I think I never understood snorkelling. I thought it was slightly elevated swimming. I thought if you wanted to get under the sea you needed to scuba dive which involves training and the popping of blood vessels so I just thought it was something not for me. Not anymore.
Today I went snorkelling in the Red Sea. The photo above is exactly like it looks under there. It's incredible! We went out to a coral reef about an hour and half from El Gouna. You can see all the way to the bottom so you feel as if you're flying over this wonderful hidden world. The coral is in all sorts of colours: lilac and yellow and bright green and royal blue. And the fish will not be overshadowed. I felt like I was swimming in an aquarium. Fish swam around me. I flew above a sea turtle. I spotted a large black sea urchin hidden in its undersea cave.
At first the captian of the boat would take us around the area, but then he'd leave us to look for ourselves. I loved following a fish, watching what it did, how other fish interacted with it. It's like a fish safari. I never wanted to get out. We stopped at two different reefs and in both I was always the last out of the water. If I had my way I'd still be there now.
We saw dolphins on the way out though they didn't swim with us. The captian of the ship said that on a recent trip a large group of dolphins stayed and swam with the tourists. I learned in Namibia that dolphins are impossible to photograph, at least for me. By the time I click they have already gone back under. Let's play a game- find the dolphin in the photo below.
This snorkelling trip has opened a whole world to me. I love being in water, I love swimming but this is something else. After I got out of the water, I started asking people with me which other places they have gone snorkelling. I now have a list of great snorkelling places I intend to visit before I die- Aruba, Thailand, Mexico...and I'm going to start by going back to Mozambique. I really cannot believe that I've lived 46 years without finding out that such a wonderful thing exists. My head is spinning with the new world I've discovered.
There are plenty of things I am thankful for about this writers' residency, most of which I never expected, but being introduced to snorkeling might end up being one of the most important.