“One of the sketchiest things I’ve ever done abroad was night snorkeling in Belize. My wife and I paid these two guys we’ve never met from a local company to take us out at the middle of the night into a distant part of the ocean where no other boats were and way beyond my ability to swim to shore. Needless to say, I was already nervous about hopping in the water with my wife and trusting these two guys to stick around.
Once one of them was in the water and I could potentially take him hostage if his friend tried anything I felt better about our hosts. But then I had to wrap my head around the idea that I was in the middle of the ocean surrounded by black inky water and whatever creatures come out at night to hunt.
The cherry on top, the guide tells us to turn our lights off if the bloodworm swarms get too large, bloodworms are little parasites that bite into your flesh while you’re swimming, like ocean mosquitos.
In spite of the anxiety and nervousness, this ended up being one of my favorite experiences abroad. Seeing the large parrot fish swimming in the dark, the stingray swooping out of the shadows, or the little octopus undulating in front of our flashlight were some of the coolest memories I’ve ever had. Admittedly the bloodworms were a little annoying, but it was kind of cool watching them slowly amass in the beam of the flashlight.”