For all of my readers out there still searching for “the one,” fear not! I recently took part in a top-secret, underwater research project to confirm that yes, in fact, there are PLENTY of fish in the sea! You just might not want to date them.
Living on Vieques Island for almost five months and coming from a big city like Philadelphia, I found myself feeling very much like a fish in a small pond. But thanks to a tour by Captain Judi Marcus, owner and operator of SeaVieques, a local sailing and snorkeling company, I felt like a very small fish in a huge sea recently. Surrounded by the beautiful coral and sea life of the Caribbean, I conducted my research. The SeaVieques private charter our boss Sandy sent us out on was my dream office for the day, and let me tell you, it was nothing short of AMAZING!!! Lucky for you, the sail and snorkeling adventure is offered to anyone wanting to sail, snorkel and explore – not just for top secret research, or lucky wedding planning interns! My internship partner Kayla and I took the 8:30 am charter. We were greeted by Captain Judi and her first-mate Alex, as well as two other tourist couples who were going sailing with us. A little nervous, Kayla and I climbed aboard the dinghy, which took us out to the boat named “Makaru.” Getting from the dinghy onto the boat was easy with a hand from the crew. Once aboard, we got acquainted with the others, honeymooning newlyweds from Boston and a lovely married couple from Wisconsin in the sailboat’s cozy lounge area.
From our starting point in Isabel Segunda, we could make out Cayo Blanco, the small, uninhabited island with an amazing coral reef to explore. The sailing was glorious! It took almost an hour to get out to the reef which gave us time to chill out and sun bathe in the pillowed lounge area and on the front end of the boat. It was smooth sailing with an amazing breeze creating the perfect atmosphere. We anchored off the coast of Cayo Blanco and gathered for a quick lesson from Captain Judi on what we would see. Judi listed off the different kinds of coral, as well as the different fish and wildlife. She’s very knowledgeable about all of the sea life we might see while snorkeling and her expertise eased my mind. SeaVieques offered us great snorkeling gear, and they instructed us on how to properly wear it, and detect and fix any minor gear problems. Captain Judi led us to an amazing underwater habitat of coral and many, MANY, fish! It is true – I can now officially confirm that there are more than enough fish in the sea. Study concluded.
We saw French angel fish, grey angle fish, a porcupine fish, cleaning gobies, ballyhoo, needle fish, ocean trigger fish, blue chromis, brown chromis, bar jacks, yellow damsel fish, porgies, black margates, cero, blue striped grunt, Spanish grunt, and a school of porkfish! The whole ocean floor was lined in beautiful coral including boulder coral, pillar coral, mountainous star coral, and more! The mountainous star coral only grows 1/16” per year and Judi estimated what we saw was probably 3,000 years old. This snorkeling experience was more than I could have imagined. We were right there, swimming amongst hundreds of fish, it was incredible! We snorkeled for more than an hour before heading back to the boat. I climbed back aboard delighted to be welcomed with a spread of snacks and drinks. For the sail back to shore, Kayla and I stationed ourselves on the front of the boat, with the sail over us. This gave us the opportunity to reflect and soak up some rays. It also gave us the chance to come up with the idea of opening up a Weddings in Vieques boat office, and how we would get Sandy on board (pun intended) with the plan. Sandy’s right – we can’t really get to know the island unless we experience everything that Vieques has to offer. We’ve been to the bio-bay, we’ve ridden Paso Fino horses, and now we’ve seen what lies beneath the gorgeous blue waters that surround us. I think everybody ought to try and hit the trifecta and see all three attractions while they’re here.
SeaVieques offers several tours a day (including a sunset cruise) and I highly recommend the experience. What a sail! There are, indeed, plenty of fish in the sea. At least around Vieques, Puerto Rico! Devon Gorson, Intern at Weddings in Vieques