Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way and try something new, even if you're scared. That's what I did when we went to Three Tables Beach to snorkel with friends.
I’m pretty boring in that I’m ~NOT~ the adventurous, adrenaline-junkie type. I really don’t want to die OR feel like I’m going to die.
That means no skydiving, no rollercoasters, no bungee jumping, no nothing that makes me FEEL like I’m going to pee in my pants before having a heart attack and rolling over in demise with my mouth still wide open in a silent screen.
That’s just not for me. So what does snorkeling at Three Tables Beach have to do with anything?
Of the most terror-inducing activities in Sandra’s world are the ones that involve water…especially ocean water. Especially when said ocean water is deeper than 5ft. Every year, about 4,000 people die from drowning—you can look it up yourself.
And for Americans like me that love to travel, well, bad news for us: it’s the number one killer of Americans abroad. Promise I’m not making this up.
Now you may have noticed somewhere in this blog that I love to be on a yacht. Obviously, in order to enjoy lounging in the open seas, I have to be in water much deeper than 5ft.
So how do I get around my fear of going kaput?! My thing is, there has to be some kind of barrier between me and nature. In this case, that would be a big ‘ol boat, with a reasonable expectation of life jackets on board.
But if I am in any way otherwise immersed in~OR~ actually touching the nature directly without any barrier at all (like a life jacket), well, then NO. I’m not doing it.
And yet this weekend I risked death. I snorkled in ocean water deeper than 5ft.
Now you might be sitting there, with a confused frown on your face, mockingly saying out loud, “Snorkeling, Sandra?! REALLY!?”. I mean, snorkeling is considered pretty safe, right? You even get to use a tube to breathe out of while snorkeling, so how dangerous can it really be?
Well, #sorrynotsorry to pop your bubble but my fears are totally valid. People still die from snorkeling. Especially in Hawaii. Especially this year.
Except I didn’t really know that until I starting writing this post, thankfully.
This weekend, our genetically engineered friends Tina and Kyle invited us to go snorkeling with them and their two ridiculously cute kids at Three Tables on North Shore.
I’ve been itching to hit the sand for some rays and relaxation, so I totally agreed to go. I figured I could easily get out of the actual snorkeling and just hang out in the shallows.
Between Max begging me to go out with him and Speed, and Tina magically finding me a dive buoy to use (after I said I needed a life vest and oh it’s too bad we didn’t have one), we set out onto the water.
The first thing I have to say is that the water was the PERFECT temperature. Like a pool on a scorching hot day without the chlorine, but better. Definitely refreshing.
Once we got in a little deeper, swimming above the reef, my body felt so buoyant that it felt like the ocean was hugging me. Lately there’s been a little bit more to hug, so silver lining?
Clutching tightly to the dive buoy, I gave in to the experience with a final sigh, and then…had one of the best beach days EVER!
We saw a so many different kinds of fish, coral, and sea anemone. Max said he saw a huge eel earlier in the day, so naturally I had my eyes peeled for that, ready to zip back to the beach if he made another appearance.
The water, the breeze, the scenery…it was all sublime. There was a moment when, even with all the people around me, all I could hear were the waves and breeze.
In that moment, I couldn’t help but think that hundreds of years ago, Native Hawaiians must have truly enjoyed heaven on earth.
My favorite thing about the experience, though, was Max. He was sooooo freaking cute, swimming near me but always leading the way. Pointing out fish as they swam by and making sure I was ok the entire time. He’s so much braver than I.
Clearly, I was foolish for initially not wanting to go out at all. Isn’t it sad that sometimes we’re so afraid of things, even deathly afraid, that we miss out on the good things in life? Especially when there was nothing to be afraid of at all?
Like snorkeling with your family. Speed was cute too and showed off his diving skills a bit (men can’t help it, really). In the end, we were out there for a good 30 min or so, but I could’ve been out there forever.
So. I didn’t die. Instead, I did something new AND really fun with my family for the first time ever in one of the most beautiful places on earth. It was a perfect day.
Moral of the story: I need to risk death more often.
TIPS: Get to Three Tables Beach early in the morning to find parking. We were there at 8:30am and got really lucky that someone had just left. There are public bathrooms, however, bringing your own toilet paper or wipes wouldn’t hurt. And don’t forget snacks – you’ll definitely work up an appetite! If you can, grab a spot under the trees – the shade will come in handy later in the day. Watch out for the falling nuts, though… they’ll get you!
What’s one scary thing you’ve done lately that turned out amazing?! Share in the comments below!