Although Michigan is surrounded by water, our water sports are mostly surface: sea doo, water skiing, kayaking, etc. Here in Indonesia the water sport is under the sea. The clown fish, blue starfish, iridescent schools of triangular and striped fish and many more are some of the reasons it’s better down where it’s wetter.
I took my third snorkel today while visiting the island of Sulawesi. Updating from an iPhone again, I’m challenged to keep things poetically brief.
Covered from ankle to wrist in a wet suit, mouth breathing through a snorkel and high stepping on land in flippers, I gingerly backed downward on a simultaneously rusty and slippery metal ladder attached to a jetty, or pier (as people in the US call them). Once in the clear, but by Indonesian standards slightly murky water due to rain, I waited for my friend and then bit down on the rubbery mouthpiece. Breathing in, you taste salty humidity on the roof of your mouth.
Then you float. Your face suspended above coral that looks like brain and patches of sagebrush. You see tiny Nemos going in and out of gelatinous anemones like bees in a fluffy flower. There are blue starfish lazily lounging across rocks. Flashes of yellow and black or blue and black pass you by–animals you can’t imagine seeing out of an aquarium.
Without an underwater camera, you’ll have to take me at my word. Or come to Indonesia. I know a great place.