Unda da Sea... Trekking the Ocean.. literally.
You won't believe your eyes... purple fish swim right up to your face, so close that you go cross eyed looking at them. Once you re-focus, seeing through the school of multicoloured tropical fish the realisation hits ... that's a plane wreck! You are looking at a plane wreck, quietly laying on the ocean floor collecting coral and sea fans is an actual plane wreck. WOW.
Mayan statues are also just lazing around in these crystal clear Caribbean waters off Cozumel Island in Mexico, and these are just a few things I discovered on my Sea Trek walk along the ocean floor.
Did you know you can dance under the sea? Yes, it's true. Well I did. There's even a video of it ... not for the faint of heart I think it should include a warning that says something like "contains middle aged lady in a bathing suit dancing.. prepare yourself". But trust me, if you were there it is such an amazing experience you would have danced as well.
This is a truly unique way to experience the ocean and my mind was flooding with that fantasy I had as a little girl, walking through the 'sea forests' with Captain Nemo of the Nautilus from Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Oh how I loved that book! I envisioned myself with the big dive helmet on, wandering the ocean floor and discovering the wonders it held. Thank god there wasn't any giant squid to battle, but I did keep an eye out just in case. After all, these helmets don't exactly enable the nimbleness that would be required for battling giant squid.
Nonetheless, a Sea Trek is an amazing experience. Fitted with one of those diving helmets like in the days of old, but a little more modern in design, the weight settles on your shoulders before descending down into the depths to walk among the rainbow of fish species leisurely swimming around. Vibrant yellow fish, soft purple fish and an array of smaller iridescent blue fish dart between anemone's and sponges clear as day. The visibility is phenomenal as they come up to see what's going on and check you out so it is normal that you are entranced and so caught up in the wonder surrounding you, it takes any wariness away, leaving you to marvel at the underwater realm around you.
If you have never scuba dived before, this will blow your mind and also give you a chance to experience what it is like to be down amongst the sea life. Actually, this is one better, you are walking around with it at eye-level. It is completely safe, there is a diver, a helmet wearing guide walking right alongside and also an underwater photographer zipping around getting great shots of your experience with you at all times. So, with 3 escorts it's like taking a stroll with friends. Just unda da sea. This bunch or adorableness were my escorts on the day.. always smiling and making sure you were OK, they were the sweetest bunch you could hope for.
Looking up, the sun is clearly visible through the clear waters, a shining beacon radiating and enhancing the turquoise and blue hues of the ocean around you. It's rays lighten everything and provide a clarity that you never thought possible being submerged walking along the ocean floor.
The only noise you hear is the air entering your helmet, and your crystal clear field of view is full of colour and delight. Similar to when you walk through those huge aquarium tunnels with the fish and rays gliding overhead, this is like that but in the ocean, free. The helmet enables you to see everything clearly and feel as if you could reach out and touch it while you are down there walking around in it.
Of course, if you try and touch the fish you will look a little silly because everything underwater appears 25% larger and closer to you than it actually is. So, while you are groping around like an idiot the fish swims lazily away knowing there is absolutely zero chance of you ever catching it. And you know what... I swear they smile knowing it's virtually impossible for you to touch them... cheeky buggers. Not that I ever would of course. There is more chance of me galavanting around a pumpkin patch looking for the perfect specimen for dinner than catching a fish for my supper as I don't eat anything with eyeballs. Plus, these guys are so close and friendly, you will make friends and wouldn't want to eat them anyway. Just ask Fernando, Rafael and Miguel... as I named my little fishy companions.
They'll even swim home with you, following along and adding to your undersea escort. Especially the good ol Sergeant Major's. They will happily hang out, their vibrant yellow dorsal colour standing out amongst the black stripes as they stay close to your helmet and have as much fun looking at you as you do at them!
Can you imagine them returning home of an evening to tell their baby fish they had the most wonderful day looking at weird bobble headed humans wandering around in the sea... oh I can.
After this amazing underwater trek was over, I felt even more at one with the ocean. Something this water baby didn't think was possible, but it added yet another layer and dimension to my love affair with the sea. So if you are a water baby too, or even if you're not, please treat yourself to the amazing experience that is Sea Trek if you ever get the chance. Submerge yourself and enjoy this underwater delight full of colour and tranquility.
I think I will always kneel at the alter of the underwater gods in an eternal love affair with the big blue wide oceans of this world.
And hey, if you see giant squid... run! You can run under the sea too :)