What do you fear? I’m not sure what I fear anymore. When people describe me as fearless, I have to think very hard of reasons why they might be wrong. Remember that old saying ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?’ Well after having cancer four times in four years (along with a bunch of major surgeries and my oncologist recently handing me a death sentence), I have been forced to confront my own mortality on many occasions. As a result, I must confess that fear no longer plays the role in my life that it once did. I think this image sums me up pretty well:
I know that many people fear snakes (and that my dear friend Mini will no doubt choose not to read this post!) I ceased to be fearful of them the first time I petted one under controlled conditions (though I am as always conflicted by the idea of any wild creature being kept in captivity).
That said, I have been completely fascinated by sea snakes in particular since first diving with banded sea snakes in the Philippines in 2012.
One of the dive sites on my recent underwater expedition to the Outer Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea was Snake Pit, half way between Lizard Island and Ribbon Reef.
This was truly one of the most critter rich sites of the trip, featuring reef sharks, large turtles, potato cod, schools of barracudas, a massive moray eel and more (which will all feature in the next video I post).
But for me the highlight of this dive was getting to swim with the beautiful olive sea snakes after whom ‘The Pit’ is named. No-one could accuse these snakes of being shy; they love to get up-close-and-personal with any camera lens to admire their own gorgeous reflection. Even more exciting was the rare opportunity to witness and film their graceful mating dance!
After we returned to the surface, Abe told me that after I went on to film the moray eel hiding under a rock ledge, the amorous snakes continued their elegant mating dance, wrapping themselves around and between my fins (further evidence that I must somehow convince him to also dive with a camera! 😛 )
I am not suggesting that snakes are harmless (nor would I make such a suggestion about sharks that I adore diving with). Olive sea snakes are in fact highly venomous, just as the venom of many land snakes can be deadly. However, these snakes are known to be very docile. As with most marine creatures (such as blue ringed octopuses), they are extremely unlikely to cause any harm unless put in a position where they must defend themselves.
When we enter their world, we must do so with awe, wonder and the deepest respect. We know and accept the associated risks but do all we can to mitigate them by exercising a healthy measure of caution.
While I will be super-excited to show you my next video of huge fish schools, turtles and more, sharing this beautiful olive sea snake mating dance with you brings a wide smile to my face and bountiful bliss to my heart.
May joy and peace be yours today, and may all of your fears dissolve and may courage, hope and awe-inspired wonder take their place.
Love and bubbles,
ps Tank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog. While you’re here, please check out a few more of my underwater adventures … and don’t forget to like Pink Tank Scuba on Facebook! 🙂
pps Stay tuned for my next video post, featuring other critters and dive sites from the outer Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea – coming soon!