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Battye Family’s Travel Diary

Monday, 04 Mar 2013

Location: Gili Trawangan, Indonesia

MapGroupers, stingray, and eel... oh my!
By Jenny

I break through the surface of the ocean, soaking up the sunshine. I’m on Gili Trawangan, an island off of the island of Lombok in Indonesia, over an amazing coral reef. I’ve always had this thing about snorkeling ever since I accidentally floated over a giant drop-off in Thailand… you can imagine how freaked out I was as a seven-year-old when I looked down and saw nothing but water for miles and miles... imagining sharks and angler fish around every bend, just waiting to eat me. This trip though, I reluctantly gave it a try… this WAS the thing that the island was so famous for. My mom thought it would be funny if I read the underwater dangers advisory from the travel clinic before I went snorkeling. After reading about nine-foot groupers, 6-foot eels, and stingrays that can pierce holes right through your chest, I was pretty freaked out. My mom quickly assured me that no, there weren’t even six-inch eels where we were snorkeling, and I should just give it a try. So I put on the salty mask and snorkel and plunged into the sea. It was amazing. At first, all I could see was shards of brown coral and the occasional minnow. As we went further out though, I began to see streaks of indigo zipping by. And there, that fish was in Nemo! The water cleared up and I observed a big rock ahead where hundreds of delicate fish were whirling around. We stopped to gape at the beauty and all of the gorgeous colors. My eyes wandered to a large crevice in the rock and there I spotted a brown head creeping out. At first, I thought it was some weird type of fish, but as it slithered out of the shadows and into daylight, I saw a large dark eel lazily ambling toward me on the ocean floor. I panicked and was debating rushing back to shore, but no, I couldn’t. I swam on. It was a peculiar feeling, breathing underwater with all of the life surrounding me. I think I would never get bored doing this; there was so much to see. Right as we were about to head back, my dad pointed excitedly at a large object ahead. I turned and there, no more than 5 feet away from me, was a two-foot-long, emerald green sea turtle.

“Don't be afraid of your fears. They're not there to scare you. They're there to let you know that something is worth it.”
― C. JoyBell C.