Climb In The Zodiac, Ma’am!

What I pictured,  once we got in. Photo: zodiactours.com

What I pictured for the boat tour,
once we climbed in. Looks pretty calm, right?
Photo: Napalizodiactours.com

I stared in disbelief as the safe-looking large white boat pulled out of the slip. Behind it, hidden from view, sat our black and gray zodiac inflatable boat. You know, the sleek one, like the military uses on secret operations. Not the kind a writer takes. Definitely not the writer who thought we were on the safe white boat with railings that just left.

“Ma’am. I’ll help you in. Here’s your dry bag.” The Captain smiles his wide grin, a tooth missing on the right.

I’m handed a bright red bag that locks for all my valuables. So, no cell phones advised. No shoes advised. Better check my senses, too.

I looked over at my husband and son who were grinning ear-to-ear at Mom’s mistake with planning a nice, safe snorkeling tour. The words I’d uttered on the plane in a whisper to my husband bubbled up inside me, “I need to be more adventurous.” I didn’t realize the very next day I’d get the chance to do so.

So I jumped in.

After stating we should hold onto a thin rope with our feet, and making repetitive jokes about losing clients in the deep waters, here’s how our Captain drove:

What we got. Captain Adventure hitting the big waves with gusto. Photo: zodiacmilprotenders.com

What we got. Captain Adventure hitting the big waves with gusto. Except there were NO seats!
Photo: zodiacmilprotenders.com

I felt ill and worried about my body parts that have survived injuries and falls, but only with help from lots of PT and trainers at the gym. I thought about my husband who’d survived a stroke and other serious problems. But he was grinning ear to ear and yelling about how he missed roller coasters. My son’s grin exploded with the Captain gunning the two strong engines, and sealed the deal.

Hold on lady, adventure’s at the door.

Our son Jonathan driving the boat with the Captain.

Our son Jonathan driving the boat with the Captain. That’s me behind, holding on for life!

Can any of you relate? You long for adventures, perhaps you even write about them (like I do for tweens) and yet it arrives and you’re stuck in safety gear? Perhaps you’ve also made it through terrible tests and vigorous challenges for your family, and all you care about is being safe.

One.

Problem.

Safe is wonderful, I love safe.

But I yearn for adventure. And if you don’t get in when the opportunity arrives, you don’t know what you’re made of.

I’ll be truthful. People got sick (not me thanks to ginger ale, one of the greatest inventions ever!). We crashed into huge wave after wave, catching lots of air.

But the minute we got to the dive site far off shore and slid in the water, everything changed.

I was diving with turtles. Numerous turtles in crystal-clear, deep blue waters. Turtles diving to the bottom and living in ancient volcano tubes. Turtles crunching and eating and being silently magnificent beneath the waves. An octopus slid by beneath my feet, white spots winking in the sunlight. Brightly colored fish crunched on their morsels. The turtles kept rising to the top like elegant birds in flight. I was in awe and so grateful to get to watch their dance.

That moment, when I slid in the deep waters, when I got to live near their world, sang to my soul. It opened a creaky, rusty door deep inside. The one labeled: Fearless!

I swam around and watched their huge shells. They would pop to the surface and we got this great photo of one:

Turtle

You see my new motto, now.

To have that adventure, you have no choice but to jump in. My husband did fine with the boat and exchanged diving stories with the Captain when we returned to shore; my son Jonathan did well and got to drive the boat on calmer waters; and all my body parts stayed in place except my mouth. A huge grin affixed itself and refused to leave. I called the Captain a water cowboy, conquering the wide seas. I laughed.

The door deep inside had swung wide open and gotten me ready for a new perspective on life.

I’m so glad I got in the boat, even if it was totally unexpected.

I’d love to hear about your adventures, or times you, “got in the boat.” Hope you’re inspired to dive in and find the adventure and new perspective your heart craves.

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