Thursday, July 2, 2009

Swimming Against the Current

This could be a really cool figurative title, but my story is actual very literal. I visited a park in St. Lucia called Pigeon Island this past weekend. I was supposed to meet a few others there for some relaxation and snorkeling. Of course, I showed up an hour late and those I was supposed to meet showed up several hours late. Nothing unusual. I walked around and explored for a while; got to see a lot of cool really old buildings. Then I chilled on the beach until me and a couple others finally decided to snorkel.


Pigeon Island used to be, well, an island, but a causeway was constructed closing in the gap between St. Lucia and the little Pigeon Island. So now it completes what is a really large bay known as Rodney bay. So when we started snorkeling we were headed towards the opening of the bay. There isn’t much coral in the area, just some cool fish, some neat plants, and a few creatures here and there. We swam quite a ways almost to the tip of the island with nothing ahead of us but open sea.


As we approached the end of the island and it started to curve around, I noticed a slight current pulling us out to sea, but nothing serious. I decided not to mention it because we were planning on turning around soon. That side of the island is very rocky, almost cliff-like. The rocks underwater were covered in black sea urchins, which, if you didn’t know, will sting you and leave little prickles in your skin if you touch them or step on them. One of my snorkeling buddies climbed up on shore for a rest, and as I popped up to check on him I realized that the shore was moving awful fast, rather, I was moving awful fast! I yelled at Ashley that we were in a current. We turned around and tried to swim against it to test how strong it was and we were still moving out to sea! Luckily, the current was running parallel to shore. So we both headed straight for the rocks. Climbing on shore was made difficult by the current, some minor waves, and our attempts to try not to step on sea urchins hiding in the crevices! We made it though and had to take a moment to catch our breath after all that!

We ended up hiking back up the shore, climbing over rocks and such to a spot where the current wasn’t so bad. Then we swam all the way back. We made it in just before dark. It turns out that the current was created when they dug rocks and sand from that area to make the causeway to connect Pigeon Island to the main island. The depression on the ocean floor never filled and it created a current. Everyone else seemed to know about this, but no one seemed to think it important to warn us. All in all it was an interesting adrenaline rush and we got to see some cool fish on the way.

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