My Favorite Snorkeling Experience Happened Suddenly And Was Over Just As Sudden, But I Will Never Forget It.

Woman snorkeling in South Pacific

I will never forget my favorite snorkeling experience, though I have snorkeled several places- Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Aruba, Barbados, St. Thomas, and the Tahitian Islands in the South Pacific. The South Pacific is by far the most wonderful place to snorkel that I have seen, and that is where it happened.

My favorite snorkeling experience happened off of the Tahitian island of Moorea. I was close to the outer reef of the island, having been snorkeling for quite a while. We had been swimming against a current and floating back towards the little motu where we had started. I found myself wandering off into deeper water by myself and had completely lost sight of any other people. I don't recommend this, but you just forget about everything else-you can't help it when you are seeing sights like this little "Nemo" in the anemone here!

clownfish in anemone

After going through some fairly deep water (I would guess about 20 feet deep) it was getting shallower again. It was probably about 10 feet of water where it happened. I had just seen a really big, grey, mean-looking fish that was not a shark but still around 4 feet long and 12 inches around. He startled me, but he went away and I started watching a small school of smaller striped fish (around 8-10 inches long).

School of Tropical Fish

As I rotated to watch them, more and more joined the school and they started circling me. I held my breath and went under so I could see them better. They kept multiplying and swimming around and around me! It became a whirling dervish of hundreds of them, from the ocean floor to the top of the water. I wasn't frightened at all. It was just one of those beautiful, amazing moments that stops time for you. I kept rotating and they kept circling.

Most of them were 4 or 5 feet away, some closer than that, but none ever touched me at all. After about 15 seconds or so, they were gone-off somewhere else as quickly as they had come.

I just floated there for minute, dazed, thinking how incredible mother nature is. I looked around then, hoping someone else had seen it happen, hoping to be able to tell someone right away, but no one was close enough. Even after I was able to tell my husband about it, I could not begin to describe what it really felt like.

It was my own private little wonder that happened in paradise - and I knew it would probably always be my favorite snorkeling experience.

coral cave in the South Pacific

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