Several glass boat operators ply the waters of Tobago working carefully around and up close to coral on Bucco Reef, a protected marine park located between Pigeon Point and Bucco Point. Some boats would slide right up on the beach, but we anchored near the reef. Once we slowly drifted over the top of a shallow reef where we could see many types of amazing corals and fish just beneath the boat. Though it did not seem so at the time, our drift rate was too fast for clear photographs of the coral.
Curtis knew the names of all the coral and fish in this area. He’d clearly spent most of his life on the sea and was completely at home with his environment, proud of his heritage and country. It was important to him that we all felt safe and were having a good time on his boat, the Miss Ayana.
At one anchor spot, Curtis tossed a long one inch polypropylene line behind the boat, fitted us all with life preservers tied to our backs, and instructed us not to let go of the line at any time. As I lowered myself into the water, I realized a very swift current was flowing across this area, and to let go would have dire consequences. We spread out along the line for several hundred feet behind the boat gazing at the sea life and coral beneath us. Joy and John stayed behind in the boat and used the glass bottom as their porthole to the sea.
We anchored at another place called the “Nylon Pool”, a warm shallow area in the middle of the reef lagoon. The sand on the bottom of the pool is almost as soft as powder, and captain Curtis told us to try using it to exfoliate our skin. After rubbing the sand over my arms and the backs of my hands, my skin felt as smooth and soft as a baby’s. Could we bottle this sand to sell it?