Woman Photographing Fish Underwater

Sunset Snorkel
by Teresa Zemaitis

She stood on the back of the boat staring into the crystal blue water. Everyone was eager to jump in. Not her. The Caribbean sun beat down the last of its rays on her face. She turned back to the guide and asked one last time, “You have no life vests?”

“No, ma’am. No life jackets here. Why would you take a snorkeling tour if you can’t swim?”

“I wanted to—and I thought there would be life jackets.”

Holding the small inner tube around her neck, she stepped off the edge of the boat. Instantly, water entered her mask. Her husband put his arm around her waist. She leaned on him so she could drain the water, took a deep breath to calm herself, and began to swim.

She was awkward trying to maneuver. The current fought her when she tried to look around. She saw a large rock covered with sea urchins. They looked like they were right at her feet, the ones at the end of her legs that were impossible to keep horizontal. She popped up, gasping for air. “You’re not supposed to touch those. They’re poisonous!”

“They’re nowhere near you,” her husband said pulling her forward. “I promise.”

The water was amazing—the perfect temperature and sparkling shade of turquoise. Fish of every color looked at her; she looked back at them. But it was hard to enjoy. I’m the weak one separated from the group, the one the shark will go after.

Letting herself bob back up, she waved for the boat that was following them. They’d been swimming for over a half hour. The current was exhausting. She told her husband to go explore with the group. She would ride back in enjoying the sights through the safety of the glass.

PHOTO: Photo of woman snorkeling from expedia.com.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:  This experience resembles many other similar moments in my life, times when I really wanted to do something, but was afraid. I never let fear stop me. You have to just jump in! While I didn’t love the experience, I can say I snorkeled in the Caribbean. I only wish I had more than 300 words. 🙂

Zemaitis head shot

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Teresa Zemaitis is a dog loving, creative writing teaching, tattoo sporting, ex-journalist, and ex-politician who is finally following her dream. Three credits away from completing her MFA, she finally decided to put herself out there and start submitting.  She was born and raised in New York and currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida, with her husband and dog. Her work has been published in Foliate Oak Literary Journal, The Poeming Pigeon, and New Barker magazine.