Passions are funny things. You think you know yourself and then one day, you just get swept away. It all started so innocently. One day while vacationing on St John’s, I put a mask on my face for the first time, plopped myself on a blow up raft and stuck my face in the ocean.
Every day after that for the remainder of the trip, my dutiful partner pulled my raft around with him as he snorkeled. Never having been mistaken for the adventurous type, I was quite convinced that I could not possibly get a sufficient amount of air to sustain life through that little plastic tube . No, no, you would never catch me depending on a snorkel.
The Great Barrier Reef
The first time I visited the Great Barrier Reef, I missed the entire experience. We were on a tour which included a boat trip out to the reef where we were all expected to jump overboard into who knows what depth, (20,000 leagues maybe?), to snorkel. Not me! I took a miss.
Can you imagine traveling that far – all the way from Pennsylvania – and not even seeing the reef? It’s a Natural Wonder, for god’s sake!
Some years later, I visited the Reef again and this time screwed up my courage and took a helicopter to a platform in the middle of the ocean. (There must have been a Valium involved). There, we donned full wetsuits and slipped into the ocean. I think the fact that those enterprising Aussies had strung up a rope on floats that I could hang onto made me think I would be safe…..it’s just like the pool.
Ten seconds in the water and I no longer cared. I was in the middle of a Disney film. The incredible colors! The beautiful fish of every shape and size. I found Nemo !
And that was it. I was hooked.
My thoughts are always straying to the wonders of the deep and where I will go next to see them. I returned to Australia a few years later to spend a week on the reef and take it all in at Heron Island Resort.
I’ve been to Fiji twice and thought I’d never be able to leave the water at Dive Kadavu Resort. The accommodations there are somewhat basic but the undersea life is incredible in its variety and beauty.
My other stay in Fiji was at Namale Resort which offers wonderful snorkeling and very luxurious accommodations at, of course, a price. It’s an all inclusive resort so not only are the meals and all drinks included – Champagne anyone? – but the snorkel boat and dive master are also available at your pleasure.
Though I’ve just returned from Fiji, I’ve already planned my next snorkel trip to Bonaire. Look for me under the sea!
If you would like a guide to take you on a snorkeling adventure I know just the one for you. A company called Sea for Yourself specializes in educational snorkeling programs in sites that are ideal for snorkeling, not diving. They charter boats exclusively for their tour groups and in addition to the undersea life, they believe that participants should be exposed to the natural and cultural history of the destinations they visit. Meeting the locals on their own turf has provided me with some of the most memorable moments in these exotic locales. I’ve traveled with them to Fiji, Palau and Yap thus far and have enjoyed every moment.
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