Con Son, Vietnam22 May 2017
All night a storm raged around the Con Dau Islands. We would fall asleep in a lull of rain, only to be woken shortly by deafening raindrops pelting the roof. Even when the storm moved away, and we could count eight seconds between the flash of lightning and the peal of thunder, we could feel the building rock. For all our good intentions of going to bed early, the rain coupled with noisy hotel guests banging about the corridor at ungodly hours meant that we didn't achieve a perfect eight hours' sleep. Tired as we were, we were excited to go snorkelling, so we threw on our clothes and rushed down to the shoreline.
Once the boat was anchored, we were given snorkelling masks and sent out into the water! With the waves, it was a bit disconcerting at first, as I was afraid that the water would go over my snorkel and I would inhale liquid. I needn't have been afraid, as the waves weren't that large and Yannick helped me though the rise in panic. Before long, we were floating around and gazing at all the different fish and coral. Another of the storm effects was that some sand was tossed up from the seabed, meaning that in places visibility was murky and the bright colours of the coral didn't stand out as much as it should have. However, we did find some really good patches where the colours stood out like neon, and even in the muted areas, the experience was brilliant. Coral sprouted from all over the sea floor in so many different shapes and colours. One of the most common types looked exactly like a brain, and was named accordingly. There was also a type of coral that looked like a mushroom, another that was super pointy, and one that looked like a cauliflower. We saw hundreds of fish: in schools, on their own nibbling at algae, flitting in and out of coral, big fish, tiny fish, and even one jet black fish that I followed for a while like chasing a shadow. Yannick hoped to catch sight of a stingray but missed out. We saw sea cucumbers instead (which I initially took for knobbly logs).
Before heading back to Con Son, we stopped once more at another snorkelling spot. I was exhausted, so stayed in the boat, but Yannick went out for another paddle around. When we found ourselves back on dry land, we beelined for the hotel and I passed out immediately, in desperate need of a nap. I was very unaccustomed to swimming, or any other exercise apart from light walking.