Playa Forti Beach in Westpunt
Based on the advice of our Air B&B host, Gabby and I drove northwest up to “Westpunt,” a village known for its beautiful, cliffside beaches, about 45 minutes up from the capital Willemstad, at the tip of the island. As soon as we arrived, a hot & spicy color combo greeted us on the red and yellow stairwell which, at its bottom, met an immaculate landscape of crystal clear blue water against a serene, blue ombre sky. We later learned we were at “Playa Forti Beach”…
Exploration + Growth With Snorkeling and Cliff-Jumping
By the time we made it into the water, my entire being was relieved, finally having made it to the beach at least once this summer, embracing the idea that the cool, saltwater of the Caribbean sea could, and would, refresh my mind, body and soul. Gabby and I both surprised ourselves that day though, taking ourselves further than we maybe envisioned we would on what started out as a simple beach day. When we walked along the shore, we saw two snorkelers returning from the water and Gabby quietly said, “Aw, I wish we had gear,” then called out to the two guys “Were you able to see a lot with the goggles?,” smiling sweetly (I see you, girl lol). Long story short, they later loaned us their goggles and Gabby and I wasted no time to explore the underworld.
Okay, so I maybe wasted a tiny bit of time because for me, immersing myself in the sea with just a mask and a snorkel to explore the underworld is exactly how I surprised myself. Anyone who knows me, and my family will quickly tell you, I have never been a big fan of water, especially when I was a kid. I have never been a strong swimmer, despite everyone around me in my family swimming so well, but will take a dip and have a small swim every now and then. Like this trip, of course. But getting involved even deeper and looking up close at fish and sea life?! Now, that’s an entirely different story! I don’t like any creepy-crawly things, like bugs (gross!), and somewhere along those same lines slimy, unfamiliar things like sea animals classify in the same category. Like, seriously, have you ever watched those deep-sea diving TV shows where they show you what’s at the bottom of the ocean? Frightening. But with Gabby’s genuine encouragement and constant nudging I just kind of said ‘eff it’ and swam as much and as far as I could, looking eye to eye with different fish of interesting colors and sizes.
It was amazing how easily they let us into their world and I soon went from apprehensive to excited to amazed as we roamed about the sea. I knew ‘The Little Mermaid” was my favorite Disney Movie for a reason lol. But seriously, it was so cool how the fish saw us swimming right next to them, eyeing them, studying them, but still swam around us normally and allowed us to be apart of their environment anyway. If only every species could be as such.
But the big feat of the day goes out to Gabby who braved jumping off one of the cliffs along the beach! I was like, “Do your thing girl, I know you can do this” but she surprised me when she revealed that she was somewhat scared and had never done anything like that. Hmmmm, guess I thought everybody jumped off cliffs lol.