I want to share a recent and magical snorkeling experience. Even though I have been on the islands for 15 months now, I have only snorkeled a dozen times, if that. My friend recently took me to a new beach where the reef is amazing, and there are turtles everywhere. I didn’t get very far that day, but I went again alone and swam a long distance. My new fins made it so easy!
Some of the highlights of my swim:
*right away, I was above a large turtle, who seemed to notice and disregard me. I tried diving down toward it, but I am still working on diving down and decompressing. I followed it for awhile, then headed on my merry way
*I tried diving down several times, some times inadvertently as I directed myself down toward fish. One time, I was able to decompress a bit, and I was amazed at how easy it was that time to hold my breath. I was so enthralled by all of the life around me, the sound of the whales singing, and the serenity of it all, that I just didn’t think about breathing.
* I swam quite a way out, noticing the vast field of coral, sand, some debris from boats I assume. Suddenly, I noticed small, luminescent “spots” all
around me. Talk about being brought out of your reverie and into the immediate. They looked like little jellyfish or something. My first thought was panic, but then realized I was surrounded and felt just fine. They reminded me of what I found one night on the beach, except that they looked like little pairs of eyes, surrounded by a small network of fibers, gently coalesced into an orb. I stopped and so did time. The sun’s rays were shining down and through the water, highlighting my white hands and lighting up the purple glitter on my nails. And the world around me was surrounded by these minute creatures (I can’t seem to find a picture online that matches, although you can buy a plush doll), seemingly looking at me and glowing pulsingly, as if smiling. Maybe it was “sea sparkle“?
* I continued swimming, but then worked my way back toward the rock, where I figured there would be more coral, and possibly a cave my friend mentioned. The cliff dropped off right into the ocean at this point, so I was quite close at times to the coral, which came up to the surface in areas. A few turtles drifted by below me, and then I found myself surrounded by multiple schools of fish. Below me was a school of narrow, yellow fish, several inches long. They were lined up side by side, facing each other, almost as if they were in a class. Maybe fish do yoga too! Maybe it was fish tantra. Then, above and to my left, a disjointed conglomeration of quite large, dark fish swam by, seemingly unaware of my existence. They were huge! I mean, for the novice, who doesn’t go into the deep sea to dive, they were impressive. One would have fed 3-4 people heartily, I would guess. I wish I knew the fish here. Actually, here is a beautiful site for Hawaiian nature. Earlier in my swim I saw some large puffer fish as well, although they were not disturbed. I was fine with that.
I headed back, brought my head up above this magical world, and kept that serenity and awe with me the rest of the day.