A short cab ride from the port, and we were lying on the beach at Nachi Cocom, a private club where I had reserved two spots for Mr. W’s birthday. Snorkeling was on the agenda, so it wasn’t long before we hopped on a glass-bottom boat for a choppy 15-minute ride to Colombia Shallows, a popular reef made up of large coral heads. Miles and miles of turquoise water surrounded us when seasickness struck, but there was no turning back. I crossed my fingers. We donned our gear and hopped overboard.
Soon enough, serenity found me — wide-eyed and eager to acclimate. The underwater adventure turned out to be a long slow drift with hardly a current. Perfection. Our guide motioned toward schools of snapper and all sizes of sponges. Underwater, he held up a starfish bigger than his face. He poked at an agitated barracuda. And he pulled up a sea spider with more legs than I could count, asking me in Spanish if I wanted to hold it. ‘Preciate the offer, but I’m gonna pass on that one, Señor Joseph. I’ll stick to stalking the angel fish.
On a second stop at the nearby Palancar Reef, a stingray lay solo at the bottom of the sea. We watched him for a while. Rough life, man. Next chance I get, I’m writing him a fan letter.