Third day of no rain and hardly any sunshine. Bothered yet? I once told somebody that there are always two ways of looking at the glass: either it’s half empty or it’s half full. Both observations are correct but only one perspective is good for your soul. Ok, time to apply my “words of wisdom”.
What activity does not require sunshine and is undeterred by rain? Why, snorkeling of course! Problem solved. [I have to disclose that in between waking up early only to fall asleep again after getting inundated with all the social media updates and the numerous napping throughout the day, there’s hardly any hour left to cruise around. Ok, I’m exaggerating.]
So off we drove to the “best snorkeling” beach in Kauai per their travel guide: Tunnels Beach. With the emerald mountains and lush greenery as the backdrop, the beach itself is simply breathtaking. The majestic mountains have peaks that seem to peer through broken clouds, making it look like they’re emitting billows of volcanic smokes. The water is chilly at first but it only takes a minor moment of acclimation and in no time, you won’t even notice the slight chill.
It was still drizzling when we got there so we decided to wait it out. Every so often, the rain would get harder and when you’re under a pine tree that further exaggerates the drip, it’s no fun really. When it became evident that the rain won’t stop, we took matters into our own hands and decided to suck it up. Seeing a lot of people snorkeling despite the weather encouraged me, so off came the cover ups and all the clothes. The hardest part about this is really all mental – convincing yourself it’s not that bad, taking off all your clothes even though it’s chilly, getting out there in the rain and then putting on the whole snorkeling armor: goggles, fins, and in my case, floater belt! A what!? Yes, yes I grew up with the Pacific ocean as my stomping ground but no, I can’t swim, despite the endless trips to the beach and the constant sunburn during summer. No, we didn’t have swimming lessons and all of that. Blame it on my mother.
Snorkeling is both easy and hard, mostly easy really as long as you have the right equipments. It’s hard because it takes constant reminder to do something that is counter-intuitive: breathing really hard through the mouth using a tube that has to be bitten tightly. But what is there in snorkeling that is normal anyway? You’re pretending to be a fish for crying out loud! Fortunately, my husband was wise enough to buy some bread for the trip so we can feed the fish. That way, they would come after us instead of the other way around. Genius! There was a feeding frenzy once he started throwing morsels of breads. Schools of fish started swarming around us. I started giggling and chuckling (nay, laughing) underwater upon seeing them nearly attacked us. I didn’t even know it’s possible to laugh and snorkel at the same time! You could hear the echo of my laughter underwater. Luckily, no sea water entered my gear while doing this seemingly juvenile thing. After the frenzy, what do you think would happen next? Well, their digestive system works just like ours. Right then and there, I saw a fish pooped for the first time. I was right behind the pooper! Bah. How rude is this punk!
The marine life is so beautiful, I was completely mesmerized. It was like being in a dreamland – a gorgeous, almost ethereal scenery. Being a stranger in this otherworldly habitat, I couldn’t help but gasp with awe when I see them blink their eyes or breathe through the gills or swim directly towards me. At one point I saw a white fish bit my husband’s finger while he was feeding them. Greedy, that one! I started laughing hard again. I enjoyed myself so much that I started following (more like stalking really) a school of beautiful yellow fish without even realizing that I ventured too deep into the water. When I saw a huge cliff in the water and noticed how unmistakable the depth difference between two sides is, it finally dawned on me that I was way off course. For a person who can’t swim, it’s no bueno! Yes, despite the floater belt.
It started raining hard. I only noticed this because something was tickling my back. It didn’t bother me except that we had our cameras and bags under a canopy of drippy pine trees so we had to come out of the water. Once those were moved, we jumped right back in. Time went by so quickly and before we knew it, we were there for 3 hours. I was very thankful that the sun was not out that day or we would have suffered from sunburn. There’s definitely going to be an encore to this!
Waioli Huiia, oldest church in Kauai
On our way back to the hotel, I realized why I was so happy – for there, in the turquoise waters of the Tunnels Beach, in between the cliff and the underwater cave, I found my beautiful Nemo! He was not the same fish as in the movie but he was my Nemo!
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