Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Snorkeling in Vietnam

We went snorkeling yesterday. I didn't bring any masks or snorkels or fins with me to the island, so we had to take a boat trip package thing to get into the water with a mask. It was 15 bucks and I can't say I was totally happy about it. I guess it was worth the money, but after sailing around in my own boat, I sort of expect a lot from a boat trip.
The first thing they do is they pick you up in a bus. Now that isn't a boat, as far as I can tell. The bus then took us down a long bumpy road to get us sick, and then stopped at a pearl factory, so we could buy pearls. It was in the morning, the best time to be out on the water, but we were waiting for the people to decide we had seen enough pearls (and maybe some people bought them too) and to get on with the trip. Finally we got to the boat. We all got on quickly enough, and we had dreams of how we would go far away from the land... but we barely got out of the harbor, because boats don't go fast, and we didn't really have that much time before we had to come back, since it is a day trip. So we went out among the islands. The visibility wasn't very good, but still, it was nice to be in the water. I could see maybe 15 ft in places. There weren't a lot of fish, but there was lots of coral, and the coral was beautifully shaped. It was all dying, so it wasn't that great of a color. It was all covered in dirt. Maybe that means already dead. The Vietnamese don't really care for the water and things, so I can't see that tourism will be sustainable here. The coral reefs are all dead or going, and the ocean if full of plastic bags. It is sad.
There were a few fish, but not many. I saw some Seargent Major kind of fishes, and some Parrot fish. Also a really funny one that was about 6 inches tall and maybe 2 inches long, and very thin, I don't know what it was, but it swam funny, because it was so tall.
We went to another place, which reminded me a lot of one of the long skinny islands in the Canadian Gulf Islands (just across from the San Juan Islands in the Northwest) and the water there was pretty good, and I saw a Sea Snake! These are the super deadly poison snakes. I got a video of it here:

Then we went to another place to snorkel, just nearby, and then we came back exhausted and sunburned and ready to rest. So they had a good trick in the end, getting us burned, to keep us sort of satisfied. I am not really that upset about spending the money, or about stopping in the beginning, but it did irritate me a lot at the time.
When we got back there was a nice sunset. I haven't seen many sunsets lately, since the sun never sets in China, and the clouds here often obscure it.
But this one was nice.


mlloyd said...

So I'm wondering why you were chasing a super poisonous snake? It reminds me of the rattle snake that we caught at basecamp, Mazama, where I'm working Outward Bound courses this summer. I don't think I'd chase a rattler just to get picture... just sayin'

Danny Blanchard said...

Also, knowing the ol' GoPro, that critter was much closer than it appears - so good on ya mate! Besides, they can only get you on the ear or between the toes or fingers (or so "they" say). I got the roof raised on Rafiki - pictures to come soon. Cheers!