New Moon

Actually it was some time after the new moon before we got down to the beach again; but even at five in the evening, hours before the high tide, there was still plenty of water above the rocks around the point. We swam, instead of taking the boats out, thinking that this would count as the day’s exercise.

Still on the flood this late in the day, the sea hadn’t been warmed the way it was at Juncalito; and so as usual this time of year one is left wishing for a bit of neoprene — we were in shorts and shirts. The clip that means to hold my snorkel to my mask had broken during a year of careless storage, but I just slipped the tube under the strap and waded in.

Wildlife appeared immediately. Alex, swimming ahead, says that she saw a dozen rays during our half hour or so. I saw only probably the first one, who met me coming in the opposite direction, possibly flushed by her. Its body was the size of a dessert plate and I saw no markings, so I wondered if it could be a young electric ray. Most of the ones we see in deeper water are target-like.

We both also saw a moray eel, but otherwise the cast was much as usual: wrasses, Cortez damselfish, the gregarious pintanos, but in far greater numbers than usual. I got out to towel off and shiver a bit but Alex swam some more. In the summer, when the water and the air are both hot, I may not even bother to bring a towel, but it was welcome today, if only for making the feet ready for the sandals. We walked home and eventually cooked dinner. By eight o’clock it still wasn’t completely dark.

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