Part 2: Snorkeling
In Bahamas Part 1, I introduced you to the fabulous and numerous islands that make up the Bahamas. Now I’d like to tell you about two unique learning experiences I had. This trip not only took us around beautiful beaches, it allowed us to be part of the island experience.
The Caribbean is covered with many coral reefs. Each one varies from the next in life forms. There are different types of coral that result in varying types of plants and fish. We had many opportunities to view these reefs through snorkelling. Seems I was the only one on board that had never been snorkeling. Frankly, the thought of it made me nauseous. Two of the crew members, it turned out, were experts. One, Scott, was a dive master and Jen, was a dive instructor. These two were great in the water. They understood my nervousness and took the time to explain how snorkeling worked. I’m sure it seems simple enough to those that have done it. However, for myself, I just didn’t have a clue.
So first things first. You have to have a mask that fits properly. This is crucial so you can see properly without having water seep under the seal. Next, your flippers. A good fit will feel like an extension of your legs under water. You’ll be able to move without displacing a ton of water. It’s important to remember to flex your knees a little as you are kicking for a smoother swim. Finally, breathing! Take slow deep breathes in an even rhythm through your mouth. Apparently this is the hardest part to learn to control. For me, it was actually getting in the water. So we compromised and out came the life jacket. Most people do not use a life jacket when snorkeling because it can be restrictive. I found that it gave me confidence. Right before getting in the water, you spit on the mask and rub it over the lenses. Rinse well in the ocean and put on. This keeps the mask from fogging. Now into the ocean.
Scott stayed in the boat and Jen jumped in with me and my floatie. Oh yeah, I took a floatie as well. Surprisingly, not a single person laughed. At first I had no idea how to move around, breathe, watch fish and keep one eye on Jen. Soon, however, I began to relax. I wasn’t sinking and the view underwater was amazing. I had never seen most of the fish or plants that were down there. Everything was moving and had a purpose.
The experience was, for me, unbelievable! Should I have another opportunity to snorkle, I won’t hesitate. I encourage everyone to take the plunge.