Legend has it that if you bathe in the waters of Tobago’s Nylon Pool you’ll emerge looking 10 years younger. I’m skeptical about the fountain-of-youth claims but I’ve come to see for myself, as have scores of other visitors aboard Sugar Lips, Miss Ayana and First Tri, tour boats that have also converged in the waist-deep water at this coral sandbank off the southwest coast.
Soca is pumping from one of the boat’s sound systems and Machel Montano encourages me to “get on bad” as I plunge into the cool turquoise water, a welcome refresher on this scorching day. All around me people are frolicking in the blue, children and adults shrieking alike as they splash each other, making water droplets arc and shimmer in the air like crystalline rainbows. The scene – shallow water encircled by a flotilla of boats – reminds me of the Cayman Islands’ Stingray City, only minus the stingrays. (When Princess Margaret visited in 1962 the transparent water apparently reminded her of her sheer nylons, which is how the pool got its name.)
Cooled by the sea, warmed by the sun, and enchanted by the palm-fringed coast in the distance, this moment feels perfect. I’m not thinking about deadlines or the chores that await when I get home. Instead I’m completely relaxed, so grateful for the opportunity to be right here, right now. I don’t know if I look any younger. But I certainly feel it.