Our beachAndaman Day 4: Monday Aug 15.
We woke up to a gorgeous sunny day, so we knew we had to take advantage. I decided on a lazy morning on the beach, while James went back to the jungle for some more hiking. In the afternoon, we hired a boat to take us to Elephant Beach for some snorkeling.
The calm before the boat ride After a hair-raising speed-boat ride over (seriously I thought my life was over, I was going to get eaten by a salt-water crocodile after being pitched out of the boat), we reached the beach. Completely deserted, we had the entire coral reef to ourselves to explore. Once I got used to hearing Darth Vader in my ear everytime I breathed through my mouthpiece, I got down to business.
There is no way to look good in a snorkel mask, Exhibit A. Simply put, it was indescribable. Sorry, Dad, but it puts the reefs in the Dominican to shame. Spiny sea urchins stick up through the crevasses in the masses of coral, while countless fish of all different sizes and colours swam around us. I wish I had an underwater camera so I could have captured some of it. Crystal clear water, illuminated by the sun, you could see every last detail. The colours! Oh, the colours. I couldn't believe some of these fish were real--they were too vibrant to be true! I was a little scared at first that they would think I was food, too, but even when I was surrounded, they never touched me. Part of why it was so amazing is that it was deserted. In the Caribbean, the guides have to bring bread to lure the fish back to where the tourists are treading water, hoping for a glimpse of a few species. Here, there's nobody. It really feels like you've stumbled on this incredible treasure that no one else knows about yet, and that's really special.
Showdown with a crab
We walked along the beach to dry off a bit, and encountered several dead trees and a particularly ornery crab--photos were necessary. A storm rolled in quickly after that, so we had to hightail it out of there. I really thought we were going to get hit by lightning on the way back--the clouds were getting darker by the second and being in open water when that happens is just terrifying. Can you tell I'm not a sailor?