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Snorkeling...Isolation in the Boundless Beauty of the Formidable Ocean

Snorkeling...Isolation in the Boundless Beauty of the Formidable Ocean
By Sharon S. Joag

Incredibly thrilling to swim out with fins and snorkel gear into the depths of the ocean.  Starting from shore on a small island, I saw that the depth increases almost instantly and I was faced with the vastness of the ocean.

It's an undeniably solitary sport, even if you are snorkeling with a group.  Since once your snorkel gear is on, and your head is under water, all you can see is the ocean and the fish, and all you can really hear is your own amplified breathing, in and out.  It feels like pure isolation, almost meditative and you are left with your own mind.  Your own thoughts to guide you or to torment you.

Challenging your natural instinct to breathe in through your nose, and forced to breathe with your mouth; the snorkel mask helping to keep your nose from doing any work.  Unlike scuba diving, where you can go to depths of exploration unlike any other, into the ocean, snorkeling gives you the amazing glimpse into the ocean, yet keeps you "grounded" to the air, where you can come up at any time and feel secure that you can breathe normally in a matter of seconds.

One day, I decided that I didn't need any snorkel gear.  Having only a mask, I decided to dive under, and take a look at all the wonderful, colorful fish I'd never seen.  Having only a mask gave me a false sense of security, and I automatically started to breathe underwater, like it was second nature.
Then, realizing it was a fatal move, I rushed to the surface to spit up the water, and frantically gulped in some fresh air.  

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