It amazes me how quickly the weather can change from hot and still to blustery and then back to tranquilo. A week ago Sunday, the seas were so high that no pangas went out. Everyone who was here stayed here and no new people arrived.

Trouble came to the island along with the storm and soon everybody was stirred up. During the next few days, so many people arrived that the entire culture of the island was changed. No one was able to sleep through the night. Even after the furious winds subsided, the mood remained vicious.

On Saturday, the frenzy reached its peak in the early afternoon. After that, lots of people left and the next day, finally, all was calm again. The sea was crystal and aqua, sparkling and inviting us to play.

Bob and I celebrated by going snorkeling in the warm water to look at the wreck of a large steel boat just off our beach. As we swam out, the fish schooled languidly in and out of the coral while the sunlight filtered through the top of the water onto the sand below in hypnotic patterns.

The wreck itself was more formidable than we had imagined. It consisted of large slabs of rusted metal, mute testament to the kind of storm we witnessed last week. We stood on the deck in defiance of our fears.

As we swam away from the submerged disaster, we felt as if we were leaving the anxieties from the past week behind us. Three very large tarpon circled us in curiosity. Tiny neon colored yellow-tailed damselfish glowed florescent in and among the coral below. All was well with the world as we allowed the gentle surf to push us towards shore.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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