Friday, 3 August 2012

Hamilton Island Water Sports or "Ways to scare my children"

The two cheeky monkeys getting ready to snorkel around Hardy Reef.

I have been meaning to include a few blog posts about our recent trip to Hamilton Island, so here is the first post in my Hamilton Island series (I hope you'll all indulge me in my spot of holiday nostalgia).  Today's post is dedicated to our attempts to engage the two cheeky monkeys in the various water sports available on or around Hamilton Island.  The monkeys both love the water, regularly attending swimming lessons as well as constantly asking to play at the beach when the weather is warmer.  Soooo, we thought that they might enjoy something a little different, such as snorkelling around the Great Barrier Reef.

A view of staghorn coral from the bottom of our semi-submersible boat.

I have to admit that their first introduction to snorkelling, snorkelling lessons in the main resort pool, was not a resounding success.  This was mostly due to the fact that swimming pools do not appear to be heated in the tropics but do not build up enough warmth to avoid feeling like an ice bath!  (I have yet to find a heated, outdoor pool when travelling in the tropics).  The monkeys' second (and perhaps last) attempt at snorkelling was not much better than their first because being thrown into open ocean with live fish, coral, dozens of other snorkellers and a photographer trying to take your photo is not an enjoyable experience after a 1.5 hour (or so) sea sickness-inducing catamaran ride.

Waiting for daddy to push the kayak out to sea.

Undeterred by our miserable attempts at snorkelling, we decided to try sea kayaking, which was provided "free" as part of our accomodation package.  This too, did not start well with monkey #1 and I being washed overboard by a large-ish wave as we were pushing off the beach (we were completely safe in our life jackets and the shallow water).  After the oldest monkey was calmed down, she went off paddling with her dad while I took monkey #2 out with me.  I have to admit that, although I enjoy canoeing and kayaking on lakes, kayaking out on the "open sea" with a small child was truly a SCARY experience for me.  Both monkeys enjoyed the kayaking MUCH better when they went with Mr Cheeky Monkeys as opposed to kayaking with their nervous nelly mum (yes, I am a complete wuss).
Needless to say, the monkeys spent most of our holiday preferring to paddle at the ocean's edge, build sand castles or dipping their toes in the various COLD swimming pools around Hamilton Island.  But I am hopeful that when they are a little older (say in their tweens or teens), they will be able to more fully enjoy the various watersports to which they were I mean "introduced", by their well-meaning, but misguided, parents!

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