We all want the perfect holiday but sometimes, things don’t go as planned. When my four-day weekend to Malapascua started off with a few minor hiccups, I knew that this trip would be an interesting one.
Malapascua is known for the thresher sharks that swim in it’s seas. On our first morning, we woke up at 5am hoping to meet these elusive creatures. Greeted by the beautiful morning light, we put our scuba gear, got in the water, and started to descend.
The thresher shark dive is an uneventful one, until the sharks come out. You basically drop to 23 meters and wait. As an open water diver, I was only allowed to stay for 30 minutes and unfortunately, the time had passed on none of the sharks appeared. Disappointed at the non-appearance, my instructor and I started to ascend to our safety stop. During our five minute wait, I zoned out on our bubbles and just took in the serenity of the sea. Then all of a sudden, my face felt like it was on fire. I figured that they were little, prickly sea creatures and that the burning sensation would pass, but the pain stayed and magnified. I signaled my instructor to check my face but he didn’t seem to see anything unusual. We had two minutes more until we surfaced so I tolerated the pain and controlled the urge to panic. As soon as we hit the surface, I felt my face quickly swelling up. My instructor, who at first didn’t think of it as anything, started asking me questions like, “Can you breathe? Does your throat feel like it’s closing up?” Thankfully, I answered no to all. The divers suggested that I wash my face with vinegar and we just giggled about the fact that I looked absolutely hilarious.
I was itching the whole time we were in Malapascua and I looked like I had really bad acne, but that didn’t dampen my spirits at all. The sun shone bright, the water was crystal clear, I had a mango shake in one hand and Mike holding the other.
Everything was going to be all right.
As for the thresher sharks, Mike went out again the next morning and saw two.