.
We did see some amazing fish though, and the water was gorgeous and warm. Even after all of the hassle and work, when I think of my favorite thing the girls and I have done in the Bahamas it is always snorkeling! It is so fun when it is going well, and we are swimming together and see something cool, and all point and give each other thumbs up! Lorelei always hums to herself while she swims and it is so sweet. Audrey is getting really good at diving down and finding treasures and then blowing her snorkel out, and it is so cool to watch.