Dreams Beneath The Ocean

     My fascination for the sea , has been within me since I was a little girl. I could not wait for the weekend , or for summer to arrive. Every weekend, we would always be at the beach, packed with all sorts of goodies and food and frolicking by the sea… with  Wolf, my german shepherd dog.. what a life , it was doctors orders , my small lungs needed the wonderful sea air to breathe….you see I was very sickly during those days and the sea air was good for me……

     Being the favorite among the grandchildren , my grandmother would also take me to our vacation house during summer … Just imagine being awakened by , crows and the laughter of neighborhood children calling me to go out and play….The sea breeze , was really my life saver…It gave me dreams of adventure and freedom and joy…Free as the palm trees swaying and  falling coconuts for us to eat and drink….Someday,I told myself,  I would explore the depths of the sea…..My mind always wondered those days , but I was too young to go scuba diving , the tank was just as tall as I am !  My young skin would glisten , from sunburn , and I was unrecognizable when I came home….I was "Toast"….But I didn’t care….I was having the time of my life!

     My chance to explore the ocean depths , finally came…Of course after taking lessons on how to scuba dive , my friends and I were off , every weekend to the sea……Late in the afternoon ,with all our gears loaded ,racing through the winding hillsides just to catch the last boat ride……to our destination.
The sun has set , and the moon has risen…One will never forget , as the boats glides through the water , how the sea glowed and small ripples glistened as we sped towards the cabanas by the sea….I was once again breathing the cool balmy sea breeze….it felt good ! I felt the calm inside me…

     Every time I submerge into the cool ocean depths , I am in awe…breathing underwater , and to see the other world that lays at the edge of solid ground , the world of the fishes and all creatures that swim or crawl.
As I am engulfed by water , I look up and there is the sky…in splendid bluish indigo and aqua hues of color….and yet I am floating, …fantastic feeling of weightlessness…I do not know if I can explain  the sensation….so bear with me as I try. All I can say is, there really is another world beneath the water, waiting to be appreciated and viewed, so very humbling when, we realize we have the best of both …in one world..

There are coral reefs, where we find colorful sea anemones, and playful clown fishes make their homes, they protect each other from predators…Giant sea fans decorate the sides of reefs…lobsters play hide and seek in the rock crevices…
And giant, Moray   eels ,protectively defend their space as they lunge and take a peek, at the intruder. I must compare the sea anemones to colorful flowers…..they lend color , beauty and grace to the world underwater. At a distance , one might see valleys…hills and mountains(reefs)…….An exact replica of the world above……the grasses and trees are the Giant Sea kelp and algae…..quite similar, they reach for the sun for growth and nourishment.

I have seen and sat on Rose Corals….so huge in diameter that a small car can sit on top of it….even the color is….rose pink …... As we proceed on our adventure, Huge tubular Sponges, also give color on the bottom sand…interesting colors of lavender, torquoise, and crimson pink….leaving in my mind , this looks like bamboo sprouting below…! Such are the wonders of the sea, that I have witnessed, so beautiful, so fragile..…One time, we were caught in a very strong current flow, that we had to hold on to the corals and rocks for dear life , and slowly pulled ourselves to safety….but during all this I could hear hear the sound of the …wind….I paused for a second to make sure of what I was experiencing , yes, it surely is the strong sound of the wind above….and it’s the same below…how auxilliarating…!
Brushing through some strange looking flowers of the sea, to my surprise it attached itself to me…a so called "Feather Duster Worm "with tiny claws…very strange, right, the creatures of the sea…so protective or should I say….hungry..???
       I have seen schools of Barracudas, with their silver bodies and sharp white fangs, smiling as cross overhead. An unforgettable
moment in my life…..a huge shark encounter….I will never forget those , eyes…it was looking straight at me…..then in a blink of a eye, it was gone, disappeared as fast as it came….it wasn’t hungry….! Good for me..In the deeper waters of the ocean where the water is much colder, out in the open sea , I’ve seen over sized "Angel Fishes" ,really huge…can’t believe my eyes, but they  were a school of them swimming by…looking up, I felt so miniscule…and bewildered, were my eyes playing a trick on me ? As we dove further down and out in the ocean, the Rose Corals became larger and larger , I felt like a small child, sitting on top and the under current was stronger, that we were swept out into open sea without noticing it, a bit scary that time….the boat was nowhere in sight when we surfaced….And it took sometime for them to find us….we were still lucky….Angels must be watching over us….The deeper depths were colder and darker….hmmmmm….didn’t want to meet Mr. shark again, we didn’t stay long…

   Beautiful Manta Rays, swim on top of the sand….gliding and scooping out the sand , looking for food….but please leave them alone, they don’t like to be touched or grabbed by their tail, you’ll be sorry or dead….that’s for sure…! There are so called thermoclines, where the water temperatures mixes from warm to cold….suddenly, so be carefull…water clarity also changes.
Underwater butterflies….I thought, when I saw them, they’re called "Spanish Dancers" …twisting and turning as they glide through the water….so colorful and funny, alien-like looking at the same time so uniquely beautiful, that you can’t get your eyes off them.

Way down South, in Palawan, Puerto Princesa , I went diving…and have seen a "HUGE" Garoupa, the size a Volkswagon…..he was immobile, you would think he was a huge rock, or small hill, but when he opened his eyes, I believed  , that he truly existed….his skin was full of barnacles and small corals attached to his unrecognizable scales….Fantastic sight.!

My childhood dreams, have come to be, I have explored touched and not touched( Fire Corals) the wonders of the sea, My dreams of diving with Jacques Coustou , in a small scale…but I did it…with some flair and adventure…although it would have been nice to meet Mr. Coustou and gone with him on his ship and be part of his discoveries and use his fantastic diving gears, and see the world through his conquest and discoveries…treasure hunting perhaps…?




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February 2010
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