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Published: September 29th 2008
After a quick breakfast we met Matt, the brother of our guesthouse owner, for our snorkelling trip. He was going to take us to the best snorkelling sites on both islands for the whole day for only six pounds. We climbed into his fast boat and we were off, speeding through the clear waters to Shark Point. There were also two Americans and one Spanish lady joining us on this trip. We were to drop in the shallows around the rocky point before drifting with the current to deeper waters to be picked up. Just before Rachael climbed in Matt warned her to be very careful with any Sharks because they have been known to hurt people! Not the best thing to tell someone who was already unsure as to whether or not to enter the water. Anyway in she got and we swam into the shallows together. It was not long before we saw our first shark, probably only a baby blacktip but still atleast 4ft long. From about 10ft away we were taking photographs and videotaping and we could see a fair amount of detail. Then came many more, circling the shallows looking for food. Their movement was very eerie, exactly like you imagine a true predator should move. These smaller sharks appeared more afraid of us than we were of them, although at one point Rachael was convinced she was getting out!
We then drifted deeper through some stunning corals into bigger shark territory and we did indeed see bigger! This time the sharks were much more interested in us, swimming beneath us at a depth close to 20ft. Even when I duckdived down for a closer look they were not afraid of coming to within 5ft of me, giving me a close inspection. It was now that the sheer size of these sharks was apparent. In length they easily topped 2m and were built like a proper predator, nothing more and nothing less. Feeling silly for actually being down there with them I returned to the surface and we both got out, absolutely buzzing! On the boat Matt told us that he could see my shadow next to the sharks and it was easily twice as big as me! Wow!
Next up was turtle bay and we were becoming very excited. Matt manuevered the boat around the bay dropping us right on top of the turtles when we saw them. They looked so large, even from the boat but were much larger when we were in the water with them. They were longer than 6ft and so graceful with their movements. We managed to duckdive down and sit next to them on the sand, perhaps 1ft awat and watch them eating sea grass with a mouth that could swallow my knee. Every so often they would surface for air revealing all their detail on their heads and shells. I also managed to get some photos of the turtles and some video but unfortunately my camera began to play up! After perhaps 45mins in the water we got out, buzzing again and were off to the fish garden!
The fish garden was another great spot! Here, what at first appeared nothing more than an outcrop of rocks was soon transformed into an underwater haven once a few cream crackers were thrown into the water. Swarms and swarms of fish, hundreds, were all around us. We each held a cream cracker and within seconds it was gone after hundreds of little nibbles! These were the top three sites of the day! We also viewed some amazing coral around the base of an offshore lighthouse and also snorkelled to a romantic beach where Rachael saw two stingray!
Sharks, Turtles, Stingrays. What an amazing day!
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