Indelible Images From the Caribbean

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I truly could write forever on my honeymoon in Jamaica. It was absolutely the trip of a lifetime. One particular experience has stuck out in my mind and that was snorkeling with my wife.

There was a reef right at the edge of the water on our resort that was massive. Honestly I was somewhat hesitant to swim out to it. I will never forget explaining to the lifeguard my worries about swimming way out in the water and him humorously responding, “Don’t worry about the sharks mon, they are vegetarians.”

My wife was the captain of her swim team in high school and is very experienced in snorkeling so it was difficult to keep up with her when we got out there especially when she decided she was going to go waaaaaay out but I did it anyway.

The sights I saw underneath the water were absolutely breathtaking. I saw fish that I had never seen before. There was one blue fish in particular that I could not stop looking at. It was paper thin. When it would turn you would lose track of it because of how slim it was and because its color was so similar to the water. It appeared to look at me then slowly swam away back into the reef.

It was so peaceful under the water. The silence was deafening and seeing crabs scatter across the ocean floor and schools of fish swim around you like you were a stationary object was amazing.

I will never forget seeing Morgan stick her head up out of water and I did the same to talk briefly about what we were seeing. She said, “Ok Jacob…don’t freak out.” I immediately thought that something horrible was about to happen. A shark must be near us and I was about to find out that it wasn’t actually a vegetarian. Before I could see my life flash before my eyes she calmly told me to look under the water. As I looked I saw a giant sting ray about twenty feet away. It turned towards me and sat there still for what seemed like minutes and then peacefully floated away. It was scary yet beautiful at the same time.

While I was underwater I wanted so badly to have a camera so I could have visual evidence of the beautiful world I saw. That was until the other night when I was reading Carlos Whitaker’s fantastic book, Moment Maker. I read this and it made me so thankful I didn’t have the ability to take pictures underwater.

When we are making moments we are so quick to lift up our lenses that we don’t realize we aren’t fully participating in the moment. We don’t realize we are losing what I believe may be almost half of the experience…God created our mouths to paint the pictures of these stories in ways that a video could never collect.

I’m so glad that I was able to swim along that reef with nothing but the view that God gave me to capture the images. It made for an unbelievable experience that I will never forget.