Our boat jetted across the surface of the sea, spraying cool saltwater across my face. It was Monday morning, and while most people were settling into their seats and desks at work, I was on an adventure. The sun slowly rose above the horizon, its rays hitting me with a gentle warmth.
"We'll be there in 10 minutes," our captain said. There were 12 of us on the boat. We were doing the SNUBA adventure as part of Stuart Cove's diving tour. SNUBA mixes the best of two worlds, the ease and approachability of snorkeling, and the advantage of scuba diving.
In no time we were at the reef and our guides were linking us up to the oxygen tanks. After a quick safety talk, we headed beneath the water, five to a tank. I closed my eyes and dove into 20 feet of water. Deeper and deeper I dove until I saw the reef. With a line to the oxygen tank, I could stay down for as long as I liked. I floated for a moment, savoring the feeling. Then I moved forward toward the reef and hundreds of fish who seemed curious about our presence.
The fish danced along the roof of the reef, watching us with fixed eyes. Parrotfish, Blue Tangs, Fairy Basslet, and Angelfish moved about with ease and calm.
Our guide led the way.
It truly was alien to us all. Three of the divers I was with were family, a father and his children. They brought an underwater camera and snapped a few pictures, posing effortlessly around the beauty of the reef.
We moved through the area, going as deep as we pleased.
Hartman Rolle, operations manager at Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas, said SNUBA was introduced in 2012 and has been very popular among guests.
"It's taken off pretty well because it's more family oriented," he said.
"The only prerequisite is you have to know how to swim. If you can snorkel, you can SNUBA."
Rolle said on average 30 to 50 people do the SNUBA tour each day.