Sexy underwater ladies

December 2003 saw me head to Guam and Palau for my first underwater experience. For many years now I have been trying to become qualified but things have always gone against me. At first, I was a poor student traveling around Australia with my boyfriend. I really wanted to try diving in Exmouth, but he said we should conserve our money, so I had to just settle for snorkelling. On my second attempt I took my medical in Cairns on January 2nd after getting up for an 8 hour flight via Brisbane from Perth at 4:30am on New Year's Day after only an hour or two of sleep, needless to say I didn't pass... My third trip, this time to learn to dive in Thailand, was cancelled due the outbreak of SARS, and so when my friend mentioned she was going to learn to dive in Guam, I jumped at the chance.

After becoming qualified in Guam we headed to Palau where we were joined by 2 other girls whose husbands worked for the navy in Guam. While my friend Rose and I had taken to water like dolphins, these two ladies were a lot less confident.

On our first dive in Palau we dove in quite a large group of mixed men and women, and were often surrounded by sharks, I saw at least 20 in one dive, but they stayed quite far away and never caused us any problems at all. I always remember one of my primary school teachers talking about diving in the Cocos Islands. She said that one of the most peaceful things was seeing the sharks just swim by peacefully, I couldn't quite believe her story until after this dive.

The following day Rose and I were teamed up with the two ladies from Guam, and a female instructor, Mandy for a very female day, (with the exeption of our Boat driver). Mandy was fantastic and I soon had complete confidence in her. The first dive for the day was Turtle Cove. Rose and I confidently launched into the water and were eager to explore the rock hole cavern where the dive was to begin, slightly dissappointed as we weren't able to dive the famous 'Blue Corner' due to weather conditions. However, the other two ladies were having some difficulties getting started, so Mandy waved Rose and I on, and we headed down into the rock cavern. As we went down I noticed a shark at the bottom, and made it a point to stay aware. Down below Rose and I kept our distance from the shark, and we were soon joined by Mandy and the other girls, and started floating along the drop off ledge admiring all the breathtaking coral, although we took care to keep breathing. As we glided along, I felt so peaceful just drifting that I started to lag at the back of the group where I noticed the shark from before was following close behind, and in fact moving towards me rather too close for comfort. Ok, so although I was at peace, I still feared for my life, and casually, ok, perhaps it was hastily, made my way towards Mandy whilst keeping an eye over my shoulder.

As this was still only one of my first ocean dives I was quite scared, what was this shark doing coming so close towards me, it in fact seemed as if it was charging me!!! Luckily I was able to keep my cool, and write Mandy a message on her slate board.
Me : 'What kind of shark is that? Is it dangerous?'
Mandy : 'No, it's not a shark, it's a ramora eel.'
Me : *feeling stupid* 'Ohhh, err.. so why is it charging at me?'
Mandy : 'He wants to be our friend, he thinks we're cute!'

And that was all the encouragement I needed, the next time it charged I held out my hand, now safe in the knowledge he wasn't dangerous at all. However, upon seeing me do this the two girls from Guam started to freak out and flutter their legs and hide behind Mandy, she then explained to them as she had just told me that it wasn't dangerous, was just looking for friends, and thought we were quite sexy!

When we all got out of the water, we all started laughing, I wont be mistaking a ramora eel for a shark again!!!
And with that, I was hooked!

ramora eel in Palau speak probably means "remora" ... the ed

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