Sunday’s Snorkeling

One of the items on my bucket list was to snorkel at Tobacco Bay in St. Georges.  Not exactly sure why as my last snorkeling experience was about 4 years ago and scared me so much  I haven’t done it since.

It turns out that four years is enough to lessen the panic so I got up fairly early and set off to see the fishes!

What I didn’t realise until I got there is how beautiful it is, and how much there is to snorkel around if you are a strong swimmer or if you have plenty of experience.  I am not a strong swimmer, nor do I have much experience so I stuck to taking pictures of the adventurous looking parts!

ADVENTUROUS LOOKING PART No.1:

ADVENTUROUS LOOKING PART #2:

After sufficient clambering around on rocks and thinking that I was going to slip and die, I ambled over to the beach area and readied myself for my snorkel experience.

Turns out I really do not like snorkeling!!!!!!!!

Off I went and saw the fish and took pictures of a few.  It was a little boring and the sea was a bit strong, but I was doing ok.  Then I  managed to swim into a school of these white fish things.  I have no idea what they are and am not getting very far on googling them.  Once again, emails and/or comments are welcome if you know!

WHITE FISH THINGS:

(Am shuddering again just thinking about it!)

I quickly reversed and swam off with the little buggers following me.  Following a quick freak out and stand up to breathe real air, I started off again.  Not much to be seen or to photograph apart from the white fish things really… until I saw a giant fish!  I was again, slightly freaking so I stood up again to regain my composure.  Thank goodness it was shallow! 

I got chatting with a random local chap who turned out to be Patrick The Snorkel Guide (not quite as odd as Sir Patrick, but fairly close!).  He had a look at the fish I had just encountered and informed me that it was a Grey (therefore female) Parrot Fish.  Impressive.  Turns out that the males are the pretty ones… who knew!?

He kindly invited me to join the snorkel tour that he was just taking out and I (stupidly) accepted.  He kept feeding the damn white fish things and so they didn’t bugger off.  Very frustrating.  I did however see the following things:

TEENY WEE NEMO’S (yes, I know they’re the wrong colour but that’s what they remind me of!)

LONG AND FAST UGLY FISH:

GRUMPY LOOKING CAMERA SHY FISH:

EVIL BARSTEWARD JELLY FISH:

And then, there was the strangest looking fish I have ever seen on TV or whist in the water.  Unfortunately it didn’t take a good picture.  I was going to call it “Fu Manchu Fish” until I googled and discovered that its name is…

SMOOTH TRUNKFISH/BOXFISH:

I was very impressed and when I looked around for someone to tell to take a look and tell me what I was seeing, everyone had gone.  I was beyond unhappy.  We were, by this time, the other side of the rocks so it was very strong currents (for me) and there were scary looking rocks everywhere.  I had mental visions of being thrown against them and bleeding to death/being eaten by a shark who was attracted by the smell of blood.  And yes, I am aware that I have a totally overactive imagination!

I had a little swim a bit further along the rocks to try to find everyone, but nothing.  So I thought I would swim a bit further and cut through the rocks back to the safe zone.  No such luck.  There were gaps but I couldn’t judge how far under water they were and if I would be able to get through or not (without being thrown into the rocks etc. etc. etc!).  Instead of trying I decided to take the sensible route and swim back the way I came.  Turns out I was swimming into the current.  By the time I had got back to shore I was exhausted and thankful that the main area is super shallow or I would not have made it back without help. I was very upset and very angry, but Patrick was nowhere to be seen to shout at.  He was still out with the one other couple who hadn’t given in and turned around.  I hung out a while waiting to give him a piece of my mind, but they were still out there somewhere.  Probably a good thing really!

I continued my tanning down at the Southampton Princess beach, and then back at the pool, but gave up fairly early.  After a 5 mile walk on Saturday and a 2hr swim that morning, I did the only sensible thing… I sat in the hot tub and chilled out with a good book.  I was going to have an early night too, but I got hooked on a marathon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Sad, but true!

Such a fantastic weekend.  I would not do it any differently (apart from maybe not joining the mental snorkel man) even though my muscles haven’t hurt this much in a very long time, if ever!!!

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