Writing 101, Day Two: A Room with a View (Or Just a View)

The assignment for today is to describe a place you want to be.

Now I’ve only been back at work for a few weeks and i by no means have the worlds most stressful job, but I’m exhausted. it’s only Wednesday and I spent all day thinking it was Friday and when I realized the truth i wanted to cry.

The only place I want to be is 30 m under water, near a reef, looking at fish. I love diving. I miss it so much when I can’t do it. I live in land so that means literally all the time I’m not on holiday.

I remember when I was last in the Philippines and we went diving at 6 in the morning so we could see the thresher sharks come up for cleaning. The little cleaning wrasses live in much shallower water than the sharks do and every morning they come up and get cleaned. The dive master took us down to 29 m and we sat on the edge of a really steep wall and waited.

Usually, when you’re down there you think you can only hear the sounds of your own breathing, but if you listen carefully you can hear the coral crackle. it sounds like rice krispies. Everything looks kind of blue because colors disappear along with light penetration. You move slowly, underwater. You want to conserve air. Move too fast and you breathe too fast and you can cut your dive time in half. My ex used to swim around like a maniac and our 50 minute dives would be reduced to 30 minute dives. Diving is expensive but they don’t charge you by the minute. This means that it’s probably one of the most stress free leisurely activities you can undertake in the ocean.

Thresher sharks live deep, and they’re long – up to 6 m long – and graceful and elegant. They move slowly up out of the depths and when you see them you can hardly believe that you are that close to something so beautiful. We sat on the edge of the wall, 29 m under water and watched 9 of them swim up and circle above our heads while the little cleaner wrasses did their jobs.

if I had a choice, that is where I’d be, watching the sharks.


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