Thursday, March 09, 2017

Waverunner Snorkel Safari

This will be my last post about my recent getaway to the Cayman Islands. I had to send off to get my photos developed from my disposable waterproof camera, and a week later I finally have them in hand. The coloring of the photos are a bit off, so they don't give a true idea of what it was like, just know that it was beautiful!

Our final excursion on for the weekend was the Waverunner Snorkel Safari with Red Sail Sports, located at The Westin on Seven Mile Beach in the Caymans. This was, by far, my favorite activity of the weekend. If you ever have the chance to combine waverunners and snorkeling, do it, you won't regret the experience!

When I was in high school, Kristalynne and I actually spent a lot of time at the lake with a group of friends from our church youth group. This was the time period that I learned how to water ski and also got comfortable on a waverunner. It's been well over 10 years since I have sat on a waverunner. 

But, like riding a bike, I don't think you ever forget how to operate a watercraft like this. It was so exhilarating going fast, riding over waves, and spinning in circles to my heart's content. I had forgotten what it feels like to ride like that. And if we had just done waverunners, that would have been a ton of fun. However the excursion also involved following our guide out to two different spots to snorkel on the reef.

I have only snorkeled once before – in Hawaii about 13 years ago. I was with Daniel, the water was cloudy with limited visibility, and I felt somewhat seasick from the motion. We didn't see a whole lot, so it wasn't the best of experiences. On this same trip, Daniel and I got our open water scuba certification. The whole time I was terrified of seeing a shark. Thankfully we didn't see a shark and I have stuck close to shore when we go to the beach.

Fast forward to this trip, my fears were mostly gone. I was relishing the freedom of no responsibility and riding fast on my own waverunner. Our first spot to snorkel was in open water just off of Seven Mile Beach. Due to the recent rain, the water was a bit cloudy and not particularly calm, but we still managed to see several schools of fish. It was extremely peaceful laying in the water, watching life unfold around me. 

Unfortunately K started feeling a bit seasick and decided she would head back to shore when we moved on to our second snorkeling spot. 

I stayed with the group and we headed to Georgetown where we stopped right next to a cruise ship that was in port. The water color was a more vibrant blue here (the photos are not even close) and visibility was much improved. As I was searching the water below, I noticed a shark swim right under me. It was probably about 15 feet below. 

I jerked my head out of the water and informed our group. Our guide said it was "just a nurse shark" and we had nothing to fear. I calmed my nerves, stuck my head back in and took a photo. Our guide swam down to the ocean floor and brought up a conch for us to look at. My parents have a conch shell that is over 100 years old, so I was familiar with it, but I was surprised at how heavy the live conch was. The Caymans are known for their conch and that night we sampled some at dinner – it was delicious!

While we snorkeled we noticed a group of scuba divers below us – down where the shark was. For the entire trip, I kept thinking how much fun it would have been to do this with Daniel and eventually my boys. I hope to do a similar trip with them in the future.

I hate that Kristalynne missed out on the better snorkeling spot. When I got back to the beach, she was enjoying the scenery. We enjoyed the rest of our afternoon – watching other people take their turns doing various excursions. It was a great way to end our girl's weekend. I'm so thankful that it worked out for me to be able to join my friend and take a break from reality for a few days.

Girl's Getaway Recap

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