Tag Archives: #oceanadventures

Close Encounters of the Ocean Kind

2008 green turtle on surface

Another small excerpt from Paralian… a once-in-a-lifetime moment… experiencing my first close encounter with a sea turtle in the Maldives:

“The Green Sea Turtle rose slowly to the surface. I floated, staying completely still… Her head softly broke the surface only fifteen feet away from me. She took a deep breath, which sounded almost like a reverse sigh.

The gorgeous animal stayed floating comfortably on the calm water surface of the lagoon. Meanwhile, I let myself drift carefully closer. She was beautiful, a creature of the ages, perfect since the beginning of time. I closed my eyes to paint the image in my memory. When I opened them again the unearthly turtle lady was right next to me, still enjoying her rest on the gentle turquoise waves.

The long five minutes during which she stayed with me etched themselves forever into my heart. The turtle’s large eyes held a tranquility and innocence I had never before encountered. With an unwavering gaze, she seemed to see straight into my soul.

Her colors were myriads of green. Her scales reminded me of autumn leaves. Did I see a net of barely visible, fragile veins, or did my enraptured mind imagine them? What if they were nerve endings, letting her feel plankton and every droplet of the sea that touched her? Feeling everything, she would literally become one with the seas embracing her.
Small barnacles held on to her carapace. I envied them and wished I could trade places for a little while. Could there be a better place to be than perched on the strong back of a sea turtle?

She took one last, long breath and descended leisurely towards her underwater domicile. I swam back to shore in a dreamlike state, happy, and almost delirious….
The ocean was my true home. Now that I’d found it, I intended to consciously absorb every precious second I spent embraced by it.”

Turbulent Seas

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Another short excerpt for you from Paralian. I was only days away from saying goodbye to my Indian Ocean home when a group of experienced divers and I were out on a full-day boat trip to a neighboring atoll. Then a storm hit us full force:

“… We clambered back onboard, which was no small feat, considering the heavy scuba equipment on our backs and the heaving deck. As we secured our equipment, Captain Ibrahim moved the boat towards the edge of the atoll. Maldivian dhonis aren’t built to brave stormy seas. Their flat-bottomed keels are constructed to enable them to slip easily over shallow reefs.
“The heavy waves we are experiencing now, are nothing compared to what’ll await us once we leave the shelter of the atoll,” a resigned Esa explained.
In good weather, crossing the channel of deep ocean between the Noonu and Lhaviyani atoll usually took two hours. There was no telling how long it would take us in this tempest. We briefly considered waiting out the storm and taking shelter in a harbor right where we were. Then our captain made the decision to forge ahead.
The full seriousness of our situation finally hit me as I watched Captain Ibrahim clutch the steering wheel. In all my time on Kuredu, I had never seen a captain afraid. Captain Ibrahim was the best, utterly fearless and wise, way beyond his years. He now held on to the steering wheel for dear life, his body language radiating tension, his knuckles white from the strain.
Our small dhoni was lost in an ocean of giant waves. Either watery walls rose up before us, or deep troughs opened up behind us…”

Want to know more? Grab your own copy of Paralian as paperback or ebook at any of the following online stores: Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith, Troubador UK, Apple iBooks store, Google Play, Nook, Kobo, etc. Thanks in advance for diving in!!

Indian Ocean Mementos

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Just yesterday, I re-discovered this picture from 2008. It used to be posted on the staff board of the Maldivian dive center where I spent four profoundly inspiring years. Consequently, today, I am feeling even more nostalgic than usual about those turquoise years. Let me share another little tidbit from my book with you from those times:

“With my clumsiness gone, water became my ally. Amidst the turquoise depths of the Indian Ocean, I gracefully floated, somersaulted, vaulted, stopped, and turned at my leisure. I was weightless and graceful in body – yet even more important, I was weightless and graceful in soul as well. This was the true sanctuary I had always searched and hoped for.

In addition to the Indian Ocean wrapping its strong, tender arms around me, I was blown away by the underwater life. Now that my uncoordinated struggles didn’t scare them into flight anymore, most reef inhabitants ignored my presence entirely. During every dive, hundreds of brightly-colored, graceful creatures went about their daily routines without so much as a glance towards the little guy hovering peacefully in front of them with a tank on his back. My first encounters with fully grown sharks took my breath away. Amazingly, while immersed in the Big Blue, I wasn’t scared of anything – respectful yes, but not fearful. I felt at home.”

If you want to dive in deeper, you can find Paralian in all major online book stores (Amazon, Waterstones, WHSmith, Google ebooks, Apple iBooks, Nook, Kobo, etc. as well as directly from my publisher, Troubador), or you can have your local book store order it… What better time to let yourself be whisked away on an odyssey than the middle of summer?