Yes, the vision of horror movie piranhas did cross my mind as I slipped into the opaque green water, but I managed to swim unmolested by flesh eating fish. White clay colors the water that murky, milky grey-green so it was hard to see more than a couple inches below the surface, making it just a bit scarier than if I could have seen what was lurking beneath - well, on second thought, maybe not! Some things are best left to the imagination.
We were in Jamaica floating down the river on a bamboo raft with a band of other adventurous refugees from a cruise ship. The guides stuck their long poles into the bottom holding the rafts in place and asked if anyone wanted to go for a swim. Ours said it with that kind of smirking grin that says, "No one ever does it." Someone timidly asked if there were piranhas. He said, "No," so I jumped in. I guess he knew what he was smirking about - no one joined me. Even after it was clear I wasn't going to be eaten, no one else got in.
I enjoyed it. The water was cool on a stiflingly hot day and it was cleaner than the water at some Jungle Ride amusement parks I've been on. I particularly liked the vines hanging down drifting in the current - it gave it all a true Jungle Adventure look. I was refreshed and I got to cross a highly-unlikely item off my list.
I didn't escape the feeling of being eaten alive, however. When we got back to town, our entire tour group was dumped at a backstreet "shopping" mall and left to the human piranhas looking to strip not our bones but our pockets. That was more dangerous than the river swim!
How it Started
When I was 12, I found a blank ledger book. It was a treasure beyond treasure to me. I debated and debated about what to do with it - it had to be something special. Finally I decided to make a list of things I wanted to do and places I wanted to see in my life and then cross them off when I had accomplished them. At first they were simple things, but soon I was adding dramatic things, impossible things, but things still worth dreaming about. Oddly enough, putting them on the list somehow made them attainable. I have kept the book and updated the list my entire life. Here is the story behind some of the entries - successes and failures, embarrassing and proud moments, laughter and tears - the ridiculous to the sublime!