I’m floating. Floating in water that is as warm my bath, but as blue as a gem stone. I snap my snorkel mask onto my face, take one last look at the mountain which simply seems to extend down under the ocean, before plunging my head downwards to join the multifaceted coral – an ecosystem all of it’s own.
I’m free, in waters as clear as a diamond. I experiment with moving without fins, until I hijack my brothers fins. Now I’m a fish. I can move as fast as their specially evolved bodies, albeit I’m a hundred times their size. The fish don’t welcome the snorkelers that descend on them daily, but they don’t shun us either. More they just go about their daily business, with bystanders. Like fish reality TV. Fish as yellow as a school bus congregate in groups no larger than 30 strong, they have the whole coral but they choose to stay together and feed off the same bit. The more angelic fish are more independent, they’re together but with more space between them. At first I think they’re black with a white stripe on their upper and lower sides, when actually they are a detailed blue pattern in amongst their scales.
The colours are vivid and the drop off terrifying. The deep water scares me. You can’t see what’s going to come out of the dark sapphire blue. My rational brain says stop being such a scardy cat as I swim out to reach my mother safely in her kayak, but there’s a corner of my mind which brings to the forefront of my thoughts fears of shark attacks. I’m in the middle of the Pacific Ocean after all.
Although the waters warm, I feel a chill. I hop back onto my kayak and sun myself under the equatorial sun, admiring the emerald green of the steep mountain side which makes up this beautiful isle.