THE SUN CAN BE ESPECIALLY HAZARDOUS for bald-headed men. The Virgin Island sun even more so. For this reason Henry Spearman emerged from his cottage wearing a visored golf cap and proceeded in the direction of the beach. The early morning sun was already far more intense than the noonday sun of New England. A newcomer to the hotel had to be especially careful to avoid a painful burn and guests were cautioned to take only a little sun their first day out.
Spearman was determined to have a tan when he returned to Boston. But before settling into that serious business, he wanted to try the snorkeling at Turtle Bay, which he understood to be superb. Donning his snorkel and mask, which his children had given him for the vacation, he waded into the water at the reef end of the bay. After getting used to the cooler temperature, he craned his head into the water and noticed a variety of fish feeding near the coral reefs. A school of palometa, their gills frozen into the semblance of a perpetual smile, swam by his face mask. Deciding this was the place to dive, he submerged himself and entered another world.
Gliding almost effortlessly through the cool and buoyant water, Spearman first encountered three French