Hesitantly, I pushed off the catamaran's stairs and into the blue water off Roatan island. I'd never snorkeled before. Never worn fins on my feet. Never worn a mask that cut off my breathing. Never breathed through a tube in my mouth.
I'd expressed my concerns to one of the guys on the boat crew a few minutes earlier, and he kindly showed me how to tighten my mask and work my snorkel. Then he said, "This is the perfect opportunity for you to learn to snorkel. We'll be out there with you, watching out for you."
I breathed a sigh of relief -- through my snorkel -- and headed forward on the boat with the others.
The water was refreshing in the heat of the tropical sunshine. I swam out a bit from the boat in order to get a feeling for the fins.
And then I put my face in the water.
When snorkeling, the clear colors in the water just explode in your sight, with bright fish swimming below! It's like being on the inside of an aquarium! I marveled at it all -- at the view, at how fast the fins could propel me, and at the circumstances that found me in this place at this moment.
Tim, meanwhile, was enjoying his first snorkel too, for which I thanked God. I had dithered all winter about whether we should go on the scheduled cruise to the Caribbean or whether we should cancel the booking. Tim's been so sick with the treatment for Hepatitis C, and his energy level, even on a good day, is pretty low.
But as we both swam around in the ocean, I was convinced that we'd done the right thing. Tim was tired at the end of the day, but we'd had such a marvelous experience of God's creation that his spirits were truly lifted high!
And that's how the whole cruise seemed to us. Beautiful sunshine, gorgeous oceans, brilliant blue skies and serene moonlit nights -- a true feast of the natural world that God made for all of us.
Can't believe it's already over, but we look forward eagerly to the next!