Wednesday, February 09, 2011

My first snorkeling trip

Anyone who knows me, knows I cannot swim.  Any time I get into water that is up to or over my chest, I start to panic.  I'm best if I can touch the bottom, but even then I am likely to start panicking if something unexpected happens in the water.

So of course, knowing this, I thought it would be a good idea to go snorkeling.

I had a blow up life vest with me that The Guy ordered off the internet.  I had his old snorkeling gear and the promise that it would all be okay.  Foolishly, I believed this.

The wake of the catamaran.
Picture by The Guy.
The Guy, his sister and I rented a mini catamaran boat ride to about 1mile out from our beach.  It was quite deep and, as our guide said: "There have been hardly any reports of shark."

The Guy and I ready to snorkel.
Picture by SiL
  I started the trip a little nervous, but trekked on ahead regardless.  I put on my gear as instructed and jumped into the water.

And then I died.

No wait.  Instead, I started to hyperventilate.

Now, The Guy and his sister had instructed me that all I had to do was breathe slowly and deeply through the snorkel thingy and I would be fine.  They did not however take into account that I would hyperventilate the entire time.  This did not work as well.

I spent a few minutes preparing myself to stick my head in the water.  I slowed my breath enough to brave an attempt to actually snorkel.  Gingerly, I put my head in the water, let go of the catamaran (oh yes, did I mention the death grip?) and kick away.

This is what I saw.

Picture by The Guy
It was glorious and beautiful and amazing.  And UTTERLY EFFING TERRIFYING.

After a few short minutes of being amazed, I hyperventilated enough that water had leaked into my mask and I started to sputter.   Popped to the surface, I pealed off my mask and dumped the water out.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

I took a few minutes to "calm" myself (I use that term loosely) and then would go back into the awe inspiring world until the panic took over again.  It was a cycle: PANIC, Oooooh pretty!, PANIC, Ooooh pretty!, PANIC!!!!!!!!!

Finally, I realized I was wearing myself out.  My heart was beating out of my chest, I couldn't catch my breath and I was losing my mojo.  I "swam" my way back to the boat and dragged my sorry ass back on.  It took my another 10 minutes to calm my heart, but I was glad I went.

And I will never go again.  Well, maybe not ever...


  1. I can't swim either. In Jamaica I opted for the glass bottom boat, which was still terrifying because it was old, and the guides were high! I think it is awesome you did it!

  2. Good for you to try it. Brave girl. I am proud.


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