After seven days of sailing through the Indian Ocean, we finally reach Mauritius. Mauritius was the port, where we stayed the shortest. Our stay in Mauritius was only for 12 hours. As we approached Port Louis, the view it offered won everyone’s heart. First of all, not only was it breathtaking to see land after seven days, but also, the mountains and greenery were magnificent!
As it is in every port, some of the classes have field labs in them, and this port was no different. For my Introduction to Oceanography class, I had a field lab in Mauritius. I signed up for this class, because it would fulfil one of my core credits. Also, the reason I signed up for this class because it would include kayaking through mangroves in Mauritius. I thought, having kayaked before, this would be no problem. However, after I started with the semester, I read through the description again and it said, kayaking and snorkelling in Mauritius. I thought this is the end of me. Because, as I mentioned in my first article, I did not know how to swim! So, I gathered enough courage to speak to my professor and told him that, I did not know how to swim. He asked me, if I knew how to float. I said I did not know how to float. He assured me that, apparently, I would float like a cork! He suggested that I make use of the swimming pool on the ship and learn how to swim. Starting from Vietnam, till Mauritius, with the help of a friend from Hawaii, I actually learned how to swim and snorkelled in the ship’s swimming pool. So, Mauritius was the place to put my newly acquired skill to test.
Every port we arrived at, immigration has to first clear all of us and then we get can get off the ship. After we arrived in Mauritius, the immigration was very efficient and cleared all of us within a very short time. As the ship was cleared, the field lab groups were the first to get off. Funny thing was that, there were two classes which had field labs in Mauritius. Our field lab was kayaking and snorkelling and the other class’s field lab was visiting the Finance Ministry of Mauritius. I felt bad for them, because, in a beautiful place like Mauritius, we had only 12 hours and they had to be stuck in the Finance Ministry, listening to lectures. However, it was time for us to take off!
We had an hour long bus ride to the spot from where we were supposed to kayak to a lagoon. We all got life jackets and then picked a kayak and a partner to kayak with. We kayaked through mangroves and little islands of mangroves. At one point, we all got tired and just jumped off our kayaks in the water. It was such an amazing feeling to be in the ocean water! As we sail through seas and oceans, sometimes, it is more than just tempting to just jump in the water. But we are not allowed to. Here, we did not have to restrain ourselves. After kayaking for an hour, we reached the lagoon where we were going to have lunch and then go snorkelling. The lunch we had on this trip was amazing. I have never had beach barbeque before. And our agency organised one for us. They cooked amazing food for us which we had on the beach.
Lunch was over, and it was time to start snorkelling. I grabbed myself a mask and followed my friend. This was my first time swimming in the ocean water and first time snorkelling. I am not sure how long we snorkelled for, but I lost track of time there. It was a whole new world out there under water. It was something I have never experienced before. I saw corals, colourful fish, sea urchins, and even held a star fish in my hand! I just discovered a whole new world out there. It was magical. I would say that, those were the best 12 hours in Mauritius that we could have possibly spent! Off to South Africa it is!