I love little outings on weekends, provided they are nature bound. One of my favorite destinations is a very small, uninhabited barrier island just off the coast here in the Mexican Gulf. We can reach it in about 30 minutes by boat. On the boat ride we usually spot a variety of birds, such as pelicans, cranes and fish hawks. Oftentimes a couple of dolphins will swim alongside the boat and we can stop to chat for a while.
For those in the family desiring a more adventurous experience there is always the option to jump on the raft instead of just riding the boat, provided you have strong arms. It’s one wild and bumpy ride on the ocean! I definitely prefer the soft seat on the boat…
Once on the island we usually watch birds and then just walk around on the white sand and pick shells. There is a fantastic collection of them both on the land and in the water. The water is absolutely crystal clear and we always snorkel for a couple of hours picking large sand dollars and other “treasures” from the sand. And admire the many spices of small and occasionally even bigger fish that frequent the shores.
Sometimes the dolphins come there to swim with us. It can be a bit scary when they come from behind and nudge you in the butt, because you may think it’s a shark looking for a meaty piece for lunch. But once we know they are there, it just a wonderful experience. There is something so peaceful about dolphins.
Sometimes there may even be visitors more rarely seen. Playful manatees may come to say hello! And if they take you by surprise while you are in the water, you’re likely to make it to the dry land quickly! These sea cows are huge, but friendly and just a little curious.
After spending a half day on this island I always feel serene and refreshed, and grateful to have this tiny and still a relatively wild sanctuary so close by.