More show, less tell

Trip Start Nov 02, 2008
Trip End Nov 23, 2008

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Flag of Cook Islands  ,
Friday, November 7, 2008

It turns out I'm the world's worst underwater photographer, which isn't a total surprise to me. I'm not very patient with things that are moving....and pretty much everything under water is moving. But I tried. I really really tried, and I think you'll get the idea of what was going on in Rarotonga today.

I spent most of today in and around the water. I began in the swirled up, howling, roiling waters north of Avarua Harbor, and I descended as fast as I possibly could to the calmness of the depths. At the bottom of the anchor line, the ocean wasn't sporting its best visibility. So it took me a moment to recognize that I had descended onto a wreck. I recognized it as a small ship that looked like it had been torn apart like a piece of french bread in a giant's hands. There were the familiar grouper in the shadows of the torn metal ledges and schooling yellow snapper. Away from the wreck, the landscape looked like a forest of mushroom caps....Karin our Scottish instructor and I felt it closely resembled a rambling Smurf village. But the Smurfs had moved out and been replaced by Christmas tree worms and hordes of giant sea cucumbers.

Frankly, the diving today was a little lackluster, so I amused myself by taking absolutely horrrible photos of all sorts of creatures. I won't be posting any of those photos, out of respect for those of you who still have your eyesight.

The diving was also overshadowed by the presence of a really really cute Divemaster apprentice from Australia who completely distracted me from my scuba diver activities....

After the really really cute Divemaster apprentice who also had this awesome smile and looked like Joaquin Phoenix drove me back to Ambala slowly as humanly possible, I rested from my strenuous underwater photography safari by planting myself beside the Ambala pool.

This was when I became aware that I had begun to slow down. I spent a full hour beside the pool listening to the palm trees and the breeze and the birds and the goats down the road. I hear every large and small sound. I noticed the way the trunks of the palm trees were banded in beautiful symmetry and the way they creaked like giant oaks. I heard voices playing across the field. Overhead, I saw how the fanned palm fronds met each other like massive hands, pulled away from each other, and met again with a swooshing sound.

Time has slowed down here.

Along the same lines, I rode my bike to a snorkeling beach down the road, didn't do much snorkeling, but sat in the sand at the edge of the Pacific. The horizon had never been so interesting, and I found myself transfixed by it the same way I had been hypnotized at the poolside. Time and obligations were nowhere in my agenda. There was no agenda.

As I returned to Amabala Gardens, I turned my bike up the long driveway heading into the hills. Cows on one side, goats on the other and an explosion of green and wild jungle ahead. I've never rode a bike in a sundress and flip flops before and felt that it was totally appropriate. But here it is. I've never been in a place that made me feel transported back to a time that happened before I was born.  This island is like another era.

Tomorrow, I leave the diving behind and embark on my round-the-island bike ride. I wonder what I'll find...

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portiajules on

So I woke up to SNOW covering the grass and rooftops here...and then I see you AMAZING PHOTOS! I really like the foot one (I always take photos of my feet on vacation..I know, weird) Smithers is cute....give him a pet from me...LOL..You take care and have a WONDERFUL bike ride girl..

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