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Pelagic Garden: Eleuthera Roberto, our guide, a roundish five-foot two, seats us in his ancient craft, amid tanks and nets and ropes, a singly cylinder engine in the stern, off to view a reef 6 miles at sea. My wife, content to be a spectator in this small adventure, remains aboard while I equipped with mask and snorkel, slide into the water above the shallow reef. The scene is almost artificial, so perfectly placed are waving vegetation, barnacled rocks, tiny fish in gem-like colors and camouflage. Current scarcely moves, yet all are alive… Startled, I rise to ask Roberto if he knows that a dozen barracuda, long as my arm, occupy the space below, where I'm to swim, and not happy at my intrusion. Though assured they've never bit him, Roberto's in the boat, while my long legs dangle temptingly at the toothy barracuda. Scared, I paddle softly, hold my breath. This fragile composition thrives in tropic Sun, seldom seen, has few admirers, I cautiously observe, collect my frazzled wits, but take no souvenirs, thankful I can embark unscathed.
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