Today was my first ever experience with snorkeling! I was really nervous to begin with because, even though I LOVE the water, sucking in salt water through a tube and feeling like I'm drowning is definitely not one of my favorite things and both of these could happen when snorkeling. By the way, isn't "snorkel" such a weird word? Who came up with that one?
Anyway, back to the experience...
I was really nervous when we got to our first location after a long and pretty fun boat ride. It didn't help when one of our guides starting chopping up little fishes and throwing them into the water, making some hungry brown sharks and some huge fish come into my sight. They were literally a foot away from me in the boat. I could have reached out my hand and touched them easily. In my head I was saying, "Are we really getting in that water?", "I don't think I can do this.", "Seriously, they expect me to swim with a shark?". But, after I realized that they really did expect me to jump into the water teaming with feeding sharks and that every one else was going in and many had done something like this before, I plucked up my courage, pulled on my fins, attached the suffocating goggles to my head and plunged on in.
It was rough at first, getting used to the snorkel (again, such a weird word), and making my fins work the way I wanted them to, but I finally got the hang of it. Then it was time to have fun!
The animals we saw were so amazing! We saw all kinds of fish, tons of coral reef and different vegetation, manta rays, eels, sharks, and even sea turtles! I eventually got comfortable enough with my snorkel to hold my breath and go deeper under water and was able to touch lots of sting rays and swim next to them. Seriously, how amazing is that? When do you ever get to swim with wild exotic sea life? Can you Belize it?
We ate at an awesome restaurant after swimming the morning away with all the animals. I got a shrimp quesadilla, which blew my mind, and then we walked around the town for a bit, then we were back in the boat for round two! This time we saw a sunken barge under water and then saw some more coral reef and Kelsey captured a picture of one of the sea turtles!
Ain't he such a cutie? After we all ooh-ed and ahh-ed after the turtle, it was time to head back to Caye Caulker and our hotel for showers, dinner, and class time. But, since one of our guides, Javier, was so awesome he let me pull up the anchor! Such a cool thing to get to do. I felt like a pirate! ^_^