joylani 130pxSo while Matt went diving the last couple of days, I tagged along with the boat and snorkeled nearby. This was the first time I’ve ever snorkeled by myself and even though I missed having a buddy to point things out to, I really enjoyed the solitary experience. Unlike the divers who had to share their dive space with the 3-4 others in their groups, I had the surface to myself. Serenely floating, I took my time as I hovered above amazing fields of corals in colors and quantities I’d never seen before. The corals had a strange glow about them, not like obnoxious neon lights, though somehow similar, only magical. Soft corals with pastel bases and brighter yellow tips also came in hues of green, purple, and orange. I can’t even remember exactly how it was except that it looked absolutely stunning with the sunlight shining through the water and illuminating the expanse of coral beneath me. It was much different from my experience snorkeling in the Maldives where the actual reef isn’t in great condition but there is still a lot of other plants and marine life to look at. Of course, Sipidan wasn’t without animals. I spied on several turtles coming up for air, chased the path of a reef shark, and spotted my first octopus. The fish ranged in size from a lone barracuda almost as long as myself to a small group of tiny silver fish that looked like beads of mercury darting around the boat.
I won’t compare my experience to diving because the two ways of seeing things are just that—two ways, and different. But, to my relief, I didn’t miss out on everything and I still got to enjoy the same amazing visibility as the divers, in addition to seeing some of the same “big guys,” like the school of bumphead parrot fish. And all the while I enjoyed the solitude of being the lone snorkeler, out of the way of other peoples’ bubbles.