Adventures of s/v WILD HAIR


Our land life took on form, solidity, routine. We had mastery of a limited set of skills. We had habitual expectations of others and ourselves. Going sailing, we let go of our attachments to our roles, views, and rituals. We persist because we are growing in this shapeless and dynamic world.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Buck Island Coral Reef National Monument

Slithering from known to unknown through the chop of Caribbean waters, I drop into the action of an underwater world. Friend or foe, I cannot guess in advance who is poised to greet in snorkeling’s first moments. Today, only sunbeams dash below the surface with the random grace of elbowed adolescents. Staying alert for sharks, I glide toward the marked underwater trail off Buck Island—a lump of land adjacent to St. Croix in the US Virgins. I am here to visit a new friend, the legendary stretch of massive Elkhorn Coral that surrounds the place. But, I register something wrong. Everywhere, horns of coral are snapped from their base. Like the day-after carnage of a civil war battlefield, broken coral bodies rest in unnatural postures—bone white, dead. Suddenly, I am consumed in a crowd of Blue Tang. Hundreds of dark, 10-inch creatures swarm too close, riding a gust of nothing on a mission. The ghostly effect reminds me that life once teemed. I feel accused.

No comments: