I guess anyone who has never been snorkeling has some preconceived notion of what it’s all about. I expected to see pretty fish – and my assumption is that that’s what most people expect to see. Snorkeling was an activity that I had no opposition to trying but didn’t get very excited about it.
What a pleasant surprise snorkelling turned out to be! There’s something about it that simply can’t be conveyed in pictures or even videos. Snorkeling is an activity that has to be experienced to be able to truly appreciate how magical it is.
My folks treated me to a snorkel trip on the Fair Winds’ boat named Hula Kai in Kona, HI. The trip consists of a boat ride up the coast to a protected marine reserve, snorkel gear, a briefing on how the snorkel gear works and a lesson in fitting it properly and a breakfast of fresh tropical fruit and pastries and a grilled lunch.
I was a bit concerned that I just wouldn’t be able to “get” snorkeling. From my viewpoint as an observer snorkeling has always had the appearance of something that is clunky at best and approaches difficult, but in this case, I resolved to give it a chance.
Be especially careful about eating and staying
From the moment I first put my face in the water and was able to become part of another world without ever leaving my own I was hooked. Effortlessly gliding through the water, traversing between two worlds by simply adjusting the angle of my neck was so completely satisfying that I really wish I hadn’t denied myself this incredibly satisfying experience for this long. Any other time that I’ve been in the ocean I’ve concentrated my efforts on getting somewhere other than where I was and had never before taken the time to simply exist.
Within a few minutes of first entering the water, I had to try my hand at diving with the snorkel gear on. Another pleasant surprise awaited me as this act was simply intuitive. From this point, it only got better. I became totally lost in a newly discovered world. Observations of fish quickly turned into interactions with a marine environment. Interaction turned into something which Marsha accurately described as communion. Communion morphed into something larger than myself; larger, even than the whole ocean. This larger-than-the-universe feeling was curiously akin to that same feeling you got when you
were a child – before you were jaded by a cold world when you still believed you could grow up to be an astronaut or a firefighter. Innocence in a world open to be discovered.