Today was the first chance to try out the new one-piece snorkelling gear. An early start onto the Big Cat fast boat across to the island. Lots of Chinese. It’s noticeable how many more Chinese there are generally here compared to 15 years ago – many many bilingual signs and announcements and a lot of Chinese staff in the tour companies.
We went straight onto the lifeguarded beach to give Izzy the chance to acclimatise to being in the water. Full body stinger suits + mask + fins = quite a look! The Tribord masks have a special anti-fogging motuhpiece and the design means you can breathe through your nose or mouth, so they were great for the kids (and us!).
The sea looked beautiful and the water was warm, but visibility was actually not that great. Off the beach, there isn’t much coral to speak of, with the ‘garden’ being further offshore. There is a little sea grass, which was where we spotted one of the native green turtles, swimming through to have a munch on the grass. He was obviously used to having people around him as the snorkelers didn’t phase him at all. It gave Ollie the chance to practise his GoPro skills (and he got a couple of decent videos to be fair).
There were loads of fish around off the beach. The most fun was the blue spotted lagoon ray, which shimmered across the sea floor trying to hide under the sand. They’re fairly common, but his bright blue spots looked great (although hard to photograph!).
Ollie was off like a fish, but Izzy was much more timid, especially out of her depth – despite a float vest and Jo and I being around her. Hopefully she’ll be more comfortable as we move down the coast…
We finished the day off on the glass bottom boat and the semi-submersible, sitting below the water line. There were some impressive fish further out, a big shoal of silver trevally with one black giant trevally. Lots of blue yellow-tailed fusiliers and a few black and white-striped sergeant major fish.
Five hours on the island wasn’t a huge amount of time, but long enough for a touch of sun burn on my ears and round the side of my mask!