Some days you just want to stay on your boat in your pi's but it is strange how guilty you feel when everywhere you look there is beauty surrounding you to explore. Yesterday was just this kind of day. I woke up late, let the kids sleep in, did a bit of laundry, cleaned the boat and basically just puttered. Finally at about 3:30 Graham rallied the troops and got us all motivated to go off for a snorkel at a nearby reef he had read about called "Champagne reef." Turns out that this snorkel spot is truly one of a kind. Due to the volcanic activity in Dominica there is gas released on the ocean floor and little streams of champagne bubbles float up to the surface. When the sun hits these streams in the crystal clear water with the magnificent reef and colourful fish as a back drop it is breathtaking.
Amelia looks out for me when I snorkel as I am not the strongest swimmer. She holds my hand and we swim along together. It was so magical as we swam through these bubbles together. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better she dove down and pointed out the coolest octopus slugging along on some coral with all its tentacles moving trying to get away from an annoying fish. I always wanted to see an octopus!
After the bubbles and octopus I couldn't imagine it getting better but then we started to hear this eeking sound in the water. We both stopped and popped our heads up on the surface. I recognized the sound and knew there had to be dolphins close by. Sure enough off in the distance I could see a pod jumping through the water. We both started swimming quickly for our dinghy, so we could retrieve the boys and chase after them.
Once we were all in our little inflatable dinghy we raced off in the general direction we had seen them. Remember we are basically racing out to the open ocean! As luck would have it the dolphins surfaced again and we were in their path. Alex wasn't going to miss an opportunity to snorkel with dolphins so he jumped in before I could even weigh any risks involved. He said 2 dolphins looked him square in the eyes. The dolphins were pretty much moving in a straight line but very quickly, so Alex got back in the dinghy and we raced way ahead to where we thought our paths would cross again. We turned off the engine and waited….and then they surfaced again coming towards us! Amelia was ready and waiting this time and she hopped in with Alex. It was so cool to have the dolphins so close we could almost reach out and touch them and to have my kids in the water with them.
Next it was Graham's turn. We raced ahead again and as luck would have it he also had the opportunity to jump in and see them under water. Yes I was chicken….I managed the boat and watched happily from my perch. Who knew my lazy day would have Champagne bubbles, Octopus and Dolphins in it!
Unfortunately as I write this blog though I realize that the next time I want a lazy day on board I will have to weigh this against possible amazing missed opportunities.