February 7, 2017
Half Moon Bay, Akumal, Mexico
Oh boy, I love a good squid squadron. What a lucky day!
I am floating in the bay under the late afternoon sun, and the quartet has just spotted me. They form a line; tentacles tightly clamped and pointed forward and fins undulating like silent hovercraft engines. The creatures are expertly cloaked in seaweed brown. They assess me with round opalescent eyes and adjust their formation as my position changes slightly with the moving tide.
I am, quite simply, delighted. Enchanted even!
As we bob about, one of the four employs its light-polarizing powers to alternately transform its clutch of tentacles and torpedo-shaped torso into a speckled tan and blue. Hmmmm… maybe it’s adjusting its camouflage to account for a patch of sandy sea floor. Or, perhaps it’s talking to me. After all, squid are crafty well-evolved creatures that can use light flashes and color patterns to communicate.
Yes! I am sure it is speaking to me. I can “hear” it!
“¡Hola Christina! Bienvenido and congratulations for having come so far that you are out here snorkeling by yourself and visiting our home.”
I reply, “Squid, you said it! I have come a long way!”
To which the squid says, “Sí… remember the first time you were here? Chica, that was embarrassing!”
Squid was referring to the time nearly 10 years earlier when I was on the same stretch of coast trying to snorkel with Nice Eyes. It was my first time in the big blue past knee-deep water and it ended when I left the ocean panicked and humiliated.
I laugh and say, “Yes, Squid, super embarrassing. I couldn’t even handle a lagoon last time I was here, but I launched myself off a rock on the coast just yesterday to swim into Yal Ku. I said hello to the giant rainbow parrot fish and had a nice time with the cute and curious trumpet fish.”
“¡Muy bien, Christina! And now that you have visited us around this small patch of coral, are you swimming out there to where the waves are breaking over the larger reef.”
I look up over the surface and see the breaking waves a good distance away, and at the moment, clear of other snorkelers. I recall that a woman on the beach had told me it could be a little tricky swimming in and out. I also remember from my first trip there that Nice Eyes reported both awe and terror upon reaching the large reef and seeing the drop off into the blue just beyond.
I put my face back in the water and say, “You know, Squid, I visited a big reef yesterday morning when I went scuba diving. And you guys are pretty awesome, being cuttlefish and all. So, I think I’m just going to relax and hang out here a bit.”
Squid laughed and said, “Okay, guapa. Hang with us.”
“I guess I haven’t quite come full circle, Squid.”
“Sometimes half circle is better, Christina. It means you still have a path to travel and many more interesting adventures ahead of you.”
“Indeed, Squid, indeed.”
Who knew squid were so wise in addition to being delightful and enchanting!