(and sometimes the beast!)




On a recent holiday to Vanuatu, I discovered snorkelling... on my last two days unfortunately and this is my favourite photo taken on the last day. Stunning rainbows as well as a sweet, blue fish.  
I had previously only gone snorkelling once, under protest, as I'm not a strong swimmer. That was out from Green Island on the Barrier Reef. I didn't enjoy that first time and don't recall seeing anything as I was too busy trying not to drown or choke on the water that kept getting into the snorkel. I couldn't get back to the boat fast enough.  This trip changed all that so I'll be looking out for holiday deals to tropical reef locations...
Where we were in Vanuatu, the reefs were close to shore in fairly quiet, clear water so I didn't feel out of my depth and was able to work out the breathing without feeling like I was going to die. 
My daughter had lent me her underwater camera and I was keen to see what, if anything, was under the surface. Sometimes it was hard to get a good shot with the current buffeting me around (lots of blurred photos), while concentrating on staying afloat as well but on the whole I'm happy with what I got. Wow! Wow! Wow! Here you can see bits of food in the water which was attracting lots of fish to our location. Annoyingly, sometimes though, the camera focussed on the food rather than the fish.
More rainbows and a brilliantly coloured fish.
[EDIT: lemon peel angel fish!] 
 Look at that face, he made me laugh out loud, underwater, luckily I didn't swallow any water...
 I was fascinated by these extremely colourful things. I got too close at one stage and they disappeared!
I've found out they're called Christmas Tree worms (explains them pulling their heads in) or Spirobranchus giganteus and some did look just like tiny white Christmas trees. 
I noticed in the above photo that there was something else and still not sure what it is, but the close up shows the little stripey thing could be a very tiny fishling I guess. 
A lot of the fish I saw I couldn't find names for but this one is an orange finned anemone fish, what a cutie.
Even the clams came in stunning colours.
During a reef walk, not snorkelling, just out from our accommodation we saw lots of other things at low tide.  I hadn't realised sea slugs came in so many shapes and colours.  I didn't like the walk as everything crunched underfoot and I had the feeling we were killing off sea critters. The villagers who lived nearby are out there every low tide looking for various eats.  Our guide said even dugongs turn up at high tide but we didn't see any. 
These blue starfish were everywhere at low tide.  Loved the pattern of the water on this one. 
Little crab playing hide and seek. 
Photobombing was an occupational hazard. I was trying to photograph some of the coral (not an awful lot where I was) when this common reef fish swam into the shot. 
Another UFO (Unknown Fishy Object) swimming out of the pink coral. 
More coral...
This guy just appeared, possibly thought I had food and I was too close to him to get the full view (complete with fin of another photobomber) but his head is a vision isn't it? 
I don't think these shots do the colours justice but I think you get the idea. Imagine it 3 times more vivid!
Can't wait to go again...


  1. Oh gosh Sandy- I have such admiration for two things in your post.
    Firstly, the fact you perservered with the snorkelling until you 'got' it. Go you!!! Especially after feeling your first experience of it wasn't all that good.
    Secondly, your photos of the coral and fish - wow, so brilliant... on every level! They're stunners and your narration is beaut too. You've really conveyed your excitement perfectly. The colours are magnificent and the last fish is amazing (ooooh, gotta get the paints out ;D)).
    Thanks for sharing all this! Cheers :D)

    1. Thanks Sue, much appreciated. Can't wait to do some more snorkelling. Feel free to paint any of my fish photos. Some not posted were quite bizarre looking but not as colourful.

    2. Thanks Sandy, I've had a 'go-slow' on painting (as can happen) but with today's re-visit, I can feel the juices stirring ;D) xx

    3. I'm sure you'll do them proud...

  2. WOW! Beautiful and colorful fishes all around. I usually enjoy seeing them:)

    1. Thanks for visiting, there are quite beautiful aren't they?