After a full week of diving, our last full day on the liveaboard came all too soon. On Saturday, February 14th – Valentine’s Day – we had to stay close to the surface for a full 24 hours before getting on a plane on Sunday. Snorkeling was in order. And what better place to snorkel than among stingless jellyfish?!

Jellyfish Lake is a marine (aka salt water) lake that was separated from the rest of the ocean thousands of years ago, trapping millions of jellyfish in a lake with few predators, thus eliminating their need to sting.

At around 7:30am we boarded the skiff with our snorkeling gear and headed to Jellyfish Lake. From the ocean there’s not much to see – a dock and a small hut at the edge of the ocean. We disembarked the skiff and headed up the newly made concrete steps with a rope hold on one side (this is apparently a vast improvement over the mud path that existed until a few years ago) up and over a big hill, at the bottom of which is the infamous Jellyfish Lake.

Truth be told, from the surface, Jellyfish Lake is not that special….

Until you get in the water and swim towards the middle of the lake. Then you are surrounded by jellyfish of all sizes, pulsing themselves along with no particular destination. We had to be careful not to kick or move to quickly lest we chop up a jellyfish with our fins. At one point I churned my arms too quickly only to find that a thumbnail had sliced through a little jelly, leaving it pulsing away with a part of its body trailing behind. For a full five seconds I was heartbroken.

 

Until you get in the water and swim towards the middle of the lake. Then you are surrounded by jellyfish of all sizes, pulsing themselves along with no particular destination. We had to be careful not to kick or move to quickly lest we chop up a jellyfish with our fins. At one point I churned my arms too quickly only to find that a thumbnail had sliced through a little jelly, leaving it pulsing away with a part of its body trailing behind. For a full five seconds I was heartbroken.

For over an hour we swam among the jellies. We touched them, held them, and took loads of photos. Mostly we coasted along the surface taking in the view below. It was mystical. Spiritual even.

On the way back to the boat, we took a leisurely ride through the rock islands, which reminded us of our first day of kayaking. This country is amazing. Happy smiling people, with scenery that can accurately be described as paradise. It was hard to board the plane on Sunday.

This is the best way to get a sense of what it was like to swim and snorkel with jellyfish.

On the way back to the boat, we took a leisurely ride through the rock islands, which reminded us of our first day of kayaking.

This country is amazing. Happy smiling people, with scenery that can accurately be described as paradise. It was hard to board the plane on Sunday.