Monday, July 12, 2010

The Fat Lady and Sea Urchin Gonads: A Snorkeling Adventure

This is the cove on the southern coast of Anti-Paros where we first went snorkeling. The water was amazing and so clear. A few people who were adventorous went cliff jumping off the other side of the arch.
The cliffs of Anti-Paros, you can see a cove on the side.

Here is John on the boat. Look at how clear the waters are!

The guys being men and pulling the boat to shore before we embarked.

My time in Greece has been full of self-reflection and broadening my horizons. I have decided to embrace new experiences even if it is outside my comfort zone. This includes eating sea urchin gonads. I have marked that off my Eurotrip list, but have concluded they are a bit too salty and slimy for my taste. I don’t think I will ever be trying those again. Trying sea urchin was just one of many of the highlights of last Wednesday.

Our class went on a boating trip around Paros and Anti-Paros. Anti-Paros is known for being the summer home spot for Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks and Madonna. This was a remarkable experience. I am a fan of being on a boat in the first place and getting to explore the coast by snorkeling was an added bonus. Our tour guide was Peter Nicolaides of the Aegean Diving College, who dove with Jacques-Yves Cousteau

We boarded the double decker boat around 10 am and set sail until later that evening. I rode on the bottom deck for part of the ride, but enjoyed the view of the upper deck for the most part. It was fun when the boat hit the rough waves and salty water splashed in our faces. Our first stop of the boat trip was Saliagos where we swam to shore. This is an important Neolithic site and the place where the fat lady statue was found. On this island, we saw an abundance of obsidian stone and a dead logger head sea turtle.

We kept on sailing along the east coast of Anti-Paros to this cove on the southern volcanic coast of Anti-Paros. We were able to swim through the arch of the cove to the other side. A few of the bolder students in our class jumped off of the top of the arch into the water. Our third site we snorkeled at was an ancient well. It was remarkable to see and touch antiquity. Other discoveries along the way included a sea slug and a conch shell. Following all of our swimming and exploration, we were treated to a lunch on Anti-Paros. A second smaller boat took us from our double decker boat to the dock right near the restaurant. On the way into the restaurant, we were distracted by a group of six puppies. After playing with them for a bit, we were treated to an amazing array of seafood including sardines, octopus, small fish, tsaziki, bread, fried potatoes and other items. I along with a couple others ignored the thirty-minute grace period after eating and decided to forgo the ride back to our boat. Instead we jumped right off the dock and swam back to our boat. This boat ride was a memory of a lifetime. I will always remember looking at the cliff formations, snorkeling and gorgeous scenery of the islands. But hopefully, I won’t remember eating the sea-urchin so much. Yuck!

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