The sun is tickling my nose. I open my eyes slowly to see nothing but blue. Where am I? Right, I am on the main deck where I fell asleep in my hammock. This might be where the blueish color comes from. Half-asleep my head forces its way towards the edge so I can peer over it with one eye. Why is there so much green? Should we not still be at the endless, turqoise Atlantic Ocean? Oh, now I remember: A few days ago, we arrived at the Tobago Cays. Finally we see some different colours than only the ocean!
Palm trees, beaches and, of course, the very hot and bright sunlight are everywhere.
This sunlight is one of the things Martin warned us about first before we arrived here. He also told us much about other useful things like “how to behave if we see a shark at the reef“ or “how to dispose our waste on the Carribean islands“. After he finished his announcements on this first day we were free to visit all the places we liked. We had four choices:
1. snorkeling at the reef surrounding us: this reef is not too big but one can get there swimming
2. visiting the beach: one can get a drink or just relax, read a book here and eat freshly opened coconuts
3. snorkeling at the real reef: that is the place where one will find a lot of different fish and corals
4. kayaking around the islands
Since most of us are not well trained in snorkeling, we needed a lesson to go to the real reef. What do you imagine a reef to be like? With lots of loud colours, various types of fish and turqoise water? Well, at least this was my imagination. However, the realitiy here is a little bit different. The reefs are coloured brown-greenish but the numerous fish colour the reef beautifully and the sunlight that breaks through the water enlightens it nicely. If one is lucky, one can get a good look at some turtles and sting-rays. Luckily, we had a very nice view when round about twenty of us went snorkeling for the first time at the house reef. As soon as we sighted a turtle everyone freaked out trying to get near it to take a good picture. I was rather just enjoying the moment and taking memories with me.
In the afternoon, the ones who had never been snorkeling before took part at the previously mentioned lesson held by Manfred. We learned how to use a snorkle and flippers and how to breath correctly. I was very surprised that so many of us had never been snorkling before. The admission ended with our motto: “Heyho – let’s go“ and we all got highly excited for our trip to the real reef. After 15 minutes of riding in the dinghi, we stopped and all got out of the boat gracefully by executing a backwards somersault. It must have looked very amusing. However, once we were under water the boat was forgotten. Everything shimmered and even though I never thought we would see a shark, the first visit to the real reef proved me wrong. Apparently, I was the only one who sighted the shark, as no one else was freaking out. I really needed to remind myself to stay calm and, in the end, it worked out. Even Columbus, who had his foot injured, was able to get a quick look at some turtles and fish by sticking his head into the water with the snorkeling mask.
In order to relax a bit more I spent the rest of the time with Vivi and Columbus at the beach where we collected some coconuts and peeled them before cracking them so that we could eat them joyfully. Apparently, it is not common to eat and collect coconuts as we did it, because a lot of natives asked us why we would do this. They told us that they were impressed how we spent our time on the coconuts and how they really appreciate us for giving their coconuts attention. They were really nice and communicative, as someone introduced his fish Peter to us so we presented our coconuts Anton and Fred to him. This was actually a lot of fun.
All in all, our stay at the reef was very relaxing and adventurous. We met new animals, plants and people and all of them welcomed us very nicely. Since we are not allowed to take anything from the reef to the Thor we will probably only get the chance of owning some T-shirts we bought and feeling the sunburns from the Tobago Cays when we will discover Grenada.