Try not to visualise me when processing the following information.
I had my first snorkelling experience on the Great Barrier Reef a few weeks ago.
This is definitely in the Top 5 Best Things I’ve Ever Done list.
If the pressure of life is messing with your mojo, if the whole 9to5, 24/7, Gen Y, poking, blogging personal space-invading social media mania has you in a where to, what time, WHATEVER type of funk and the whole deal is giving you the big dose of the tweets, go snorkelling.
It’s that simple.
Well, I suppose it’s not quite that simple.
Obviously you have to fly to Cairns, get the shuttle to Port Douglas (or your destination of choice), book a spot on a reef cruise and put on the 30+ but that’s it, Bob’s your mother’s brother and welcome to Paradise..
The ability to stay afloat and breathe through a funny tube is also fairly important.
From the deck of the boat, in our case the spectacular Synergy II, you have no real idea what’s below.
Sure you’ve seen the pictures but we’ve seen pictures of the moon too.
The pictures don’t give us the Neil Armstrong perspective.
The water provides a protective blanket for the most spectacular living, breathing, vibrant gallery of beauty you could ever imagine, well, unless you were popping a few rainbow pills in the ’60s and listening to Octopus’s Garden but we won’t go into that.
Put on your fins, put on your mask, get the snorkel thing happening and then transport your body to another world.
I could not believe the amount of fish swarming around the back of the boat – until I was told someone had just up-and-undered at my point of entry.
Undaunted I slide down the rabbit-hole into Wonderland and become instantly addicted.
I once wrote in a poem
“Nature’s colours can’t be captured
in their purity and glow,
It’s a thought that tortures artists
as only artist’s know
While the scene is rich and vivid
In a rich and fertile mind
On the journey to the canvas
something special’s left behind …”
And so it is with reef.
It can’t be captured in a single frame because the magic is in the movement.
Metallic flashes darting this way and that, anemones sheltering clown fish, a pair of parrot fish crunching into coral, schools of colour putting on a show that never stops.
You are transfixed.
This is escapism to the 10th power.
This is the ultimate time-out.
There’s no room for thoughts about mortgages, bills, relationships, politics, war, carbon tax or “did I leave the iron on?”.
When Darryl Kerrigan stood on the porch of his holiday house at Bonny Doon, staring up at the power lines, bug zapper zapping loudly in the background, and uttered the immortal words “How’s the serenity?” he really had no idea.
The reef is all about serenity although that in itself is a contradiction.
There is so much movement, so much life and yet it’s so quiet – bar your echoed breath and parrot fish crunching coral.
I can’t do it justice with a jumble of words.
All I know is I’m going back.