Under the hot Cypriot sun, I sat on the splash-covered seats in the boat as I put on my snorkelling gear. I pulled the goggles over my eyes as the lenses fogged up from the heat of my body. As I walked to the edge of the boat, I could feel the adrenaline running through my body. Looking down, the water was crystal clear. I could see everything I was about to emerge myself into, and it brought a sense of excitement.
Back on a holiday to sunny Cyprus, I decided along with my cousins to try out snorkelling. I had never done anything remotely similar before, so I was full of nerves and anxiety. Swimming out in the open ocean with nothing around to support me, just the fins on my feet and the trust I have in my family members. Obviously before going straight into the deep end, literally, practice is important. We spent numerous days in the pool at our villa with all the gear on swimming lengths, getting a true grasp on the reality of snorkelling.
Without all the time we spent practicing, going in first time would have been a lot scarier than it was. My cousins had both already been snorkelling and were qualified scuba divers, so I felt a lot safer being around them and having them teach me the basics.
Getting used to having the fins on your feet was definitely the hardest – knowing the specific way you had to move your feet in them to ensure you could keep moving through the water. Balancing that along with normalising your breathing through the tube is a lot more complex than it sounds, but it’s easier when you’ve had prior practice.
After the long hours in the pool practicing, it was finally time to put the practice into place. We took an hour-long drive to the small town of Coral Bay on the South coast of Cyprus. We got out of the car not far from the beach and the saltwater air hit straight me away. It heightened my senses and gave me a short rush of adrenaline. As we approached the boat we would be taking out, I knew at that point I would either be fully prepared for this new experience or completely terrified.
The boat skimmed the top of the clear, turquoise water as we arrived at our first destination of three. This was it: I was finally experiencing something I have been excitedly preparing myself for. All the boats that had been anchored down were surrounded by people also snorkelling. As I climbed off the boat, the warm water calmed any anxiety I had prior, and I was excited to dunk my head in the water and see everything underneath.
Through my goggles, I could see everything from exotic fish to shipwrecks in the water! Due to the small amount of snorkellers around, we could swim around as far as we wanted to discover the terrains under the water of the Cypriot coast. The water felt like my best friend, and I never wanted to leave.
Snorkelling is an extraordinary experience as it’s unique wherever you decide to go. I was lucky enough to go to such a beautiful country and experience everything it had to offer.