Yes, I lived through an earthquake.

A minor one. Tiny, in fact. Though it didn’t feel very tiny while I was lying in my tiny trundle bed on a tiny island in the Solomons. And the one tiny thought that did pop into my head, was that, ‘What follows an earthquake is a…’ So in sweat-dampened pj’s my buddy and I run out into the night, to find Malachi, grinning white toothed, his encouragement not matching his smile. ‘Maybe tsunami, probably not. You go back sleep now ladies.’ Sure. Very reassuring.

But now I am being beckoned again, to other diving locations with new gifts of incident to give. Unpredictable experiences, the kind that make the trip, stories that I will tell with hands gestures and graphic impersonation. And perfect diving of course!

Maybe to Palau? I’ve heard that there is a lagoon full of jellyfish there, that evolution has bred the sting out of. That to dive through is like a different space and dimension. Like their soft, transparent bodies make up a new element. But no stingers? Really? A chancy statement considering!

But then there is Antarctica. So far from tropical dive stereotype. And maybe with more training I could brave a dive there underneath that quiet, frozen harshness, in an underwater glasshouse, where the water burns with cold and reflects its blue depths in bruises on tilting icebergs that look like the underside of angry clouds. I‘m actually not some kind of adrenalin junkie. Although I can see that scuba diving puts me immediately at the bottom of the foodchain. Especially in my sleek, black, seal-like apparel… so appealing to orcas.

But diving is a risk… a wonderful, wonderful risk! I can’t imagine never taking a good risk again. So when I dived in the water of Niue Island, and watched as hundreds of sea snakes coiled skywards around me to take a breath of that air that I myself was defying, their tiny jaws full of some of the strongest poison on Earth… yes I felt a little fear.

But it felt great.


(Pic – DM a bit too comfy with a sea snake, Niue Island)