Flying Over and Under the Water

(Passe Tapuhiria, NW Makemo, Tuamotus, French Polynesia) 

Today started as a blustery and ugly day. The skies were grey, the water was rough, and it was raining to boot. Though after mother nature got rid of her morning blues the day turned into a real beauty. The skies were blue and the water was glassy calm. So calm that looking down through the crystal clear water was like looking through a window to a world below. No need for a snorkel mask at all. It was all right there. The coral, the fish, the life.

The conditions were so cool Gregory insisted I wakeboard out to the pass for our afternoon dive. The leading up conversation went like this:

Me: “I’m only going to do this if you can promise you know where all the reefs are by now and are able to stay well clear of them.”

Gregory: “Oh for sure, I’ve got them down. No problem.”

The reality? We took off from the boat and I was having such an incredible time. Gliding across the glassy water was out of this world. I watched as a bustling world carried on beneath me. At times the unbelievable transparency of the water was baffling as my mind glitched trying to fathom how I was flying up here while the ground was so far below. Then it wasn’t.

In a very short distance the ground rose steadily up to meet me. Marie came to a dead stop and I star-fished in an attempt to keep from colliding with the coral inches below me. My lovely space cadet of a pilot did exactly what he swore he wouldn’t and ran us both up on a reef.

With wakeboarding done for the day we ventured the rest of the way to the pass and geared up for a dive. With the tide going out, the current in the pass was hauling fast. We drifted along with Marie on a long tether and I felt like superman flying through a metropolis of coral skyscrapers. The wall of coral lining the pass was exquisite to see. All the usual players were there: napoleon wrasse, parrot fish, marble grouper, and sharks. As I flew by, not needing to pump my flippers, I almost forgot my boyfriend had recently tried to kill me.

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Shortly before the ground rushed up to greet me.

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