I think I speak for all the Blue Economy interns when I say that the past few days have really been incredible. It’s my first time in Mauritius so it’s really an awesome experience especially that we had the chance to see practically everything there is to see in Mauritius. Within just a week we were able to learn and do so much. For example on Tuesday we went snorkeling… in a mangrove!
The drive to Four Seasons, where we would be meeting for the snorkel, was a long one but certainly not boring as there was a lot to see along the way. Our driver was more than happy to act as a tour guide pointing out historical and touristic sites and sharing some Mauritian legends with us. The scenery was unbelievable.
Upon our arrival we were greeted by friendly staff members and showed the way to the conference room for a quick welcome and briefing by Rick Bonnier, resident Marine Educator at WiseOceans, Four Seasons, about the upcoming snorkel. He also told us about the company which first opened in Mauritius in 2008 and what he did there. High tide was not until eleven so we had time to ask questions.
At high tide we all followed Rick to a beautiful beach where we were equipped with snorkeling gear. Most of us had never been snorkeling in a mangrove before so we really had no idea what to expect. Unlike reef snorkels, the mangrove had little coral and the water turned murky quickly if you put your feet down. However, the species were of the same type, including the fish. Rick was very observant, pointing out the smallest and the most camouflaged creatures. He showed us clams and shells for the group to see. We saw lots of fish including pufferfish, butterfly fish, starfish, an eel and others. What was really interesting was that the water was about less than a metre high so we were a very short distance from the mangrove bed. So close that our bodies were almost touching the corals and we could see everything up close. We snorkeled above corals and along the roots of the mangroves. Swimming in between trees was definitely something different and I consider myself quite lucky to have been able to experience such a thing. I can now say that I’ve been snorkeling in a mangrove.
I would definitely like to do it again sometime. I am really grateful to Kalsey and the other organisers of the trip for including the snorkel in the itinerary. It was very interesting and really made the trip along with all the other activities. I look forward to the next few days.
Written by Nikita Rennie.