Thirty minutes north from Villa del Faro is a place called Los Arbolitos, which translates to “the little trees,” and is part of Cabo Pulmo National Park. I will just state from the beginning that this area does not have any trees, or small trees for that matter, only a sturdy watchtower on top of a sandbank that from a distance could perhaps look like the outline of a tree, and some scrubby bushes. Los Arbolitos is a small, secluded bay with crisp white sand and smooth crystalline waters, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling. When we arrived in the late morning, only a handful of locals were at the beach and a spotting of brightly colored snorkel tubes trailed through the calm current.
I had snorkeled once before (that is, if my five minute drowning and choking charade with snorkeling gear in Puerto Rico two years ago counts as that), but without proper preparation and instruction to the proper usage of the gear (in all fairness, the water was very choppy that first time). Fortunately, this time there was someone to show me how to use the gear and accompany me in case I encountered another gurgley fit. However, even though I had someone to make ensure my safety that did not prevent me from looking like an amateur as I waddled backwards into the ocean with my grey flippers because I was confident it was easier to get in the ocean that way.
Once I dipped my head in the water and my goggles submerged underwater, my view amplified to the vastness of marine life. At first I only saw blue and rough corals, but as I swam closer to the reef my vision became alive with drifting and darting colors. Whether they were simply swaying lazily with the ocean current or avidly chomping at the corals, glossy fishes eyed us casually without stopping their routine. They did not dash away as we swam close to them, but if I’d get closer than an arm’s length away, their fins would suddenly flutter more rapidly and their movement more swift. Some of the fish we spotted include the Guineafowl Puffer Fish, Parrot Fish, Cornet Fish, Convict Tang, and Cortez Rainbow Wrasse. As a Finding Nemo and Finding Dory fan, although I did not find ‘Nemo’ or ‘Dory’, I did find one of their friends, ‘Gill’, a Moorish Idol. Maybe ‘Gill’ can tell me where to find them for my next snorkel outing.