At some moments, the fish brushed past me and the jellyfish touched my skin, leaving dozens of little marks that burned all night. I swam with a fisherman who caught an octopus that unfortunately will end up as ceviche.
From the surface, I could see flying fish that could leap out of the water and flew a total distance of several meters above the water. During the same trip, in Bocas del Toro (Panama), I saw a real sea aquarium.
In 2010, there was a place where people could feed the fish, a habit that wasn’t good for their diet, but swimming in the middle of such a shoal of fish was quite impressive. The guides showed us starfish, puffer fish and more.
In 2005, I snorkeled in the Cuban sea, an experience I loved but when I was getting out of the water through a wall of rocks, I hit my foot on a fire coral. And I discovered in one of the worst ways why it was called as such.
In 2007, I was on the Galapagos Islands where the submarine fauna was also incredible. I saw starfish called “chocolate chip cookies”, which was exactly what they looked like. I swam with sea lions at one of islands.
We received instructions not to swim separately and be careful not to get bitten by a male sea lion, otherwise the bite could definitely become infected. Nothing happened thankfully, the sea lions approached us with curiosity and nothing else.
I swam at Tortuga Bay from the shore to the entrance of the bay and saw my first real live sharks, there were young Blacktip sharks that were looking at me with curious eyes, turtles and something that resembled a large manta ray on the seabed… but I wasn’t sure, I couldn’t see it very clearly.
Author: Helena Aroyo