Just down the beach from Coco Tulum Cabanas where we were staying I found Miguel, a really nice Chihuahuan who takes people out sailing on his 18 foot hobie cat.
We arrived at 10 a.m. at his boat, as he was coming down the beach with a small cooler and a big smile on his face. I thought how nice it is to love your job so much you can’t wipe the smile off your face.
I climbed on the mesh between the hulls and Miguel and my boyfriend pushed us out into the deeper surf, where the water was a little wavy but promised to make it a fun sail.
They both jumped aboard and we set off into the deep blue yonder…. Miguel navigated the boat to the south, in the direction of the Sian Kaan BioSphere.
The water was a beautiful shade of clear blueberry – I just love that color – it reminds me of the popsicles we had as kids. When I stare at it it makes my mouth water.
I looked deep beneath the color on the surface and saw all the colorful fish and countless types of coral along the reef. The second-longest reef in the world directly below me was teeming with marine life.
The water was so spectacularly clear, I could see 50 feet to the pure white sand bottom beside the reef. It was so clear and pristine I felt like I was sailing in someone’s aquarium.
As we settled to relax in the sun and warm breeze, Miguel told us that the Sian Kaan Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site that totals over 1.3 million acres.
He also told us that as well as having well over 350 animal and bird varieties that it has the nesting grounds for two endangered sea turtle species. How fortunate we found Miguel and his catamaran and could share such a special place, I thought to myself.
As I lent over the edge of the boat a huge dark shadow abruptly appeared and started racing up from the bottom behind us towards the surface.
My heart stopped for a split second just as the most beautiful fish I have ever seen broke the surface and sailed by us in glorious gleaming technicolor. It was a 6 foot sailfish – with its full fin out and its nose pointing straight out in front.
He disappeared just as fast as he had appeared and I thought that was the end of the show. But under the water I could see he turned and started back towards the boat.
As he swam our way the surface of the water suddenly exploded with shiny dagger fish flying towards us at the same time.
There must have been 50 of them, all about 10 inches long and gleaming wet silver. All except one landed back in the water but the one started flopping around on the mesh right at my feet. I grabbed my camera and got a photo of it just before Miguel threw it back in the sea. He told me it was called a ‘ballyhoo’.
It was all over as fast as it had started but as we continued sailing I knew I had experienced something rare and quite spectacular… even though I didn’t get a photo of the sailfish, I got a photo of the little ‘ballyhoo’ that landed in the boat.
And, that would be enough for me to show my friends and tell them about the whole day!