I knew today was coming, and I wasn't exactly sure how I felt about it. Snorkeling. Now, I'm not exactly a dive-head-first into the water kind of gal; actually, I have a tiny bit of a water phobia. I'm just not too fond of floating while not being able to see what's around me. I've never been to a beach that's had completely clear water, only the murky green and salty, so needless to say I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Nevertheless, I was still pretty excited. I was determined to not let my fear overcome me and ruin an awesome opportunity.
Before I knew it, we got our snorkeling gear and were out on the boat. It took us about half an hour to reach our first destination, the shark and sting ray alley. Now, I don't know about everyone else, but I had no idea that we were going to be out as far as we were. In my head, the chances of me getting into the water was getting slimmer and slimmer as I saw the stretch of land we had come from get smaller and smaller. As soon as we anchored, our tour guides were throwing in bits of fish to get the attention of any life that was in the water below us. Soon, we not only had more young tuna fish around us than I could count, but also 4 nurse sharks. They were big, right next to our boat, and incredibly beautiful. As I'm sitting there, leaning against the edge and fully engulfed in the sharks, I see people getting their gear ready to head into the water.
Whoa, whoa. Wait, you want me to get in the water...now? With the sharks? About that...
But before I could completely talk myself out of it, I got up, put on my flippers and mask and poised myself on the edge of the boat ready to jump in. Was I really going to do this? Come on Ashton, there's no way you're gonna let this opportunity pass you by....of course, I could just stay on the boat and watch everyone....having fun without me. Well, here I go! And I jumped.
As soon as I hit the water, I was seized by panic. I immediately found Mike's arm (my fiance) and clung for life. I shot him a look that said DON'T YOU DARE LET GO OF ME and I'm pretty sure he got the message because before I could start having a complete meltdown, he made me look at him and said “Ashton, it's ok! Just look into the water!”
Nope. Not gonna happen! I shook my head vigorously and I knew I was cutting the circulation off in his hand. But some sort of sanity broke through, and I knew what he was saying was right. So, in my moment of clarity, I quickly dipped my head into the water. And boy, was I in for a surprise.
It was incredible! Imagine being in the biggest aquarium you've ever seen, and then imagine being on the other side of the glass. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, how clear the water was. It actually wasn't as deep as I imagined, only about 2 meters. The fish, the stingrays, the sharks! I was completely overwhelmed with the beauty of it all.
My head came back up out of the water, and I know I had the biggest grin on my face. It took me a little while to loosen my grip, but soon I was off on my own. There was the occasional shriek as a ray or fish came close to me, but I realized that I was laughing at the same time.
I was having a great time! I can totally do this! Bring it on ocean! I am so....whoa.....whoooaaa.
And then I got sea sick.
Part II coming soon!