11/11/15 - Day 47

Day 47

Carl Hubbard

Today I went snorkeling, an experience unlike any I've had. I started into the warm waters of Cane Bay with my flippers, snorkel and mask. I fumbled with my flippers, put on and tightened my mask and I was off swimming about in the shallows. After everyone was ready we headed off to the buoy where one of the reef restoration project sites were. The first 100 meters or so were no more than 4 feet deep and there were many black sea urchins we were warned about. Because of this we couldn't rest, and let our feet sink to tread water. At this point, I was very much still getting acclimated to my snorkel gear. My mask wasn't sealed entirely, my breathing device was positioned poorly, and at that point I wasn't so sure about snorkeling. I took a quick second on the life ring that Matt was towing and situated myself, and resumed swimming. At this point I was beyond the point of freaking out, my breathing had stabilized. I was ready to go. The sea floor had dropped off and it was now 10-15 feet. There was small fish all about the sea floor, it was incredible. Shortly, we were at the coral reef restoration site, able to see the branching corals growing from PVC piping. I watched others dive down, but didn't decide to dive down myself. After looking at the smaller coral beds we proceeded to the larger coral trees. We were instructed how to dive deep without hurting our ears. I then dove down, held my nose, and blew out the pressure built up in my ears. I was able to keep swimming down without my ears hurting. I got a good look at the corals that were growing and the fish around them. We hung around the reefs and dove about investigating the various fish and life on the bottom. We thoroughly investigated the reef trees and decided to head back towards shore. I dove down a few more times on the way back, and as I was swimming along I saw a sea turtle! I followed it around for a few minutes, investigating the pattern of it, and quickly realized I'd meandered far away from the group. I made my way back to the shallower water enjoying the small fish and various critters as I went. What a magical experience.