First things first, the title of this brief blog entry is inspired by the beautiful poem called “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” which, as you might know, was penned by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Although you may see no relevance of this factoid to this blog post, I assure you the two entities are intertwined. As I have spent a significant portion of my life in areas that were separated from the ocean by hundreds of miles, I had to wait a significant amount of time before my first snorkeling trip and let me tell you one thing, it was well worth the wait.
I remember my first snorkeling trip like it was yesterday. Being a complete newbie when it came to snorkeling, I had made the common mistake of not having my snorkeling gear with me. I asked my sister if she could lend me her gear, and she was more than happy to comply but said that it wouldn’t fit me. This forced me to go downtown and pick up new snorkeling gear, one that was my size. My gear consisted of the basic J-tube and mask, which had no remarkable feature whatsoever except for the purge valve (bear in mind that snorkels had not been invented yet).
When I reached Grand Cayman, I was taken by how massive the ocean looked. Its huge size made me feel irrelevant, and I had a short 20-minute existential crisis. When the pseudo-crisis was over, panic turned into excitement as I simply could not wait to jump underwater and see the secrets that the immense body of water hid underneath its cloak. As I started snorkeling, I was taken by the awe-inspiring beauty of everything around me. Being new to snorkeling, a lot of salty water went into my mouth, and I was immediately taken back to the time when I was sick as a kid and my mother made me gargle my throat with salty water. I remembered to always spit out salty water as it can have an adverse effect on the kidney, so I did that and continued snorkeling.
Being new to snorkeling, I made the most common errors of all; I didn’t take care of my gear, and the top of the J-tube became submerged in water. What this meant was that a lot of salty seawater entered my J-tube and made my first snorkeling experience a challenging one. I quickly went to the surface of the water and started having a coughing fit. My lungs gave way as they made sure their protest about the salty water entering my throat was registered and reminded me not to do it again. The seawater taught me a very valuable lesson, one that I always tell first-time snorkelers and one that my sister failed to teach me, and that was always to be mindful of the position of your J-tube. However, just because I learned my lesson doesn’t mean that I didn’t make the same mistake over and over again during my next few dives.
Years have gone by since my first snorkeling trip, and now the industry is overrun by an instrument called the dry snorkel. My passion for this activity led me to be one of the first people who bought this excellent invention. I hated when seawater rushed to my throat during snorkeling, which is why I loved this device. Nowadays, even when I’m surrounded by water, the dry snorkel ensures that I don’t have to gargle with it.