Monday, July 5, 2010

Swimming with the fishies

Last week, I talked my girlfriend into a Netflix night. Now, it's safe to say we have pretty different tastes when it comes to film and cinema.

She likes Sci-Fi and fantasy flicks while I enjoy movies that are actually good.

Since college, I have been interested in documentaries and I hope to film one myself one day. The one we watched last week was called The Cove.

I highly recommend it if you're into the docs. It's about the dolphin slaughter going on in Japan and an activist's pursuit to bring the atrocity to light. Very powerful stuff.

As a result, my girlfriend is now a vegetarian.

The next day, I had a few free hours before journalism so I put on a bathing suit and headed to Morning Star beach, a public beach right next to the Marriott Hotel on the south end of St. Thomas.

During my parents visit last month, they bought me a snorkel kit at K-Mart and I just then realized I had not broke the flips and mask in yet.

While gliding across the surface of the water and with the sun scorching my back, I couldn't help but think about the movie. I don't want to ruin it for you -- SPOILER ALERT -- but the actual slaughter scene is quite traumatizing.

It made me appreciate the pureness of the island's beauty and the wildlife that surrounds it. At that moment, I felt even fishing was not cool.

Then I had to write a story in today's paper about a kiddie fishing tournament ... those kids got free pizza, free fishing rods, a free T-shirt and the winners got a $50 cash prize. Did I mention they were all younger than 12? Pretty bad ass.

Anyway, snorkeling in the territory is sort of a pastime. Like baseball back in the States. The best spot I've been to so far has to be -- TOURIST ALERT -- at Trunk Bay on St. John. The V.I. Tourism Administration needs to throw me a few nickels here but Trunk Bay is pretty bad ass itself.

I spent my birthday there...with a James Bond chick.

Whenever an out-of-towner visits, it always makes for a great excuse to get back out there. There's a small cay about 50 yards from the beach and there's scuba signs along the reef to guide tourists on what they're actually looking at.

I need to learn more about the fish that inhabit this area. They sure are fun to look at and swim with.

Snorkeling is a great time to turn off your brain and just soak up the surroundings. I prefer to do it alone. That is, until some yuppie tourist kid tugs on your leg and asks you if there are any sharks in these parts.

"Nah," I remember saying. "No sharks. But I heard the dolphins come through here from time to time. Say, have you ever seen The Cove?"

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