Monday, June 6, 2011


The best part of the Philippines trip for me was the snorkeling.  On the second day, we all went out in boat for an island hopping tour. There is a common kind of tour boat you see in that region. It is not a catamaran exactly, but it has large supports on each side of the hull.  My guess is that they are designed to keep the boat as close to the surface as possible - because the waters from time to time get very shallow as the coral reefs rise beneath.
You can see the coral just beneath the surface in this photo, taken from the side of the boat. 

I am from New Zealand.  Famous for its marine wildlife.  And I am a dyed in the wool rock-pooler.  But I'm from the SOUTH ISLAND of New Zealand, which is also famous for its frigid waters and proximity to Antarctica. And when you combine that with a personality that is distinctly averse to extreme physical exploits ... I've never snorkelled before. And I was DEAD KEEN.

I was so excited that I was gearing myself up to be all disappointed . Because, you know, maybe the sea will be all murky, and all I will see is a submerged coke can and a grimy sea slug.

This is funny: a bunch of people who have never worn them before, trying to put on flippers and then climb down a ladder into the water below - wearing them. Everybody was standing on each others 'toes' and tripping one another up. We looked like a boatload of demented naked penguins.

It was great.  I saw many many fish, and jellyfish and coral. Not one coke can. I am a complete convert/devotee.  Our next long weekend away in Vietnam is going to have to include swimming with the fishes.

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