notice the people dragging behind the boat!
On Monday we went on our water safety training and had a great day! It was a national holiday in Samoa. They say its because all the children eat too much after White Sunday and are unable to go to school, and I’m sure all the celebrating that the parents do has absolutely nothing to do with it. So after a bit of a sleep in we headed down stairs to our bus and headed off to water safety. It was about an hour drive, mostly spent with all the 83ers singing 90’s pop at the top of our lungs. We finally arrived at what looked like a resort complete with golf course, then we disembark the bus and see a huge thirty-foot catamaran, this was my first impression that I may enjoy water safety. We sat through a safety talk of about; um fifteen minutes. Then it was off to the boat to put our new learned safety knowledge to the test. It was wonders ride out to the reef and we all got to sit on the deck with our toesies hanging over the edge getting splashed. The views were gorgeous and we could see all four major Samoan islands. Then it was test time. We donned our snorkeling gear and off we went. It was the most amazing snorkeling I have ever done. Usually I feel bad for snorkelers because, as a diver, I feel they miss out on a lot being restricted to the surface. In Samoa this is not the case, the reef is sooooo incredibly close to the surface it would have been a detriment to have a tank. Yes, this did mean that the fish were smaller and that there wasn’t quite as much large wildlife, but it was incredible. With the amount of light filtering down, the reef was so colorful and vibrant. There were schools and teams of little fishes all over the place. I saw three schools of fish, a huge purple starfish, two crowns of thorn, and a SCHOOL OF SQUID! I had never before seen a school of squid! Who knew squid even traveled in schools? At first glance they just look like a school of black fish then you realize their fins are not going up and down but in a wave pattern up their bodies. Even then I didn’t realize they were squid. It wasn’t until the school formed a line facing into the current and spread their tentacles did I realize… hey those weird black fish are squid. I was enthralled; they just starred me down from their line as if we were having a no-blinking contest. I shot to surface and yelled for everyone to check out this coolest thing ever! I have to say, I have snorkeled and scuba dived a lot and it’s so wonderful to still have first sightings. After a while we got back on the boat and had sandwiches. After the appropriate time of thirty minutes we learn in water safety, we all jumped of the high deck and did back dives and flips… safely. Then we jumped in and took turns being towed behind the boat on the tow rope….safely. I mean we were obliviously practicing swimming against a current. Which if anyone is interested you should do diagonally. We then very begrudgingly got off the boat and got back on the bus for some more singing. Go Britney and Backstreet Boys! Nsync can go to poop as far as I care, but I did join in when they came up in our repertoire. I mean, I need to be considerate of my other group member’s needs and tastes. Basically it was a spectacular day and we all learn a lot about how gorgeous Samoan reefs are, and of course water safety.