The body of the Princess Parrotfish tapers down to a fine angle at the tail and widens at the head, just like any other fish, but this royal species has an elegant lengthened look. Its dorsal fin slants upward and back, furthering the streamline. Its gills flutter open to let water in and close to trap it. As if fleeing from some unknown source, its movements become strategic, measured and scheduled; it slips away rapidly yet daintily and demurely.
When sinking under the shifting surface of the ocean, you become surrounded by microscopic animals and hundreds of pounds of pressure. Focusing away from your fear, the only thing you hear is your breath going in and out, in and out. As a scuba diver, this sound becomes your continuous concentration during the long minutes spent amongst the sea creatures and resting shipwrecks.
One humid, slightly breezy morning, I stepped out of my home only to be greeted by my family insisting on going for a dive. We assemble our equipment and begin our swift ocean voyage to the mooring line. We tie off and prepare ourselves for descent. A stride jump away, the ocean invites us—it’s voice calling. As we began our descent into the boundless unknown, the comforting sound of our breath lulled us into a hypnotic state where everything you saw and felt was lush, green and blue. The fishes, turtles and corals greeted us engagingly as we reached our destination depth.
The tropics are the greatest place to dive; their waters warm, abundant plant growth attracts various fishes, turtles, lobster, eels and sharks. One particular fish caught my attention; its bright pink scales reflecting light. It seemed as if the whole fish was glowing. It neared me myopically, and I caught a glimpse of this creation, this masterpiece, this symphony of colors—gold, sapphire, jade, pink, teal, indigo.