Swimming in the sea is a bit like marmite, you either love it or you hate it. Being a marmite dis-liker and a sand-everywhere hater, I’d have to say that I fall in the category of the latter.
It’s a bit like being scared of heights or having a fear of injections… a lot of people who don’t have these fears, just can’t comprehend it. But, being mildly unhappy with heights and occasionally fainting from injections (generally, just being a wuss it seems), I can completely relate.
I think my dislike of the sea stems from a few things – it’s a bit like a game of jenga in reverse (I’ve been adding a piece at a time). When I was a child, I spent a lot of time at the beach and nothing phased me. Sure, I didn’t like the sand but I got past this. As I grew up, I started to give myself heart palpitations thinking of all sorts of scenarios. This is how my brain started to work:
- Dark sea = I’ll slip on a fish and every plastic bag that touches me is a definite jellyfish
- Deep open water = My feet dangling for any sort of wide-jawed beast to come up and pull me under
Of course, I know this is ridiculous but when you build something up in your mind, it can be hard to change your perception on things. Plus it doesn’t help when I’d booked a holiday to Egypt a few years back and weeks before my flight, there had been several shark attacks round the corner from where I’d be staying – multiplying my fears.
So, for the people who prefer to know what’s beneath them, I thought I’d come up with a list of four beautiful seas that will reduce that fear to nothingness and make you want to dive head first right into the water. This list only includes waters that I’ve personally tried and tested… not just toe-dipping – full on splashing about (with a smile on my face!)
1. Bali – Gilli Trawangan, Lombok
The water here is clear, a good temperature and its surroundings are truly stunning. Watch out though for the anchored boats which are often extremely close to the shore. And don’t attempt to pull a Leonardo Dicaprio (in The Beach) and swim to the neighbouring island – it may seem close but we were warned by locals that it really isn’t. The sheer distance combined with the current would be an accident waiting to happen! Oh and remember where you left your belongings as you may find yourself drifting further and further away without even realising. You’ll have to either swim back against the current or try your luck walking barefoot on the sand which feels like it’s been heated to 100 degrees.
2. Dubai – Nasimi Beach
The sea here is shallow enough that you can stand but not shallow enough that you have to walk out miles before being able to get your midriff wet. This beach is located on the palm and directly behind you is the Atlantis Hotel – a large 5 star hotel. It’s the perfect location if you’re after a relaxing day. If you want a sun lounger however then be prepared to fork out a few dirham’s.
(photo via wikipedia)
3. Thailand – Phi Phi Island, Loh Dalum Bay
Phi Phi Island waters are of the stillest I’ve been in. If you’re looking for a swimming pool replica then look no further (well, a children’s swimming pool anyway). You can walk out for what seems like miles and still be only shin-deep. It’s ideal though if you’re looking to lounge out at the edge of the water. The beach can get extremely busy though in peak times. I went late September and it was much quieter.
4. Australia – Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach
This is possibly the most stunning beach I have ever been to. I did debate whether to include this in the list however. When I was in the water, there were stingrays nearby. I didn’t encounter them though and the water is too beautiful not to get in. We stayed in the water for as long as we could, throwing a tennis ball back and forth. It was haven-ly (sorry, I had to go there!) And don’t worry if you’re hungover – this water will sort you right out (it did for us!). And if you fancy brushing your teeth but have forgotten to bring your toothbrush then fear not as the sand is so white, soft and velvet-like that you can apparently use it to clean your teeth and some even say it can whiten them. Who needs Colgate when you have sand!?
(photo via wikipedia)