I imagine it is as close as you can get to flying.
Below you you can see the ground, above you only blue. At the point where you get it right, “flying” upwards is as easy as taking a deep breath, heading towards the ground is as easy as letting it out again. Wanna do 360 degree rolls? Easy. Barrel rolls? Equally easy. All around you are the fauna and flora whose space you are sharing, ogling at, wondering about, staring at.
Try and reach out and touch them. Sometimes you can take them unawares and just touch before they are gone quicker than you can chase them – usually however they see you coming and are away before you get close.
Often that is a blessing as what you were about to touch has many inbuilt defences against being touched… Barbs, spikes even electric shocks.
Sometimes you just wanna stop, hold your breath and hope that they haven’t noticed you trespassing in their territory, because they are HUGE and have big scary teeth.
However on and on you swoop up and down trying to take in this wonderful world. Want to pick some of those gorgeous “flowers”? I wouldn’t recommend it. Just like the fauna, much of the flora has its defenses.
Still, I am glad that we are able to visit even just to look and to marvel at the places where in terms of percentage of visitors at least, few ever come.
What am I on about?
Yes, SCUBA diving.
It is not a poor man’s day trip, I will grant you that. A pair of dives can cost a lot of money, but SCUBA is thrilling. Just understanding that you can breathe under water can be hard – a moment of panic as you first begin to sink is usual. But once your training kicks in and you calm down you look around this totally new world and dare I say, marvel at it.
We just had 2 pairs of dives with different companies on Moorea in French Polynesia, so 4 different dive sites in 2 days and we enjoyed time with Lemon sharks, Black tipped sharks, Grey sharks and Nurse sharks – some of which were up to 3 metres (10 feet in old money) long. No matter how much you know that these things are not interested in you there is still a certain primeval chill that runs up and down your back when you see one less than 10 metres away and kinda looking in your direction!
We saw so many types of fish in wonderful groups bright colours and many within arms reach.
We saw the hard coral looking like roses in an area they call “the rose garden”; we saw how the soft coral hitch was devastated in a typhoon just a couple of years ago is starting to regrow and add colour to the grey coral and black basalt undersea extension of the island.
My favourite bit was the Green Sea turtle kinda sheltering and trying to hide from us under some coral – but we saw it and oohed and ahead as much as is possible under water (silently that is).
I love diving. I love the freedom I imagine I have, limited only by the duration of the air in the tank on my back and the dive master’s instructions.
Bring it on – hopefully next stop The Great Barrier Reef (depending on the conditions there in early March).