Two for the price of one for this challenge, a little poem and a piece of life writing.
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you scent bacon frying
and you wish it were yours.
Mick, a rambunctious Aussie proposed a group dive from Takamaka beach, notorious for its steep shelving sand, big breakers and unpredictable undertow. We allowed ourselves to be persuaded and the expedition set off, jolting and jiggling along with the equipment in the back of a pickup driven by a daredevil Seychellois, to the southernmost tip of the island.
All went well as we waded out through the surf then ducked into the calm undersea world lying beneath the turmoil. Silent oohs and ahs of pleasure greeted the sight of parrot-fish crunching coral, clown fish clowning, Moorish idols trailing their banners and a hawksbill turtle paddling lazily past. But our enjoyment was short-lived. Pointing at his pressure gauge, Mick gave us the thumbs up. No. Not AOK, but time to surface.
Quite a shock greeted us. Takamaka is a deep curving bay with rocky arms projecting each side into the Indian Ocean. We found ourselves well outside their protection. Nothing for it but to turn sharp left and dive again, the swell being too heavy to swim against in full gear. But our air was also running out fast with the increased effort, and one by one heads bobbed to the surface again and struck out for the rocks.
Rugged fit young men, and even my 60-ish husband could cope, but I and some of the girls were struggling. Our lusty leader towed me to the end of the rocky outcrop, where I clung on for dear life against the surge, while he went back for another straggler. After a heroic co-operative effort, our party of eight divers was re-united on the rocks. We clambered and slipped, swam a little, touched bottom only to be washed off again, until the exhausted divers at last gained the beach and flopped down onto the sand, reflecting on the fact that the next available landfall would have been Sri-Lanka, a thousand miles away.