I like being in situations where I’m pushing my limits. Being outside of my comfort zone makes me more aware of my surroundings. It’s a natural high that keeps me wanting more. That’s how I felt while cave snorkeling with Flow Bonaire. Each turn, corner, or new cave put me in an unfamiliar environment where my heart was pounding faster and I breathed in adventure.
With my guide, Rudy, I explored two caves in Bonaire. The first one required minimal maneuvering and no snorkeling but it gave me an excellent understanding of what can be found inside. I was greeted by impressive stalactites and stalagmites and glass-like pools of clear water.
It wasn’t until the second cave when my heart beat quickened and the drug-like feeling of adrenaline started to kick in. We climbed down a narrow passageway and entered the darkness.
Rudy got in first. He was calm and in a familiar environment but it was like going into a scary movie scene for me. I had no idea what to expect in the water or above.
I put on my mask and snorkel and dipped my face below the waterline. It was alive with shapes and unfamiliar structures, some like popcorn and others like bacon, but no fish or marine life. I was grateful. As we pushed further into the cave we came to a deep, jagged section and Rudy said we could free dive under to continue deeper into the cave system.
It was nerve-racking at first. I worried that I wouldn’t have the ability to hold my breath long enough to make it to the other side but my curiosity was too strong to pass. Rudy made a huge difference as well. He could go under and back without coming up for air. It didn’t bother him to be under water for over a minute. I knew that if I struggled, he’d come and get me.
My anxiousness made the experience even better. Arriving on the other side gave me a feeling of accomplishment and the beauty was heightened by my increased heart rate.
On the other side, we turned off our lights and listened. There was an intense silence and a deep darkness that I didn’t imagine possible. No shadows. No light. No difference between eyes closed or wide open. Being trapped in there would be an inconceivable Hell but knowing the way out was beautiful.
I wonder how I got this way? Most people have an innate understanding of their fears and they walk away from them. Does it take moments away from my life because my heart rate is in a constant state of flex or does it give me more time because I embrace it? Regardless of the answer, I’ll take the fear and the rush any day of the week.