I was on this beautiful island in the Caribbean several years ago with my family for March break. We were staying on the mainland in the Dominican Republic, and one day my family decided they wanted to go on a boat tour to this little island in the ocean. So, the boat took us to this island. Wow, was my first reaction. It was the most stunning beach imaginable. The water was the most crystal clear water I had ever seen - and still is to this day. The sand was so white and powdery, and was so warm on my bare feet. The boat’s tour guide people were very nice and let us wander around the island for a while. There were big starfish the size of my face everywhere, and I got the chance to hold them, which was pretty cool.
We were all enjoying the sunny little island. It was so relaxing. Unfortunately, I don’t remember what this island was called so any time I retell this story, I called it Paradise Island. As we were leaving Paradise Island to go back to the main island, our boat ran into another boat. I’m not sure exactly what these boats were doing but they were fooling around and I remember the other boat hitting our boat really hard. Our boat wasn’t very big; it probably was holding about 20 people at the most. I was seasick so I was just closing my eyes, and my sister, who was the youngest on the boat, yelled out that there was water filling up one side of the boat. I opened my eyes and I saw the boat filling up with water, slowly but surely.
Everyone was panicking - the boat was sinking! All of a sudden a huge chunk of the boat just fell off where a couple was sitting. It was like a mini-Titanic. Thankfully, they did not go down with it. I was very young and I didn’t know how to swim very well. I was a very worried little kid, and I thought we would be eaten by sharks or drown. We were on a sinking boat with no life jackets in the middle of the ocean. My mom went through the whole procedure that when the boat sank I would have to hold on to her so we could swim back to land.
I was so scared; I really thought I was going to die that day. The boat was sinking very slowly - it had been stranded for one hour in the ocean. My mom and dad had made my sister and I take off all our belongings except our bathing suits, so it would be easier to pull us back to land. Then finally another boat came along, saw our boat sinking, and quickly came and rescued us. I was so thankful and happy when I got to land.
Any time I retell this story to people, they always wonder why I’m not scared of water or how I would even be able to swim in it after that happened. I love the water, and Paradise Island was the most beautiful tropical beach I have ever seen. I’m glad I got the experience to go that island, even though my boat sank on the way back.
Becca Tran is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program
Photo courtesy and copyright Becca Tran