Snorkeling

Took a snorkeling day trip to the nearby islands. There was colorful coral and fish, shallow water, only 20 people on the boat, ample lunch as advertised. Sea was calm with enough wind to take the edge off the heat.

Found I was dreadfully out of shape for swimming, as expected. Just meant I got tired easy. There was so safety concern because of the calm water and almost non-existent current.

Visibility was OK. I actually like something about less than crystal clear water. While swimming from the boat toward the reef all I could see below was fuzzy murk. Then the first dark shapes of the bottom coalesce out of the fuzz and disappear just as quickly. Love the moment when the bottom depth meets visibility distance and the underwater world takes shape.

There was a lot of horse-play after the last dive among those who had energy to burn. People got pushed in, retaliation followed and general child like play ensued. Our boat was rafted with another snorkel tour boat. They settled down to the afternoon snack of fresh fruit and we salivated. I was standing next to a couple of young Swedish men who had been at the center of the play. Saw them eyeing the food so I mentioned ‘You know, Pirates do raid other boats.’ They thought about it for a few seconds before declining.

There were expected risks that one would never see in a country with liability laws. The deck near the boarding ladder had no anti-skid features. Saw 2 people go down hard.

The tour boats were tied to a common mooring and rafted together about 60′ outside the floating line that marked the edge of the snorkeling area and thus the boat exclusion zone. Some people took small speed boats to this dive spot. Their captains sped through the area between the tour boats and the snorkeling area, the same stretch we were swimming through on the surface.

Finally, it was a good day for jellyfishing. Bad day to have exposed skin among live jelly fish. Four people got softball sized welts. I came face to face with a couple of the little transparent buggers but avoided contact. Vinegar relieves the pain of most jellyfish stings but our tour company did not have any on hand. On any of their boats.

We got back an hour late. No reason was given but it was easy to figure out. One company runs many boats. The tour includes pick up and drop off at one’s hotel. Obviously they have to stagger the arrivals and departures to match the number of available mini vans they have.

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