The Clips and Trips blog was put together in preparation for our leaving the U.S. on an indefinite world travel adventure which started around August of 2009 and returned us home in December of 2012. If you want to see where it all began, read our mission statement from before we left.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Snorkeling, Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
Yesterday, we scheduled a snorkeling trip/glass bottom boat tour that went around to all three islands. It costs us 7,000 rupiah, which is just about $7. I'm still amazed at how little it costs us to do these things. Anyways, the trip started on our island. The boat brought us to another part of our island where we did some snorkeling. The water was the clearest I've seen. We saw some colorful coral and all kinds of colorful fish.
Our next snorkeling stop was the middle island, Gili Meno. This time, the goal was to spot sea turtles. Since we were in a deeper part of the ocean, we were warned to stay close to our guide and to make sure our snorkeling equipment was on well. We mostly swam within view of the coral shelf. But sometimes, I would look towards the side furthest from the shore, and I'd see the shelf suddenly drop off. I wouldn't be able to see anything but dark water with no bottom in sight. It was right along the edge of these coral cliffs where we'd see the turtles. Our guide would swim down disturb the turtles slightly so it would move, and we'd be able to see the turtles more clearly when it swam away.
After, we headed towards the final island of the Gili chain called Gili Air. The attraction here was the giant clams. Our guides told us this would be the last snorkeling spot, and all of us snorkelers sat there without moving. We were pretty tired by the time we got to this spot. We begrudgingly got in the water after lots of commands to jump out of the boat and were taken to the two giant clams in the area. We watched our guide poke at the clams so that it would open and close its mouth. It was a bit anti climatic. They weren't too big. Eric and I both agreed that we'd seen bigger on the Discovery Channel and that Andrew Zimmern definitely ate larger ones on Bizarre Foods in Samoa. We joked that some local would harvest the clam for dinner one night, and all the tourist offices would have to take that attraction off of their snorkeling package.
It really was a great trip though. I learned how to swim as an adult and definitely haven't had much experience swimming in the ocean without some sort of flotation device. So, being able to navigate the water and see all the amazing sea life with just my fins and mask was a new and pretty cool experience.