Okay, I admit it - I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to snorkelling. In my defence, I'm from the Jaws generation and grew up terrified of going into the water for fear of what lurks beneath.

My husband, on the other hand, possesses a more adventurous spirit. He doesn't think twice about enthusiastically throwing himself to the deepest depths of the oceans in search of sharks and other scary sea creatures.

With this in mind we agreed it would be sensible to go our separate ways on our snorkelling adventures in the Perhentians. Steve took off on a morning of adrenalin and adventure swimming with reef sharks, I chose to go in search of serene and calm turtles. I still had a few butterflies as Jessica waved me goodbye from the jetty shouting "Be brave Mummy".

Without doubt, the snorkeling in the Perhentian Islands is incredible and one of the best places in the world I've been lucky enough to experience. The endless blue sea is crystal clear and sparkling and the beautiful, vibrant coral simply teems with tiny colourful fish.

Snorkeling around the blissfully uninhabited Rawa islands was spectacular. You couldn't help but find Nemo with the anemones providing homes to hundreds of clown fish. Graceful eagle rays darted across the ocean floor and I was thrilled to follow a rarely spotted enormous Napoleon fish, around the corals. I was already grinning from ear to ear as we boarded the boat and headed onwards to our next destination the aptly known "Turtle Point".

When we arrived we drifted up and down along the bay slowly peering downwards for a glimpse of a turtle. Our guide eventually yells "turtle" and we leap to our feet and jump overboard. Sure enough a giant speckled Hawksbill turtle was gliding along the sandy floor of the bay just a few metres away.

My heart and blood were pumping and I was pinching myself and trying to take it all in. Suddenly it was strangely peaceful I glanced around and realised everyone else had disappeared. It was just me and this beautiful, graceful creature swimming alone. Under normal circumstances I would have completely panicked about being alone in open water and would have headed for the safety of the boat. But not today, this was just too good to rush. Jessica's words "Be brave Mummy" rang in my ears and I swam harder, faster and further than I have ever done in my life to keep up with the turtle.

After around five minutes of swimming together, he eventually decided to head up to the surface. As his head broke the water I peeked up and we looked straight at each other for a second before he took his breath and dived back down. Just amazing and awe inspiring to have been privileged enough to share the ocean space with this giant, peaceful creature. Reluctantly, I let the turtle out of my sights and started the long, arduous swim back to the boat with shrivelled up fingers and a huge smile on my face.

Over lunch, Steve shared his equally thrilling morning of amazing underwater experiences including a very close encounter with graceful black tip and reef sharks. Rather him than me.....

There is a plethora of organised snorkeling trips every day in the Perhentians. Or, if like me, you prefer staying closer to dry land you can jump off many of the jetties and piers dotted around the island. The bay in front of Perhentian Island resorts is a favourite spot for turtles and the house reef in front of the Tuna Bay Island resort is superb. We were lucky enough to spot giant moral eels and pufferfish as well as hundreds of schools of tiny feeding fishes just here.

The snorkelling in the Perhentians is simply breathtaking and my incredible experience swimming alone with that beautiful turtle will certainly stay with me for a long time to come.

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