We took the kids to a beach today. It was so hot that the sand was burning our feet as we made our way across the sand to find a spot to lay out our beach blanket and the stuff we'd lugged from the car. But once we were in the water, it felt pretty good. L'il Sis was having a grand time collecting a bucket full of seashells. Stretch had his snorkel gear and showed Big Sis how to use it. The mask was a bit big for her so she held it to her face while she snorkeled. (I guess we'll be looking at getting her one of her own.) She had a blast following fish around.
At one point, as Stretch tells it, she was watching a school of fish and he was following her in case she got into trouble. Suddenly, without ever coming out of the water, she did a one-eighty and started stroking for shore as fast as she could. Stretch said he'd never seen her perform such great freestyle strokes. Apparently, the fish she'd been following turned and started coming toward her which she found odd because usually they swam away from her. But then she saw why. A large fish, 2-3 feet in length, with teeth she could see. Or as she put it, "It was this big (holding out her hands) and it had TEETH!" I thought it was a bit funny that she'd left Stretch behind but as he pointed out she probably had the mindset of "I don't have to outswim the fish, just YOU!" and when I asked if it was a case of every person for himself, she said, "That's right!"
The fish she saw might have been a barracuda. An adult snorkeler had said he spotted one earlier in the same area. At the time, I was more concerned with the stingray he'd also spotted and which I'd also seen, heading toward Stretch and Big Sis. I think it passed them by and they never saw it. When I saw it, I was thinking, "Please be a sea turtle" until I heard the snorkeler say it was a stingray.
I think I may have reached my quota of wildlife this week. Earlier in the week, I'd taken my friend and her kids to a National Wildlife Refuge where we saw a huge alligator. It's head alone was easily 2-1/2 to 3 feet long. Since it remained mostly submerged, we never saw exactly how long it was. Oh, and we were on a dock with our feet only about 4 or 5 feet above the gator.