Whale sharks

Christmas Eve, 2012: 10 hour journey to snorkel with the whale sharks for an hour.

whale shark head
(12.24 – 359)

They were oddly “tame” — coming to the boats where fishermen feed them — but it was still quite stunning.

gills

They didn’t swim quite as much as I’d imagined — they just kind of kept their voracious mouths open and gurgled food.

feeding

The journey was more prolonged than we expected — first a drive, then a ferry, then a drive, then the outrigger to the whale sharks.

When we were done swimming, we had sandwiches and waited by a series of souvenir and food shacks, and were serenaded by a rasta with a guitar singing a muddled version of O Holy Night.

o holy

The woman in the food hut joined in, with a stunning, surprising, clear voice.

We waited, and I knitted, and there was driving, and then waiting for an hour and a half on a ferry that didn’t move. We finally got up and got off it and drove another 20 minutes to a different ferry.

A bigger, better ferry.

photo-6

We waited for a while among the chickens and indolent dogs, and finally sailed back. I knit, more. There was a young girl with silver braces wearing a fuzzy polar bear hat.

photo-7

Rachel and I have long joked that if only we could apply, we’d be great on The Amazing Race. We decided today that we’re ON The Amazing Race: Surreptitious Edition. I can’t wait to get some sort of prize for this trip.

I’m appreciating Rachel and her live-and-let-live-ness.

When we got back, I felt too wrung out to go through the palaver of getting ready to dive, so I went for a short run, up on the main road. I like to feel the soil of a new place under my running soles, and to run off the edge of turmoil. I saw a “tricycle” — motorcycle with sidecar type hut — emblazoned with “Jesus is my Shield,” completely stuff with melons. Children greeted me with Merry Christmas, and a trio of musicians waited for a bus, one of them with an enormous harp with a horse head on it. A Coca cola sponsored sigh jauntily enjoined, Thank you for Leaving!

For Christmas dinner, we had white tablecloths and turkey and bubbly servers eager for us to finish so they can go home, go to Mass, eat pork and chicken and cake with their families. I felt grateful for the many many incredible people I have in my world.

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