When my children knew that I was going to live in Florida they offered me equipment for snorkeling. I had never done so and I was thrilled that I could be involved in this activity given the Keys’ reputation for its corals.
Then on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I, very feverish, tried the experiment. I walk in the water with curiosity and enthusiasm. Beautiful benches of blue fish, tiny yellows, tiny that follow me. I continue, the adventure is beautiful. The snorkel is a fascinating activity where you forget the outside world and you are guided by the beautiful fish The sun rays filter through the water letting us glimpse the tall grasses that attract multicolored fish. Suddenly there is an astonishing effervescence. A fish of about six feet, rather slender but massive, advances. The teeth are prominent. It weighs about 80 pounds (this is the template of one of my old aunts). I am not a fisherman but in the eye it does not look like a trout. He’s lonely and let’s say he has a dirty mouth. Suddenly I have a doubt. I did not think I could beat that fast. The equipment of false siren of the seas has its utility! Then I realized that the beach was much further away than I had anticipated. I do not have hyper ventilated but let’s say I found it hard to catch my breath. The beating heart I came out of the water quite dazed. I probably had a face to face with a barracuda. The fish you do not dream of seeing during his first snorkeling experience, finally not me.
And if the Barracuda were not so dangerous even if they have canines that can cut their victims to pieces? They have a pointy nose and apparent teeth and are cold-blooded predators like all fish. They are not always lonely and can stand in benches with a few thousand buddies. They are not concerned with their offspring, which reaches adulthood at two years. It is however impossible to know the sex of these fish that live about 14 years. They are good prey for fishing enthusiasts but are not edible. For this species equipped with a spine, it is easy for them to find prey in the corals thanks to an elongated silhouette which gives them a great flexibility. The look of predators sticks to their scales for 50 million years.
Now I know that barracuda only very seldom attacks humans unless provoked and this fact has been confirmed by some Crandon Park specialists who have never heard of an attack.
A little advice however: the jewelry is to proscribe since they attract the barracudas that are curious … Anyway this coquetry is useless given the little sex appeal that give us the mask, snorkel and palms!