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  • Day19

    David's Snorkeling Experience

    October 23, 2017 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Here's how my experience went.

    First off, let's just say that I was really nervous!! Not sure when the last time I went snorkeling but if I was to hazard a guess it would have been when we lived in California and had a pool. So . . . early 80's? Long time ago and I was a kid, so there you go.

    We got wetsuits for a couple of reasons. Reason one, they are also called stinger suits to protect you from the jellies. Reason two, they should help us not get burnt.

    Well, one for two isn't bad, but we will get to that later.

    Putting on the suit is a comedy unto itself. A real challenge and it cost me quite a bit to make sure that Brenda did NOT film me struggling to get into the suit.

    Anyway, I finally made it in the suit, and dangled my feet over the edge while I worked on my mask and fins.

    A little bit later and I dropped off the side of the boat.

    The mask is pretty good, but the nose area does seem to get some water into it every now and again. Plus I had a bit of a panic as I tried to figure out the correct breathing while my face was under water.

    An exercise in forced relaxation allows you to really start to enjoy the experience. Plus, the snorkel sticks up a fair amount, so I didn't have to worry about water getting in over the top.

    AND the wetsuit actually keeps you quite buoyant. So, there are times you can just drift along and enjoy the experience.

    What an experience it is!! The fish are bright and plentiful, and the coral while isn't quite as bright as I was expecting, looked pretty good too.

    Brenda and I were snorkel buddies, so we did manage to see a lot of the same things. However, there were some notable exceptions. I did manage to see a ray swimming below me along the coral bottom, and Brenda got to see a Turtle.

    The first reef depth was a bit more than the second. Which means the second was a bit more up close and personal.

    We spent a fair amount of time in the water at the first reef. Coming back to the boat a couple of times to fix up equipment (clear fog from the mask) or just take a bit of a break.

    The second reef we didn't spend a huge amount of time in the water, but it was still really nice.

    We got to go along the edge of the reef where it drops off to deep water. Wouldn't you know it, that's where I saw a shark. It was uncomfortably closer than I would have liked (which would have been like a speck in the distance so I could think it was some sort of harmless fish) and even though it's not a dangerous type (It was a white tipped reef shark) I did want to be best buddies with it either.

    After that encounter I stuck to the shallow areas. I signaled Brenda about the shark, but she didn't see it, so we don't have any pictures from the encounter.

    We were both pretty much done at the same time and made our way back to the boat. The second location had a lot more stronger currents and there were times that the water was quite cold, even with the wetsuits. Plus it was a touch more choppy out there. End results were near the boat I tried to swallow some saltwater by timing a mask drain at just the wrong time.

    Not a super pleasant way to end on, but once I got the water out, I felt much better.

    On the way back, the meds were starting to wear off a bit, so I could feel a touch of motion sickness, but it never got any worse, and I feel fine after the trip.

    The back of my legs though . . . they are quite toasty where the suit ended and bare skin began. Going to feel those for a while, but nice thing is, we're headed to a location that is a lot like Oregon, so won't have to worry about sunburns anymore :-)

    We did see some jellies, but managed to avoid them just fine, so no stinging.

    Overall an amazing incredible experience and I could certainly be talked into snorkeling again sometime. ~ David
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