So I made a new friend today. His name was Lochlan and he was three and a half.
I got picked up this Morning to go out for a days snorkel. The shuttle then drove to pick up other people, including Lochlan and his family. He got straight on the shuttle and started to talk to me.
The snorkel so far on Fiji has not been to my standard, but I have been assured this is the best snorkel you can do from Nadi.
So we all boarded the catamaran, and I of course went straight to sitting on the canvas on the front. As I sat on a bean bag I had a little friend park his bum next to me. His parents kept asking if it was OK, and I kept saying it was. It was quite nice to hang out with a little person. After a while his parents realised I really was quite happy so they stopped asking.
We sailed for an hour and a half out to a reef. The tour guide was right, the reef was beautiful, with very little damage. The reef was shallow enough that you could see everything, and we were right by a shelf so I could chuck out my snorkel and dive down. I also learnt I used to be able to hold my breath for a lot longer. Think I need to work on that for Hawaii. The guide also had bread with him, he was handing us bits and the fish were taking it right out of our hands!
Well after an hour of looking at the coral and the fish we all got back on the boat. Lochlan apparently had a melt down and freaked out getting in the water, so his parents had tag teamed staying with him and played ‘spot Kayleigh’ in the water.
We sailed to a small island with a resort on it where we stopped for lunch. The resort was beautiful, it’s the kind of place you would have been happy staying in; private resort on a private island.
Back on the boat we sailed out to our next snorkelling stop, the sand bar. I had used all my powers of three year old persuasion to convince Lochlan to come into the water this time. He donned his little goggles (he didn’t like his mask or snorkel) and his yellow flippers and sat on the side of the catamaran with his dad. I jumped in and he followed. Success! His parents swam with him over to the sand bar, he had one of those life swim vests which kept him nicely afloat. He then kept holding his breath, ducking his head and looking under water. “Look! A fish!”
I left them to it and went to explore the reef. I have never seen a reef so shallow. The captain had told us the tide was low, he wasn’t kidding, I could barely swim above it. I found a shelf which was handy, I could actually swim then.
One slight catch though. The current was really strong. My mask filled up with water so I came to the surface to sort it out. Without realising I was being swept back in towards the coral. I smashed into the coral shelf, scraping the top of my leg and my knee on the coral. Wonderful. Water turned a cloudy pink colour around the top of my leg and it instantly stung.
It was time to get back on the boat so I swam back hoping the salt water would clear my leg as much as possible. Didn’t help with the bleeding though. By the time I climbed on the boat and walked to the canvas I had blood running down my leg. Of course my legs were soaking wet so the blood ran very freely. Lochlan was very worried. “Mummy Kayleigh has a baddie”. He then proceeded to try and give me one of his ‘Paw Patrol’ plasters. I dried off and the blood dripped less. Still stung though.
Sailing back to port, the catamaran suddenly stopped. The crewmen started whistling and banging the hull of the boat. Next thing I know the catamaran was surrounded by dolphins! Masses of them. They were jumping out of the water along side the boat. They followed us for ages, jumping out of the water and swimming around. It felt like it was a rehearsed acrobatic display. They were incredible to watch.
After the excitement of the dolphins Lochlan fell asleep. The whole day had been slightly overcast, which made a refreshing change as I could sit out all day without the bright sun cooking me. I sat on the canvas and talked to my new buddies parents the whole way back.
Well back at the port I said goodbye to my new friend, who had just been woken up and was a little grizzly. Can’t blame him, who likes to be woken up!
Well time to pack once again! Off to Hawaii tomorrow! My flight isn’t until 11pm mind, so I have all day in Fiji tomorrow, just no room!
Night dad x