Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Trip of Ofu, Part III - Strong Currents

The first day on Ofu, we went to the beach. It is basically your own private beach - the 12 of us were the only people on the beach - for a far as you could see, which was like two miles. Can not get that at the Jersey Shore. Coral reefs are right off the beach, so it is also great snorkeling. As I said, Ofu is wonderful, but for about 40 minutes it was horrible. As I was snorkeling with my new friends Fred and Niki, we noticed that the coral reef dropped off - the next thing I know, I was being pulled out to the ocean. yikes. I did not freak out until I attempted to swim as hard as I could and just kept moving further out to sea. I also got caught in the area where the waves break - and got trashed around a couple of times - now I know what it is like to be in a washing machine. For a good minute I thought it was over for me. Did I mention it was my birthday, nice present to myself. Luckily, I was able to swim to the side and get out of the current. By the time I made it back to the beach, I was exhausted and my legs were cut up due the coral. Two other people also got caught into the strong current and faced a similar situation. It was a stressful time for everyone. Fortunately, everyone made it back in one piece. While I do not recommend a near drowning experience, it is an amazing way to bond 12 people in a short amount of time.

The beach at Ofu and where I got caught in the waves.
I plan on snorkelling again, but I think I will stay closer to shore.

1 comment:

Andrea Bracken said...

Glad you made it out alive. My friend, Karla Heerman, died there in 1995 while working for FEMA. She was snorkeling and got pulled out to sea. The rescuers didn't get to her in time. She is still missed by many to this day.