As we flew toward Dangriga I looked west across the lush, green, mist-shrouded mountains and was beset by visions of howler monkeys, poisonous snakes that spit and will run your @$$ down leeches the size of school children, haunted Mayan ruins, heat, humidity, bugs, naked middle-aged white people tripped out on ayahuasca and tequila running naked through the jungle amidst parting flocks of fleeing wildlife… (I ran this passage by Jason – he said it was pretty close to his dream vacation!)

Below and to the east – The Sea; flat, clear, and unbearably inviting in the shelter of the barrier reef.

My mind drifted.. here in my bag is my wetsuit, mask, snorkel… Against the fuselage just behind me, my monofin (wouldn’t fit in the luggage bin)… I wonder if I could just swim the rest of the way…

A short trip past the mangrove thick, crocodile-infested, banks of the Sittee river brought us out into increasingly choppy open water. After a kinetic and sweltering boat ride to our first dive site, I threw myself into the warm embrace of the ocean and was immediately recharged.

Accustomed to shallow diving in the cold, cloudy, lakes of Northern Michigan, I’m always surprised how at home I feel in the sea – and how much easier diving is in clear warm water. Always in the ocean there is a paradoxical sense of profound intimacy and unfathomable spaciousness – of being part of a vast, yet intimate and familiar, sensory intelligence.

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