I’m stepping out of the pod

Wow. Just come back from learning to scuba dive on the Barrier Reef. Wow. It’s the most amazing thing ever. Just floating above everything almost completely weightless – controlling your height by your breath. It’s incredibly wonderful and surreal at the same time, combined with an immediate sense of reality because if you forget to breath you might well die in a painful manner. Wow.

It’s very hard to find the words to express how it feels. The simplicity of everything once you get past the initial apprehension. The colours of the sea – a blue stretching off in all directions, the fish flashing silver, or any colour of the rainbow, or the slate grey of sharks and rays. Turtles flying above you as they flap their flippers. The way sound changes – your breathing intense and visible as well as bubbling around you, the munch of parrot fish as they scour the reef, the low murmur of boat motors and a complete lack of ability to call out to your dive buddy if something happens. Schools of fish looking like a giant organism as they seem to move together, shimmering and glittering in the early morning sun. Fish everywhere, ignoring you completely. Hovering metres above the seabed, with metres of water above you – the sun shimmering through its rays visible in the particles suspended in the water.

Then there was the night dive.

I suspect that the surreal nature of looking behind me and seeing six divers suspended and lit only my small torches shining down is something that has to be seen to be believed. So astonishing and beautiful. Black silhouettes seemingly suspended on lights flittering below and across the reef. The glitter of bubbles returning to the surface, and nothing visible around you outside of the light’s beam. Then to come up, dry off and sit on the top deck and see the cloudless sky covered in stars from horizon to horizon like a light cloud, with pure black only showing up in the middle of the milky way. So beautiful and something you rarely see with the ambient light spilling out from cities.


Here I need to give a few thanks. To Arek for his fine teaching. Ryan for support teaching and amazing light stick twirling skills post-night dive. To Jeremy for being a fine and steadfast first ever dive buddy. To everyone else in the class who were so much fun in the restful, happy moments between dives. To Lemon Jelly for providing my mental soundtrack – and of course to nature for just being so amazing.

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