There are some places on earth, some things that once seen cannot be captured, cannot be written or described. It’s like taking a photograph of a breathtaking scene, but once you view the photo back at home, it's an underwhelming experience to say the least. These are the photos that your friends breeze by with only a quick glance, and you plead with them trying to convince them how wonderful it looked when you were there, conceding eventually that ‘you had to be there’, and leaving it at that.
There were places we sailed to in the
When we woke the next morning and sat with coffee in hand admiring our surroundings, I felt we’d definitely reached heaven.
Every shade of blue, teal, turquoise and many others there is no name for, surrounded us in the sky and in the water. And we spent the day discovering each tiny island, buzzing around on the dinghy and taking it up to the reef. Once there, John put on the snorkel mask and dipped his face over the edge of the dinghy. He came up excitedly saying Holli, you should see what’s down here just below us! Go in! So I put on the mask and carefully dipped over the edge into the warm water. I was absolutely shocked and overwhelmed. Within my reach were hundreds of multicoloured fish, coral and other mysterious underwater life, and all the colours were indescribably diverse and bright. I came bursting up out of the water, unable to breathe in the mask and trying excitedly to speak and flailing about – Trish and John thought something was wrong. I flung off the mask and started babbling about what was just under me. It was like being in the real life world of Finding Nemo!
This trip out to the reef took a turn for the worse however, as my non-outdoorsy suburban upbringing exposed me when I needed to think practically and react accordingly a few minutes later…
John had decided to jump in and get some photos, however he had jumped out of the boat right onto a jutting coral and cut his stomach. He said he was okay, and continued to swim about with the camera in hand. Seconds later we realised how strong the currents were, as Trish and I in the dinghy had drifted quite far from the reef where John was.
John motioned for me to start the dinghy engine and head back over to him, but as we were just above so much coral, I couldn’t let the engine down into the water. I looked up and he was even farther away and I panicked. I eventually got the engine down in the water and revved it so hard it took us jolting forward. It started pouring rain just then and I forgot all my lessons about steering a dinghy. I would rev and turn the steering stick in completely the wrong direction until we were even further away. Circles, rain, panic, John in the distance tredding with the camera and the mask. I was a mess. SWIM OVER HERE! I shouted, and when his reply came back, I CAN’T! My panic rose to a new level. My hands were shaking and I was imagining him being dragged away into the deep ocean while we did frantic donuts and dodged coral with this stupid dinghy!!
Eventually we got close enough back to him and he pulled himself back on, about to ask me what went wrong and why I was so frantic, when I just burst into tears. I don’t think I’ll ever get to live that one down. Only later, safely on the boat did I realise how little danger any of us had been in. The water was warm, there were about 6 other snorkellers and a couple other dinghys right by us. The rain storm hadn’t even phased them, though it sent me into panic mode!!! Ah well – the lessons in life I learn at all ages!!! I vow never to let these things panic me again.
We set off reluctantly from heaven the next afternoon, headed for more worldly looking islands and the daunting prospect of many many flights back to