While staying on the beautiful Pulau Weh, I took up the offer of a days snorkelling made to me by a dude who rode past on a moped one evening. I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, the last time I snorkeled was aged 15 in the great barrier reef, Australia. I’m now 46 and since then I’ve noticed my claustrophobia a lot more, especially when flying, so I wondered how a mask over my face and an inability to breathe through my nose would work out.
Getting picked up from the cabin on the shore, we first went out to sea to view dolphins, lots of dolphins which quite frankly was worth the trip in itself. There was only few of boats in the water, one tourists and the others fishermen.
The time came to give it a go, walking out from a little beach after coffee and breakfast, I was given the good advice to walk backwards with flippers on, and was soon swimming out into the deeper water to view the coral and fish. At first the little water coming into the mask was unnerving, and had me freaking out on one or two occasions where I ripped off the mask and snorkel to regain the sensation of breathing through my nostrils. However after a few times I got used to pressing on the top of the mask and breathing out through my nose to clear out water.
We visited more locations throughout the day, in one place the boat dropped us off at one side of an island and we floated gently on the current to be picked up at the other end, relaxing while looking at colourful fish. The best for me was snorkeling over an active underwater volcano, the sulphur bubbles like silver or mercury surrounding me as they rose to the surface.
All in all, a brilliant day and after getting past the entrapment of mask and breathing only via the mouth, I might now go for a test dive, and will certainly do more snorkelling. The trip was with a guy called Raja, you might see adverts here and there in the town, and I advise book direct with him as some hostels clearly add around 5,000 IDR if they book for you.