I slip my feet into the swim-fins and pull the tabs to tighten them on my feet. First the left, then the right. I waddle my way to the edge of the boat with my new aquatic appendages. I place the mask over my eyes and bite the mouthpiece of the snorkel. I hear a voice behind me telling me it’s clear to jump. I jump.
Millions of little air bubbles surround me as I splash into the water. As the bubbles fade I lift my head out of the water and sharply exhale to get the water out of the snorkel tube. I put my face back into the water as I swim away from the boat making way for the next person.
Underwater there is a silence unlike any other. It’s as if someone turns the volume down and the only sound to hear are the air bubbles. The silence brings a tranquility that is difficult to describe. I have seen footage of fish and coral underwater before and it is nothing compared to the experience of swimming with the fish. Countless specifies of fish in crystal clear waters surround me. It is almost as if they notice me moving about and they swim and dance just to show off their beautiful vibrant colors. A well choreographed show just for me.
Off of the coast of Ko Tao, the coral that the fish swim in and out of, the “Japanese Garden” as the guides referred to them, is really a lot like a giant underwater sculpture. The forms, shapes and colors seem to be molded together by nature’s precise hand. Varying brush strokes give the coral an amazing texture, unique to each little piece. It’s as if mother nature wants us to see a great work of art – one that represents the beauty of nature itself.
This entry is part of a series of posts on my trip to Southeast Asia in August of 2008. You can see all of the posts in this series the post: A look back to my trip to Southeast Asia.