Wes had snorkeled before and I hadn't. He rented his gear right away; I didn't. Why was I so darn freaked out about going underwater snorkeling? Finally, I had had enough of his telling me of all the amazing, colorful fish and sealife he was spotting underwater, and I gave in...the tidepools were fine that I
could see (pictured right), but I needed to
be brave and go underwater now or forever regret it! And it turns out that snorkeling was one of the best things about our whole trip!
At the Snorkle Bob's shop, we were given this reference guide, and actually saw many of these fish underwater. Wes even saw an octopus and a couple of sea turtles! My favorites: the spunky little bitty Yellow Tangs, the geometrically asymmetrical Threadfin Butterfly Fish, the exotic Moorfish Idol, and the long skinny Needlefish.
The beauty and the meaning of our time under the ocean surface hit home yesterday when Wes
came home after teaching his class Change Management (studying organizations within the world of business, and especially those undergoing change and how to deal with/prepare for it) and told how he used something we saw undersea as an explanatory illustration. Called the Complex Addaptive System,
it relates to how reactive patterns are formed that don't appear to be directed by the boss or anyone else - they are not controlled from the "top" down; they just happen! Fish aren't told how to organize into a school: they just do this emergent pattern on their own, based upon a simple rule of relating to each other with the right distance apart and facing the right direction. What we saw was this: a group of at least 15 goatfish were swimming closely together, stacked vertically in a line. Never saw anything like it! There's no "boss" that we know of telling them to do so, but we saw this same pattern in another spot we where we snorkeled with the same kind of fish, but certainly not the same school of fish! Pretty swimmingly awesome is how I'd describe life under the sea!