As odd as it sounds scuba diving is the one excursion that I was nervous about before hand. Having monkeys climb all over me, kayaking down a river (having never kayaked before), and zip lining high above the trees didn't even phase me. It was the thought of having a mask over my nose and having to breath out of my mouth that terrified me. I am a strong swimmer but I was never a fan of the goggles that go over both your eyes and your nose. In the past I have tried using a snorkel in my pool and I always ended up with water in my mouth. With these past memories to haunt me I stepped onto the boat that was waiting for us, in beautiful clear blue water, filled with anxiety. Right before we got into the water I ended up cutting my big toe. Terrible timing since I had to shove my foot into the flipper. Luckily, the pain didn't last long and I was good to go. Before we got in the water the guides filled our masks with dish soap so that they didn't fog up while we were swimming. When I went to get in the water I put the snorkel into my mouth which was immediately filled with the taste of dish soap; which was unpleasant to say the least. I got into the water and I felt like I was being pulled down because I was wearing flippers. My brain was freaking out. It wasn't understanding that I couldn't breath through my nose. Every time I put my head under the water I would hold my breath because I kept forgetting that I could breath through my mouth. On top of that, I didn't have my snorkel in my mouth the right way so I swallowed half of the ocean. Let me tell you it did not taste very good. Finally, I was starting to get the hang of it and I felt a little less like I was going to die. This feeling was short lived because I started to have trouble with my mask that kept slipping off my face. I tried to tighten it but I ended up tightening it too much so it was practically squishing my nose. On the bright side I did get to see the coral and some fish here and there.
I tried to take a few pictures with my underwater disposable camera and then I realized I was turning the knob the wrong way so I didn't actually take any pictures. I got back on the boat thinking that snorkeling really isn't my thing.
When I returned to the boat I was debating on whether or not I wanted to go in the second time. The guides told us that there would be more fish since we were out deeper so I decided to go on out and if I didn't like it I could just come right back to the boat. To avoid the mask debacle I asked the guide to put my mask on for me. We were supposed to put more dish soap in our masks but I didn't becuase I didn't feel like tasting any more soap. On top of that I already swallowed enough salt water that my lips were completely dried out. With my mask properly on I slipped into the water and put my snorkel in my mouth. When I put my head under water I was amazed there were fish everywhere and they were so close to me. There were so many times that I was just surrounded by fish. Now knowing how to actually use my camera I was able to take some pictures. I just hope they turn out okay since they were taken on a disposable camera. Snorkeling this time around was was amazing. I am glad I decided to go back in or else I really would have been missing out. The funny thing is that I was so hesitant to go in the second time but I ended up being the last one to get out of the water and back on the boat from our group. I was just having so much fun swimming around with the fish and I found it to be very relaxing.
I am getting the chance to experience so many new things adventure wise and culturally during my time here. I can't believe that next week at this time I'll be back in Buffalo. Leaving here is going to be much harder than I thought; is there any way I can just stay?