Lifejacket Complication

Sometimes when we travel, funny things happen. Sometimes inappropriate or embarrassing things happen. And sometimes, they are worth laughing at. 

I’m a pretty strong swimmer as I used to be a lifeguard. I’m not always 100% confident in open water though. I know that I can swim and I’m not going to drown, but when snorkelling I like to enjoy what I’m seeing instead of worrying about treading water, so I often wear a lifejacket.

When you are travelling in other countries, although the boats have enough lifejackets for everyone, they aren’t always the right size. You often don’t get fitted in your jacket before going out on the water, so, you take what you can get, knowing that it will help you float.

If you’ve read about my amazing experience snorkelling with the sea lions, you’ll know how excited I was to be enjoying the moment, but before the excitement, I was a wee bit uncomfortable. When Captain Armando started taking photos of me with the sea lions, I was constantly hauling down on my lifejacket. It was too large and it is no fun when it is constantly up under your chin and around your ears rather than securely held in place at your waist. 

After pulling down on it many times, Captain Armando came over to me and motioned that he could help me. We were a bit too far away from the boat to swim back, climb on and fix the lifejacket, so he was going to help me in the water, although due to the language barrier, I wasn’t quite sure how.

Ooops. Where’d he go?

Ooops! Um …. I found him …

… Down there … Yup … down THERE.

He was underwater trying to loosen the leg straps of the lifejacket. I could feel his hands on my legs, gently pushing me one way or another. Once the straps were loosened, he now had the task of getting it fastened while I’m bobbing in the ocean waves and the lifejacket is around my ears.

While Armando was down there fumbling around, I actually laughed out loud at how ridiculous and awkward the situation was. Some strange man was down there trying to put a belt between my legs and get it fastened.

Now don’t get me wrong, there was nothing sexual or inappropriate about this, just a Scuba diving instructor/boat Captain trying to help me out and make me more comfortable so that I could enjoy snorkelling.

Needless to say, the strap helped keep the lifejacket in place and it was much more comfortable for the rest of the swim. I was able to enjoy the marine life and stop fiddling with my jacket.

Man on back of boat with arms outstretched and a smile on his face
Armando Boat Captain and Lifejacket fixer extraordinaire | Photo Credit: Shari Tucker

To the Captain Armando’s of the world who hold their breath and fiddle with leg straps in awkward positions so your tourists can enjoy their snorkelling experience, thank you!

While I can’t promise you Captain Armando to take photos of you and fix your life jacket if it is too big, I can promise to share my first hand travelling experiences with you so that we can create the perfect itinerary to have a memorable trip to an unforgettable destination.

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