There were usually two or three green turtles, popping up from the turtlegrass beds to say hello. Better still, Longtails would flap past at eye-level, often in pairs with one slightly above and behind, almost riding the tail of the other. They have a buoyant flight and chuckling call. The water reflects turquoise off their bellies.
The sunken boat, serving as a dock, was a haven for fish – Sergeant Majors and other damsels, angels, squirrelfish, hogfish, parrots, tangs, a large green moray ---and more that I don’t recall.
Across the channel was the NASA downrange tracking station. The twin dishes were used to monitor the early minutes of shuttle launches. Sometimes they would start to move.
Things have changed. Some years ago the NASA station and its dishes went away. In 2003, a direct hit from Hurricane Fabian shifted and damaged the wreck – wrecked it further, rendering it unusable as a landing place.
What haven’t changed, and what a picture can’t show, are the sounds-- the slosh & hiss of the ocean, and laughter of the longtails—and the smell & feel of the air. You step off the plane and instantly remember it all, a full-body Proustian memory.
Back in the real world it’s cold, windy, and starting to snow. I don’t know if the stores even sell Amstel.