We were staying at the Bahia Mar near Vilanculos, on the Indian Ocean and decided on the snorkelling trip to Two Mile Reef.
This snorkelling site lies between the Bazaruto and Benguerra Islands, just inside the reef. We stopped off first on a beach dominated by the magnificent dunes which are such a feature of the Mozambique shores and islands. Here we were issued our masks, snorkels and fins and given our instructions, the most important of which was not to swim through the reef. Not only is it risky but there was the distinct possibility of ending up in Madagascar!
In the event there was no danger as the boats stopped well short of the reef to let us off. We strapped on our life jackets, slipped on our fins, adjusted our masks and snorkels and slipped into the warm water. There was a little swell and as soon as we got used to it we all got our heads down and headed off in what we hoped was the right direction
The coral was great. It varied widely in size, shape and colour and the fish life too was plentiful and fascinating – big starfish, lovely blue-spotted ray, angel fish, vivid blue fusilier fish – one of my favourites – all no more than a few metres away. We surfaced occasionally to chat and check our direction and after 40 minutes or so waved to the boats, which had remained close, to come and pick us up. After collecting and checking everyone we headed back to our beach for the barbeque lunch.
The crews had unloaded everything from the boats during the earlier visit and while we snorkelled made a start on the cooking. They rigged a shelter from the hot sun, which we all shared and watched them complete what turned out to be a delicious meal: fresh crab, game fish, chicken, calamari, salad – a very relaxing and well-fed hour and a half. Some enthusiasts climbed the huge dune behind us, but that was optional!
On the way back we stopped off at a stunning, monumental sandbank for a quick swim in the shallow water, still warm and clear, before the fast ride home. What a great day!
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