Posted by: adventuressetravels | January 14, 2011

Barracudas Like Bling

This is the first time since my 16th birthday that I am not wearing rings, and yes.  It is out of fear or, at the very least, caution.  According to our knowledgeable skipper, barracudas like bling.  Anything shiny, sparkly, or flashy attracts these razor-toothed predators of the deep.  All that glitters may not be gold but it sure does attract barracudas

Oh I was skeptical at first.  The first time I went diving and the second I was loathe to part with my familiar jewelry.  It was the only thing I’d been wearing for half my life.  It was a part of me!  Then I heard the stories.

Walking along a sun-kissed beach fringed by azure waters along Long Island, Bahamas I ran into Peggy, a friendly Montreal-born woman living in the Bahamas.   Looking down at my hands her face grew serious.  I wasn’t planning on going swimming with those, was I?  There were barracuda here, if I wanted to go for a swim it would be better to leave my jewelry on the boat she cautioned.

Barracuda didn’t really like shiny things, did they?  That was just an old Bahamian wives tale, I scoffed.

Not at all, Peggy replied.  She had thought the same thing until a few weeks ago when a barracuda attacked one of her friends who had been visiting from the states.  The woman had been silly enough to leave her wedding ring on and the thin silver fish sunk its needle-sharp teeth into her hand.

Luckily the fish had been a baby, not big enough to take off the whole hand, but the bite had been strong enough to chipped bone.  Not able to find immediate medical attention the injury had become infected.  Now surgeons in the US were fighting to save her hand.

Yes, barracuda really did like bling.  It was best not to tempt fate.

She was right.  The more I thought about it the more it really hit me.  The ocean is one of the few places the tables are really turned.  Man is out of his element and thus easily becomes a soft, tasty appetizer for anything with the gumption, and teeth.   Despite this, perhaps in part because of it; lure of the unknown and the sense of adventure, we are drawn to the sea’s salt waters.

But though the barracuda’s presence is not enough to keep me out of the water, my jewelry, on the other hand, remains aboard.  Safe, dry, and far from the bellies of hungry barracuda lurking in the crystalline Bahamian waters.

 

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