Kiko enjoys practicing snorkel in Son Bou
Today I had breakfast at restaurant La Basilica overlooking the sea. It´s a great day. The family at the next table is planning to spend their morning diving. Antonio and Catalina come every summer and always spend at least one day to go off and snorkel. Their kids, Peter and Alicia, smile when looking at me and invite me to go with them. What shall I do?
I run to my room, I put on my swimsuit and grab my towel and scuba gear and put it all in my bag. I'm ready for adventure now! There is nothing better than swimming with the fishes, see the crabs walk sideways and be lucky enough to see an octopus on the rocks.
Walking backwards with diving flippers
In Menorca there are many nice places to snorkel. Today we decided to stay at the beach of Son Bou. It is the longest on the island and on the left hand side, near the Hotel Royal Son Bou Family Club, there is an area with sand and rocks, perfect for snorkeling where you can see many sea creatures.
We arrived early. First, we put some sunscreen on. Now, we get our diving flippers on. The kids’ ones are smaller and more manageable. Peter began to walk quickly and suddenly fell down and we all laughed at the astonishment on his face. His father, Antonio, explains that it is better to enter the sea walking backwards to avoid tangling flippers in the sand and we passed through like Pedro. Wow what great! The water feels fresh and is clean and transparent.
We check the equipment before entering the sea
Even though this part of the sea is shallow, Alicia has a life jacket on. It is the smallest one and it will help her to float for a longer time. It is safer and more comfortable. Her mother adjusts her goggle straps and checks that there is no water that can enter nor too tight. She also places the snorkel tube making sure it fits around her mouth. Peter makes us laugh again when testing his tube. He blew so hard on it that the water spurted out and wet a couple that were standing next to us. We checked if all our equipment is in the right place and began swimming toward the rocks.
Do you know what Posidonia is?
Alicia complains about the seaweed on the sandy bottom. But it is not seaweed, it´s a plant called Posidonia Oceanica, which provides oxygen to the water and that’s why it is so transparent. Antonio tells us that Menorca is surrounded by a barrier of Posidonia which ensures the quality of the waters in which we swim and becomes the habitat of many marine species. Then he takes a small seaweed from out between the rocks, crumbling it up with his fingers and puts it back into the water. Almost instantly a small silver fish and other major fishes approach it.
Do not step on sea urchins and watch the jellyfish
Catalina said to be careful with the urchins and ensure that there can be jellyfish around. Peter has found a starfish, we all approach to see. His father has taught us that we should not disturb the animals or alter the marine ecosystem.
We have not strayed far from the coast but we notice that the water is colder. Antonio, who showed us some small crabs and even an octopus, says that's it´s enough for today. If we spend more time at sea we should have brought a wetsuit because our body cools down fast and that how we can get sick.
Preserve the sea, it´s flora and fauna
We left the beach to heat up in the sun. Pedro would like to go and see some underwater caves but his father reminds him that he yet has to grow a bit more to do so. He promises that within a few years, he can see the Malakoff, a French freighter that sank off the coast of Ciutadella almost a century ago. It continues submerged and many fish live in it.
Family snorkeling was great. The adults did not only help but they also explained the importance of preserving the sea, its flora and fauna and how to take the right care to make sure it stays as clear and blue as it is today.