The Virgin Islands are Magical

We could not resist sharing Steve Simonsen’s recent Facebook photo and posting. It is priceless:

mermaids in Virgin Gorda

It is amazing who you can encounter at The Baths in the British Virgin Islands

One of the subjects of last week’s water shoot in the BVI. Now here’s the back story:

We went to the Baths early in the day before anyone was there. Staying on a private 58′ Hatteras made that easy. When we began photographing the captain’s mate in a mermaid tail, I had an idea. I told the mermaid that when people would enter the rock labyrinth know as The Baths on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, that our mermaid should swim away quickly so that know one can see her. They are mythical creatures, after all. After more than a half an hour we heard our first voices of people coming into the cathedral. It was a young girl and her mother. The mermaid swam away but not out of sight and Janet and I hid where we could watch. As luck would have it the little girl entered the cathedral first. See stopped dead in her tracks when see saw the mermaid frolicking quietly in the back of the cave. She bounced up and down on her feet and called softly, but excitedly, to her mommy… “Mommy a mermaid!” The little girl was still and didn’t move, eyes locked on our mermaid. The mermaid began motioning her to come closer. The little girl inched into the shallow water of the cave closer to our playful, but shy, mermaid. Eventually the mom saw us hiding behind a rock and all three of us watched the little girl in total amazement get ever so closer to her discovery, still floating playfully and motioning the little girl to come closer. All this in complete silence, except for the gurgling sounds of waves entering the cave and the echoes. Eventually the little girl, we learned was from Brazil and she had a fascination for mermaids, got close enough to touch the mermaid to see if she was real. She recoiled after touching the wet, scaly skin and began to swim next to our mermaid. Everything about this encounter was precious, unbelievable and fantastically surprising for us and the little girl and her mother. For more than an hour and a half we were the only ones there to witness this mythical encounter except for the little girl from Brazil and her mommy. Upon exiting the cave the second people of the morning were about to enter when I told them what they had just missed. They looked at me like I was lying. I said “No really, there was a mermaid here just minutes ago” They looked at me like I was nuts. I said “Look I’ll show you” I produced my camera from my bag and showed them one image similar to this and said “Really I told you” all they could say, with eyes wide open was “Wow!”

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