My Mum told me I chuckled merrily when she first gave me my beach bath ….
Looks like I do till now. I love the sea. I am a true islander. Happiest when I am by the beach and the sea. Nothing else matters, life seems restful and all seems to come back to order. Being born in Mauritius, I could only follow the nation’s favourite pasttime. Picnicking at the beach, call it a day, a public holiday, a celebration, Mauritians will find any opportunity to be by the beach.
The whole family spends langorous, hedonistic and lazy hours under the shade of the casuarina trees swayed by the gentle breeze nimbling at delicious snacks in between runs of swimming in the lagoon. Wet and sticky with sand, everyone’s pleasure is tolling day long on the stretches of gorgeous beaches Mauritius is famous for. And to the more adventurous, comes the snorkeling. Yet to the more adventurous, diving takes a special place depending on time one can devote to follow this passion.
Mauritius undoubtedly shares the reputation of one of the most sought after and reputed diving spots on this planet. What makes this distinction ? Well, the rich variety of marine life, the crystal clear water, the temperature, and the accessibility ticks all the right boxes to a memorable diving experience. I spent all my childhood and adolescence by the beach. I learnt swimming quite late though, at 12 years old. Since then, I took part in many national competitions and won a few too. But my dream was to be able to dive. And to start, I tried my first snorkeling … it was a disaster ! I choked, spat, drank sea water … and my eyes hurt and burnt for some days. However, my first diving experience was painless. It was like anticipating agony at the dentist and it turns out to be smooth and eventless. My first initiation was given to me by a friend who now runs the first diving centre on the island.
It is nothing equal to any terrestrial experience. I saw a yellow and black sea eel ( below is a picture showing, but its not mine, courtesy to Nautilus), and shoals of simmering fish in a multitude of colours which all …. seemed a bit blurred and grey at first. But later, it was joy. A feeling of awe, intense euphoria with that frustrating and exploding sense of wanting to shout without being able to.
Scuba divers in Mauritius are spoilt for choice of dive sites. There are numerous dive sites strewn all over the island. Beginners can start at the shallow side of the ocean whereas experienced divers can head straight for the more adventurous dive sites such as cliffs, caverns, reefs, pinnacles and wrecks. One of the well-known and popular dive sites in Mauritius is the Cathedral that is located off the Flic en Flac on the western coast of Mauritius. Other dive sites in Mauritius include the Whale Rock and Roche Zozo that is an underwater rock pinnacle and the submerged crater near Ile Ronde.
Can’t wait to get my paddlers on again this Summer ….. Some nice pics at this site, click to see them : Panoramio