A few years ago, hubby and I were enjoying a delightful day sail off the coast of St. Thomas, where we indulged ourselves in decadent food and drink and generally behaving like sloths…we’d lounge on the boat and every so often, jump into the warm waters of the Caribbean and partake in the delightful underwater visuals by donning a snorkel mask and fins.
I was floating along, not a care in the world – delighting in the beautiful fish and rainbow-colored coral that was laid out in front of me underwater….when – out of the corner of my snorkel mask – I see some shadows approaching.
And – I swear to God – I hear the menacing chords of the music from “Jaws” …Seriously.
I look to my left, and several long, thin fish swim right up beside me – and then stop. Staring at me. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a fish expert. But I know a barracuda when I see one. And this wasn’t just one – there were about 4-5 of these monsters of death – on my left side. I slowly look over to my right – and HOLY CRAP! There’s 4-5 of them on my right side!
I’m in the middle of a school of barracuda!!!! And all of them are looking at me like I’m a tasty Vienna Sausage appetizer in a swimsuit! YIKES!
I don’t swim. But somehow – probably powered by pure fear and adrenaline – I began swimming like only Michael Phelps can…
It was a moment of pure-Olympic heroism that powered me back to the sailboat, where I somehow, unbelievably, “leaped” from the water right into the safety of the boat.
Captain Omar looks at me in bewilderment; heart thumping madly, eyes rolling wildly, I gasped out an explanation: “Barracuda! Surrounding me! I had to swim for my life!”
Captain Omar begins to chuckle, and says, dismissively, “Those weren’t barracuda. Those were wahoo. A lot of tourists get them confused. They’re harmless – but they like to have a little fun with you.”
Sure enough – if you google “wahoo” – it will tell you that they are often confused with barracuda. And I love this next part – this is a hoot: “The great barracuda is sometimes confused with mackerel and wahoo, but is easy to distinguish from the latter two species. Barracuda have prominent scales, larger, dagger-like teeth, and lack the characteristic blade-like tail characteristic of the mackerel/tuna family of fish.”
Yeah, like I’m going to notice all that while I’m surrounded by them, while they’re all licking their chops, staring me down. Not.
Anywho, I’m on the boat, trying to get my breathing and heart rate back to pre-scared-to-death levels, when all of a sudden – I see my hubby, swimming towards the boat like his life depended on it – and when he reaches us – he, too, does a gravity-defying “leap” – right in to the boat.
His heart is thumping out of his chest, his eyes are rolling, and he says, “Barracuda! All around me! I had to swim for my life!”
Well…never one to pass up an opportunity on proving how smart I am to hubby…I roll my eyes in disdain, and say, “Oh, honey. Those weren’t barracuda. Don’t you know anything?! Those were wahoo. Trust me.”
Hubby looks over at Captain Omar for confirmation – because, surely, I MUST be wrong, and Captain Omar nods his head, and says, “Yup. She’s right. Those were wahoo. You’ve sure got one smart wife on your hands. Better keep her.”
I love that story. Whenever we’re at a get together, and the talk turns to snorkeling, that’s my “go-to” story. It’s always guaranteed to get a laugh, and it’s all true, so it makes it just that much better of a tale.
And we had just such an opportunity last Saturday night, while out dining with family and friends. A couple had just returned from a trip to CanCun, and they’re regaling us with their stories of snorkeling and sailing and general water-fun.
At the appropriate time in the conversation, I begin telling “the barracuda story.”
I had just reached the part where I say, “I’m in the middle of a school of barracuda” – when my dear, dear husband interrupts me by saying, “It wasn’t barracuda. It was wahoo.”
Oh no he didn’t.
The wind literally sucked out of my sails – my story ruined forever for this group – I rolled my eyes over to him and said, “ You. Just. Ruined. My. Story.”
He says, “Well – I didn’t mean to. But it wasn’t barracuda.”
I said, “I know that. I’m well aware of that. And our audience would have been well aware of it, too, if you would have let me continue before rudely interrupting.”
I finished the story – but it somehow just lacked it’s normal punch – wonder why?
I do love him. I do. But he can really drive me crazy sometimes.