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July 8, 2013 / Andee Frizzell

Ruined Photos

turtleMy girlfriend Laura came to Toronto last week for a visit. Over a couple of pints on the patio of The Black Bull (an urban biker bar) we reminisced about our most notable adventures. This excerpt is from our trip to Barbados a few years ago.

Myself, Laura and my girlfriend Guinevere took a two week vacation in Barbados. Guinevere’s father was engineering a new port in Barbados and had a beautiful house minutes from the beach that would be our ‘regrouping station’ for the duration of our two week stay.

Guinevere had visited her father numerous times and was dialed in to the best of Barbados, making her the most excellent liaison. She had every day and night booked with amazing excursions!

Our itinerary included a catamaran boat tour that involved rum laden fruity drinks, a swim with sea turtles and an hour docking at an exclusive private beach.

The catamaran bounced along the crystal blue waters that sparkled on the surface like a diamond minefield while we sipped our umbrella decorated beverages. Upon boarding the boat we were each given a snorkel and goggles, a one size fits all life vest and a pair of flippers.

The life vest was monstrous. It was black and had a strap that laced through your legs, buckling in the front that was supposed to reinforce the bulky floatation device. The goggles suctioned an air tight seal to your face that left you with a raccoon mask design for nearly a week and the flippers fit perfectly between the life boats on the deck which is where I stashed mine.

The boat came to a stop in the middle of a pristine bay that held water so clear you could see down hundreds of feet to the white sanded bottom.  Our swim guide, a beautiful, six foot five Bajan that had a head of dreadlocks measuring nearly as long as his torso announced it was time to swim with the turtles.

He herded us towards the rear of the boat and one by one each of the other 10 passengers jumped into the water. From the waist band of his Bermuda shorts (would they be called Barbados shorts in Barbados?) and pulled out some kind of turtle/fish food which he tossed gingerly over aboard.

Suddenly, the clear water became a brilliant pallet of rainbows streaking across the under surface. Fish of every size and shape majestically toned in a multitude of colours rushed towards the boat. We were like the fireman float in the local parade that tossed candies to the children and captivated the crowd (especially gay men and single ladies). Every fish in the sea had come to see us.

Laura and I had held back, (to finish our drinks) and to discuss our irrational fears.  Hers, she feared dead bodies would launch themselves from the fake sunken ship moored on the bottom of the ocean for more than 100 years and come near her; mine, I feared fish would touch me.

As we stood on the back of the boat watching the other tourists bobbing up and down and taking a million photos with their underwater cameras, the Bajan guide placed a reassuring hand on our backs and SHOVED. Laura and I went sprawling into the drink (not the most graceful of entrances).

Immediately I sunk like a canon ball. My flotation device shot to the surface like a comet across the heavens, me trailing behind it attached only by the thin nylon strap between my legs. I gasped for breath as I tried unsuccessfully to dislodge the strap from my under carriage and relocate my bathing trunks to their proper position. It was then I realized floating right in front of me was a gynormous turtle posing for underwater photos.

I often wonder if when my fellow tourists from the boat are showing their photos of that terrapin, has any of their viewers ever shouted,” What the hell is going on behind that turtle?”

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One Comment

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  1. arcticgoddess / Jul 9 2013 3:24 am

    Photo bombing the tourists now, huh? I guess cameras are part of your life in many ways. 🙂

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