Undoubtedly the tropical islands are the most attractive and desirable destinations for a visit and vacations.
Leisurely activities under the tropical weather, fruits, and secluded sandy beaches make us feel relaxed and happier, whether accommodated in high-luxury resorts, guest houses or camping.
So, while you are out there walking along that white sandy beach soaking up the tropical sun on your skin and admiring the crystal turquoise waters, you may start wondering: how come this sand is so soft and lovely? or, how come is so different from other beaches you’ve been to? All of that beauty comes from the coral reefs surrounding the tropical islands. The colour of the sand and the waters come from the corals. Coral reefs need sunshine and warmer water temperatures to grow and that’s why are mostly found in the tropical climates. Moreover, every precious animal and fish you may encounter is there because of the reefs. They feed on the seaweed, plankton, and algae that grow on a coral reef. It’s their natural habitat. Coral reefs can house thousands of species. They provide food, shelter, and conditions for reproduction of the diverse marine life.
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Coral reefs are very fragile ecosystems sensitive to water temperature. When water temperature exceeds a certain limit the corals start to bleach.
The science still doesn’t know why is that. That’s why the whole world cares about their protection and importance. Healthy coral reefs mean healthy oceans which means a healthy planet.
Now you’ll need that mask for one scuba, snuba or snorkeling experience to meet the animals and the marine life. It’s a must when on tropical islands. In fact, probably most of us are there in the first place. The main income from the tourism in the tropical islands comes from the tours and underwater activities of the visitors and fishing industry which is again related and dependable to coral reefs health as the fishes natural habitat.
Some of the most wonderful snorkeling spots can be reached right from the shore, so you’ll only need a snorkeling mask and that’s it. The reefs that lie closer to the shore in the shallow waters are called fringing reefs. No previous experience is needed. However, for diving you’ll need a license and a boat to take you to the barrier reef located in the deeper waters, to reach the underwater spots, caves or corals where the marine life is reacher and some big fish like sharks or stingrays and turtles can be seen. Barrier reefs protect the shallow waters along the shore from the open sea, because the waves break on the reef. So, whenever you see those calm turquoise waters you’ll know that you should take your mask and go find that reef to enjoy the underwater colourful beauty of the corals and fishes.
Snorkeling? Swimming with snorkel, a device allowing a swimmer to breathe while face down on the surface of the water, consisting of a bent tube fitting into the mouth and projecting above the surface. Scuba diving? Swimming underwater using scuba gear, a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba) which is completely independent of surface supply, to breathe underwater. Snuba is a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving where the swimmer uses the fins, mask, and breathing apparatus commonly used in scuba diving, but the oxygen tanks remain on the surface (on the boat).
For scuba diving, you’ll need to obtain a license or to be a certified scuba diver if you want to dive. But, if you don’t have it luckily you can get it on your vacation by attending a 4-day course for diving. You can take the course from the companies that provide scuba diving activities or online with the PADI e-learning program. PADI open water diver course is the first diving certification course you can enroll to become a fully certified diver and when you do become one you’ll be able to dive as deep as 18 m. There is no expiration date of the certificate or in other words, it’s good for life.
Before you go tell someone where are you going and don’t go diving alone, take a friend or two with you, one of which to stay in the boat. Of course, you shouldn’t drink alcohol or take a hot shower and your last meal should be at least 2 hours before you go dive.
Take only pictures and memories. In the water don’t touch or take anything, especially the corals since they are too fragile. Practice buoyancy control of the body so to avoid kicking the sand on the bottom. When swimming under the water the position of your body should be parallel above the coral reef with arms crossed (if possible) that will reduce the risk of accidentally damaging any marine life or sticking your fins in the sand, for example, and hurt other animals.
Using your underwater camera in a more considerate way to the others of the group when in the water is the same as on land. So, while you are capturing the photos of a lifetime avoid blocking the view of the other divers in the group. As a beginner don’t compare with the experienced divers, instead keep to the things you know and learned how to do or behave. Take your time and enjoy your dive.