Sunday, February 2, 2014

Swimming with Sharks

Have you seen the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty?  If not, you really should. I could relate to Walter Mitty because I too am a daydreamer and --not to give anything away--but I too found myself swimming with sharks just last week!

Every January, when the snow isn't pretty anymore and wool socks are a must, I dream about tropical vacations. (actually, I do that every month of the year) This January my dreams came true thanks to my new job as coordinator. I got to go on a training aboard the Disney Dream ship to the Caribbean.
My kids were so stinkin' mad that they couldn't come. "What kind of mom goes on a Disney cruise without her children???" they cried....for like days. I'll never hear the end of it but it's been worth it for many reasons...not the least of which are these...

After a day at sea we arrived in the Bahamas
I shopped at and practiced my bargaining prowess at the famous straw market where locals sell their handicrafts. Popped into the Pirate Museum, and took a 5 hour 3-stop snorkeling excursion.

The last stop was to a shark reef. I had no idea you could snorkel with sharks! so I just had to take advantage of that!
 Once our little charter boat arrived, sharks started circling , the dorsal fins cutting through the surface of the water. If that doesn't send tingles up your spine... A box of bait was lowered 20 ft. down and while the sharks were distracted, some of us crept into the water very unassuming like and watched them through our snorkels, while they swam below. These were 5-6 ft. reef sharks and we saw a half dozen or so. I snapped away with my underwater camera.  Minutes later we were instructed to get back in the boat. Some leftover fish were thrown overboard before we headed back to shore and those sharks came at lightning speed to devour them: Lesson learned. There is no out-swimming a shark.

 Unlike Walter Mitty I didn't have to wrestle the sharks and I only came away with some blurry photos and a new respect for their speed.
The other stops included an old plane wreck, a barracuda, trumpet fish, parrot fish, brain coral, fan coral, and some other colorful fish that will have to remain nameless due to my ignorance.

2nd stop Castaway Cay--What could be safer than a Disney cruiseship? A Disney private island.
I was super excited to go parasailing here. Walked off the ship and saw this...

You can see the disappointment in my reflection!!
All was not lost however. I was on a private island, afterall and I was going to make the best of it!  By this time in the trip I had made some good friends. We walked around to explore and when we came here we knew that was where we were going to plop for the day. Disney's adult only beach had plenty of room, a buffet of fruit, burgers, and ice cream to eat and soft white sand between our toes. I went snorkeling and swimming here too.

Plan B turned out pretty great. These are some of my new friends, also coordinators. Minnie is even thinking of joining our team.

I made the most of the last day on ship. I had an exciting ride on the aqua flume, swam in the pool, and sipped a pina colada in the glass-bottomed hot tub.  I took in the evening show with the rest of my group. Disney really knows how to entertain. They pulled out all the stops for their Disney's Believe show. I realized I hadn't missed my kids until they started showing movie clips from tender Disney moments like Bambi nuzzling his mother and princess Ariel embracing her father...

 We had another fabulous dinner with loads of good desserts like creme brulee and peanut butter chocolate mousse and merengues with fruit salsa.  In the 5 minutes we had before dinner, I challenged everyone to a photo contest. Who could go around the ship and take the best selfie? The photo of me sliding down the banister didn't turn out too well. Instead,  The Belgian exchange student pictured in the middle was the winner with her photo sitting on the leiu! Good thing this cruise was only 4 days! We were having way too much fun.

We debarked and took a shuttle back to Orlando. I spent so much time in this airport I feel like I became good friends with all the photo ops, like Snow White.   The most exciting thing that happened on this leg of the journey was that a woman on my flight collapsed. A request was sent out for any doctors on the flight. 3 of them leaped up. In a  a few minutes, the woman regained consciousness to the applaud of everyone aboard the aircraft.  If I were Walter Mitty, I would have been the doctor leaping over the seats to save the woman from sudden death with my awesome CPR skills and my pocket defibrillator. All I could do was offer a little prayer and continue reading my book.  The lady was fine but as a precaution some paramedics met us on our layover in Cincinnati, where it was 2 degrees by the way!

I did my best to buy back my kids' love with souvenirs. I think it worked;) Hooray for fun winter getaways!!
Back to Utah and winter and work and daydreams!!

1 comment:

Sherie Christensen said...

Well, that looked fun. Coordinator for? Exchange students? I'm glad you had a chance to visit a warm beach or two or three, in the winter.