I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m terribly afraid of sharks.
Deathly afraid. Fear paralyzes my body and I have a hard time even putting my feet in the ocean, let alone my whole body.
Kayaking on the ocean would be quite the feat, as sharks can eat kayaks. Snorkeling? forget about it….
One of the reasons I chose to go to Belize was to confront these fears, to kayak and snorkel in the ocean. Sitting on the pier my first morning in Placencia, sipping coffee, the distant island of False Caye was calling to me, tempting me to come explore the unknown….
I inquired with the hotel staff about how long it took to kayak out to the Caye.
” oh, about twenty minutes…” I should have realized that was twenty minutes in slow pace Caribbean time.
Regardless, I got a one person kayak, loaded up my backpack, snorkel gear, and courage, and started paddling.
Almost an hour later, battling unrealistic fears of prehistoric monsters rising from the waves lapping against my kayak and swallowing me whole, I arrived at the Caye. The waters were amazingly clear, the beauty of the ocean floor as visible as objects through a new window. A window to a new world.
I started by kayaking the entirely of the island, feeling like Robinson Crusoe exploring a new land. I find a small bit of dirt as most of the island is made of mangroves, and beach for a spell to have lunch and give my arms a much needed rest.
After some water and dried fruit, I ready myself to see the ocean from a new perspective, and get my snorkeling gear ready. I wasn’t going to head into any deep water, but anxiety was starting to take over.
So before it could rear it’s ugly head, I drop anchor on the kayak, and into the water I plunge….
The rest of the story, as they say, is history.