"The SEA, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever" (Jacques Cousteau)Growing up in Malta, I spent my summers at the beach. The sea is its own world.
It offers a plethora of activities from sailing to surfing to snorkeling and scuba diving.
The first time I scuba dived it felt as if time stood still in the underwater world. It felt utterly peaceful. No worries. No stress. Life just floats past you.
I travelled to many locations just to witness the beauty of the marine world. Little did I know that I would get to live so close to it. When we went out on an exploratory snorkeling session outside our new house, we were surprised to see a wide array of tropical fish. It was breathtaking. As we ventured out further, however, I witnessed something even more breathtaking. I was mesmerized watching the fish when out of the corner of my eye I could feel a large fish swimming in the distance. I turned round to see a white tip reef shark around 2.5 metres in length swimming in the opposite direction. I surfaced like a lightning bolt to call out to my partner who was snorkeling a short distance away. For some reason, not having the perceived ‘protection’ of my scuba gear made me fear the shark. On many occasions I have scuba dived with sharks and even followed them for photo opportunities but this time the feeling was different.
As I snorkeled closer to shore the following day I observed a strange object moving under a coral reef. After several minutes I figured out that I was observing the tail of a sting ray, as it flew out from under the reef and swam hurriedly away.
These sightings are a promise of greater discoveries to be made as we embark on our Sumbawa adventure!
Tip: Always carry a snorkel with you to the beach; you never know what surprises await you underwater