In the past few months I have made memories to last a lifetime. One of the most exciting and memorable moments for me was the first time I laid eyes on life below the surface. When I say life below the surface I am referring to the first time I had ever gone snorkeling. I had always been amazed by the ocean, the way it moved, the life that was found in it, and the amazing biodiversity it contains. Up until Costa Rica I had simply only dreamt of getting the opportunity to go snorkeling near a coral reef.
My first snorkeling experience took place in Cahuita, Costa Rica. This is said to be the place with one of the most beautiful coral reefs in Costa Rica. At first I did not know what to expect. I had always loved the water but had never actually seen what was living beneath its surface. Upon arrival I was extremely nervous, as I sat on the boat headed to the reef my heart began to beat faster. As we got closer I knew it was not fear that had me so nervous but excitement. I had finally gotten the chance to see what I had always dreamt of. Once in the water I began searching for anything and everything. The first time I put my face under the water it looked exactly how I had pictured the extreme beauty of the ocean to look. The beautifully bright colored fish, the different corals and plants made up an ecosystem that not only lives, but to thrives beneath the surface.
The longer I was in the water the more I did not want to leave. I had been swimming for what felt life forever but was merely an hour and half. I thought I had seen it all until another snorkeler had yelled “shark!” Most people would become extremely scared but when I heard the word shark come from his mouth, I became overwhelmed with excitement. I immediately swam towards him to catch it on video. As I got close enough I realized it was simply a Nurse Shark that would cause no harm to us. As it laid on the bottom of the ocean, fifteen feet down I knew I had to get a closer look. I swam down multiple times, attempting to get closer to it until I had no choice but to come back up for air. From this moment forward I found a new love for the ocean and was enamored with what it contained.
If there was one thing in Costa Rica that I would recommend people to do or experience it would be snorkeling. Snorkeling shows you a whole new life that carries on day and night, completely unnoticed by humans. What is even more special is being one of the few to have such an amazing experience. I am forever grateful.