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By moonrise, looking down at the foot bridge to the beach over the meandering river-like pool, I was beginning to Feel Alright (click on that it will open in another tab - then pop back here and continue to read) with piano bar music, Hemingway; snoozing and alternately, reading the night away.

Before dawn, sunrise on the high cumulus, walked that bridge down to the breakwaters of the wedding gazebo, decided to walk the resort waterfront from east down to the west reconnoitring the reef in the direction of the current.
Ernest Hemingway wrote knowledgeably about currents and reefs.

Poor fishermen with a whaler, a paddle, one oar, and lobster traps made it through the passage through the reef for a day's fishing. The passage is the first interruption in the current gliding along the reef.

I noted and

I thought... "Not going through there. Swim across the waves of it to the western reef sea side of where they break."

Out in the telephoto distance dawn sun worshipping bathers just this side of the nude beach on the other side of Runaway Bay catching the first rays of sun. I was walking along a timeline towards the sunrise on the beach.

On the soft fine sand of Runaway Bay beach barefoot, carrying sandals; winter/hiking boots left behind, a growing young rooted tree on the balance beam between life and death...

I found the place to land...

In the first of the morning sun over the hills of jungle Jamaica on water and on me.

After a breakfast of bread pudding and coffee taken at the outdoor arcade rotunda balcony, I suited up and walking through the back through the tables.

"Hey Mon! You scuba!" The maître d' exclaimed.

"Yeah Mon, de real I", I replied even though I had no tank and regulator the rest of my gear looked right, I guess.

Our daughters, Angela and Jessica, had scouted the resort in November and told us it would be perfect; a smoking balcony for Mary, a reef for me. It was perfect.

I was fine tuning my equipment, I'd done some practice in my studio wearing my correctional lens goggles for distance and knew it would be difficult to work the camera menu buttons and joystick without plain lens bifocals to correct the long sight prescription focus. I see best without lenses for close up, without aid, which makes me a natural close worker but, in the field, sketching is a long range hunter's work. I had to make adjustments in the way I perceive and the effects of salt and water on vision can't be predicted in the studio lab. I could see the menu better than I had hoped.

What I didn't count on was the flash set to auto which I couldn't see that caused unfocused sparkles on the current borne sand particles, plankton, amebas, death and excrement.

I enjoyed watching and feeding the fish bread squeezed from a plastic water bottle as I floated by on the current. The fish enjoyed it, the reef and it's inhabitants, distracted me so much that when I lifted my head from the water I realized that I had gone where I had decided I wouldn't go... into the channel and the surf.

I could hold my own against the current only making small headway I'd learned while exploring. I had to go forward and body surf towards shore. I had no choice except to be swept outside the reef. Twice the waves broke over my head and water plunged down my snorkel and left me coughing up water. The salt dried my throat, sinuses, nostrils, and lungs. The first time I was able to breath freely in two months. It took some time to get the rhythm of the surf... the waves pushing me towards land and the undercurrent dragging me out to sea.
The beautiful aqua marine of The Carib designates a sandy bottom.
The water visibility was reduced to about an arm's length.
Some of the waves were a couple of meters and that suggested that I could be smacked on the sand, scattered rock and occasional clumped corral bottom... ouch!

I made it to the western reef but, I had lost the cap to my water bottle feeder out of my beach baggies pocket and the bread crumbs were gone. I rested and sculled and hid from the waves and current in the same places as the fish did, resting. The fish and I changed orientation like a school of mixed species to face into the currents.

Going in I picked up a sea urchin off the sand with my webbed finger gloved hand and placed it back in the reef grass where it clung for dear life with it's dangerously barbed spines.

When I finally and reluctantly got to ashore to get some drinking water I sat in the shallow of the beach and took off my flippers and stood up on my neoprene running shoe sole booties and fell down. The weight of gravity in air is impressively higher than the weightlessness, even buoyancy of salt water. I prefer water... that might be a romantic notion. I am not a natural sea mammal.

Even staggering and falling like a heavy drunk up the sandy shore, the beach Mons greeted me to the land with elbow bumps.

"Yeah Mon!"

When I asked for a water and then a refill at the all inclusive, free drinks bar, the bartender was noticeably surprised. Free water! I was surprised myself.

I walked back to our room feeling very good but, the several hundred photographs I had taken were ruined by flash sparkles. I erased them from memory which had no affect on my buoyant mood.

Mary had her view of the sea, books, games, and internet access. I had my reef. Just as our daughters planned.

We watched the sunset, had a perfect dinner from an amazing selection. We ate outdoors on table cloths with candle light in the warm breeze with a chorals of crickets, cicada, night birds, and frogs.

I made plans for the next day.

I decided to stay close to our eastern side of the resort enter the water in a small man-made cove this side of where the people pictured above were walking the wedding gazebo jetty. I'd float the current and scull the reef just barely visible on the other side, get out where the dive tour boats were anchored and walk back to the same place and do it again.

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