Friday, May 2, 2014

Snorkeling with Sharks and Sting Rays!

Mark and I got up kind of early the next morning, grabbed a quick breakfast, then made our way out to the lobby to hop on a bus for our excursion. It was time for some snorkeling! We stopped at a couple other resorts on the way to pick up a few other people, then were dropped off at Marinarium Excursions for our Reef Explorer tour. We signed waivers, watched our guide, Valentine, keep a perfectly straight face as he messed with each new person as they walked up, and eventually boarded a boat for a short ride out to the floating island where we'd be hanging out for a few hours.

The island was pretty sweet; there were beach chairs, a shaded area where they served snacks, and walkways where you could look down into the water. There was also an area in the back corner where you could get a massage (which was included as part of the excursion - sweet!). Mark and I grabbed a snorkel, mask, and fins, and hopped in the water for some snorkeling.

There was a whole section roped off where you could snorkel with nurse sharks and sting rays. Neat!

A bunch of the sharks were bunched up in one corner of the enclosure. They didn't seem to care at all about everyone swimming around them.

There were a few other fish in the enclosure, too. I think these are jacks.

A few sting rays were swimming around, too. In one of the enclosures you could actually hold them, which we did, but you weren't allowed to take your own pictures and the ones they were selling cost more than we were willing to pay. Oh well.

Mark grabbed an underwater scooter thing and was zipping around for a little while. We spent a little while snorkeling in the enclosure, then got out and hopped into the open water on the other side of the floating island.

There were a ton of fish over there!

I swam out a little bit, and just as I put my face back down into the water one of the guys on the floating island started tossing little pieces of bread into the water next to me. There were fish everywhere!

I with I had more exposures on my little underwater camera...I ran out of pictures just as all the cool fish showed up! We swam around for a while watching all the cool fish before eventually getting out of the water. We grabbed some snacks, got our free massages, and just hung out. It was nice.

Some of the people were kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, too. I wasn't feeling that ambitious, so I just sat on the edge of the island, dangled my feet in the water, and watched the fish swimming around. After a while it was time to go back, so we all hopped back on the boat back to the beach.

It was pretty warm...there were a few small dogs on the beach and they were all passed out in the shade. We grabbed our stuff and hopped on the shuttle back to the resort. We still had the whole afternoon left!  :)

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