I’m a terrible swimmer and deep waters always scare me! But you can’t go to the Maldives and not go snorkelling!
I took a trip to the amazing island ‘Vadoo’ in the Maldives, just a few minutes away from the main island. The ocean was breathtakingly beautiful and so inviting – I just couldn’t say ‘no!’. The water wasn’t deep at all but I still wore a life jacket along with my flippers and snorkel. As embarrassing as it was - I didn’t really care because I just wanted to enjoy the experience and not have to worry about drowning!
I had never been snorkelling so I wasn’t sure what to expect. As I stepped in to the water I realized that there was a demarcated area which ended at a large reef which was the ‘safe zone’. This was somewhat comforting and helped to ease my nerves a bit. I walked in to the sea as it wasn't too deep and as I reached the edge of the reef I put my face in to the water. In a second I had been transported to a completely different world! There were hundreds of stunningly beautiful fish among layers and layers of coral.
There were too many different kinds of fish to count and I can’t remember them all but a few of them really stood out because of their amazing colour schemes and characteristics. The Moorish Idol is a very small fish but its black, white and yellow stripes stand out very prominently among the rest of the fish.
The Parrot fish is another stunning fish which is a lovely shade of teal which is one of my favorite colours! The Parrot fish seemed to be the most active and they kept swimming up and down nibbling at the different parts of the reef. I was amazed at how clear the water was and how friendly the fish seemed. They didn’t seem to mind me invading their space at all! This is probably because they didn’t feel threatened by humans because the Maldives has a strict policy about fishing within a certain radius. Their laws against fishing close to the shore are what has helped to preserve beautiful coral reefs such as these.
There were also large shoals of fish that swam back and forth which just added to the wonder of this underwater world! I was so inspired by all I saw that I just had to put together a series of illustrations based on my experience. I was constantly on the lookout for some seahorses but I didn’t spot any. I got to know later on that there have been a few recent sightings in the waters near a different island called Kuredu which I’m hoping to visit at some point.
Although glimpses of the deep, dark ocean on the other side of the coral reef made me panic just a bit, I enjoyed every second of this experience and it taught me a valuable lesson. Too often we allow different types of fears to hold us back but it’s truly amazing what you can accomplish or experience once you make up your mind to let go of your fear. Most times we feel that fear has a grip on us but in reality we have the power to make up our minds to let them go. I haven’t completely got over my fear of deep waters but I think I’ve taken a step in the right direction and I believe that this was only the first of many more underwater adventures to come!