by Kim M.
Key West, Florida
March 30, 2003
We circled for a few moments to allow everyone to get a feel for the boats, and then we were off. Soon we were able to put the throttle down and really have some fun. Now, as a person who typically sails, this was a guilty pleasure for me. I couldn't believe that I was having so much fun piloting a powerboat. It was fun in true "James Bond" fashion, as advertised. I couldn't help but hum the 007 theme as we sped along.
Our destination was a dive platform moored out on the reef. We "parked" and were taken in other boats over to the platform, where we were outfitted with masks, snorkels, and swim fins. I would have preferred my own equipment to that provided, but it was okay. I can imagine that this might be a safety concern for some, but swimmers were not required to wear life vests for the snorkeling. It is rare that a U.S. dive company will allow you that kind of freedom. We were next instructed on the proper fitting of our equipment as well as the necessary "lookie-lookie, not touchy-touchy" rule of the reef.
We were assigned guides in very small groups depending on language. My friend and I got our own guide, Fernando. He gave us bits of some sort of chum to feed the fish, and we got an up-close view of some beauties. We would surface from time to time, and Fernando would tell us about the creatures we were seeing, many of which were foreign to us. It was wonderful to be on a living reef, rather than snorkeling through dead, colorless corals. The reef is not as it used to be, one of the other guides told us. Apparently tourism has begun to take its toll. We still enjoyed ourselves, and Fernando was very accommodating, always offering to take pictures of us with the fish with our underwater camera or holding vests so we could dive for a closer look.
Overall, this was a fun experience, combining action and nature in one. I really enjoyed myself.
From journal My Spring Thaw in Punta Cana