I followed Hannah as she swam over the sand and then up the gently sloping mountain of coral in front of us. I could feel the pressure subsiding—ninety feet, then seventy, sixty, forty—until we came to the top of the reef, at about thirty-five feet. There were green needlefish hovering here, a blue-tinged Caribbean spiny lobster jammed into a crevice, and waves of lettuce coral and gorgonian fans. A four-foot barracuda paid no attention to us, which is what you want from a barracuda. Decompressing in a motionless float, I shared the current with bright, tiny fairy basslets and a pair of gray angelfish that moved in devoted tandem. The reef was a vibrant collage of soft and hard coral thick with fish. Long barrel sponges gave shelter to a balloonfish, a school of mackerel whipped by, there was a black grouper, and an eagle ray fanned past on its way to the shallows.
Archives for July 2010
New Tactics for an Old Regime in Cuba
With last Wednesday’s announcement of plans to release 52 political prisoners who were arrested during a 2003 crackdown, Cuban President Raúl Castro took his first major step away from decades of hardline policy. Under the deal negotiated with Cardinal Jaime Ortega of the Roman Catholic Church, five of the prisoners were to be released “within [Continue Reading]