Curiouser and Curiouser

Whoever said the small things don’t matter has never seen a match start a wildfire. – Beau Taplin || Wildfire.

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My sister (Lieneke) and I booked the wrecks and reefs dive with Pisces in Simon’s Town. In the early morning hours Lieneke, all bright eyed and bushy tailed woke me up mask in the one hand and fins in the other. I, on the other hand, just kicked bronchitis and although my doctor cleared me for the dive I was still super tired and not super keen to brave the cold Cape Town water on this grey rainy day. I pulled the duvet over my head, and my sister pulled it off in one clean sweep.

Pisces Cape Town is one of those dive centers that just feel like home when you walk in. The excitement and energy in the room warmed me and I could feel it rubbing off on me too. Marco Peterhans flopped down beside me and introduced himself. He is a Swedish dive instructor who is on an Africa dive adventure. Lieneke gave those floppy blonde curls and blue eyes the same wistful stare usually only reserved for starfish and dolphins.

We rented our gear, not having our own that is strong enough to take on Simon’s Town icy cold water. Lieneke was quite impressed when the dive master kitted her out head to toe in matching black and purple. She always keeps it classy and stylish whether on land or 30m under water.

I thoroughly enjoy the boat rides to the reefs, for me that is just as much part of the journey. This was a particularly beautiful crisp morning sporting the misty grey weather the Cape is so well known for. Toward our second dive, the sun started to break through the cloudy overhang. The fresh air and beauty of the open sea left me inspired and excited. We turned on our cylinders, received the countdown and then rolled back into the depths of the ocean.

I felt like the mermaid version of Alice in Wonderland and all I could think was curiouser and curiouser as we drifted deeper and deeper onto a reef covered in starfish, brittle stars, and nudibranchs.

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A nudibranch or nudi is a kind of shellless sea slug and there are over 3000 known species of these weird and wonderful creatures. The best part is that scientists believed we’ve only discovered half of this fascinating creations. They are carnivore and hermaphrodites – savage – and they get their vibrant colors from the food they eat. Their lifes are short-lived ranging from a year to a few weeks.

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I was in awe and just couldn’t look away. Each time  I thought this must be the most beautiful nudi I have ever seen someone would tug on my arm and point out another one.

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The ocean has a way of focusing my scattered thoughts and I found myself, once again, thinking of how we get so caught up in everyday life that we forget our greatest joys sometimes come from the smallest things. Warm showers, listening to your favorite song, good coffee, lazy Sunday mornings and bright nudies. The simplest moments in life is sometimes the most beautiful.

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We took our surface interval on the boat while sharing a Cadbury slab among ourselves. The second dive was a wreck dive, just as beautiful as the reef dive. We even had a playful seal come to say hello. They might look like big black blobs of lazy on shore, but these guys are quite quick and streamline underwater. Lieneke had such a big fright when she saw the playful seal speeding directly towards her that she immediately shot up to shore (not the cleverest move, luckily we were at the end of our last safety stop). The dive master tried to grab her fin, but she was making her way to the boat and nothing could stop her.

After the dives, we took cold showers, dressed warmly and all settled in with a cup of coffee, toasted sarmies and got to know each other a bit better. The best part of diving is the new friendships you make. You meet the most interesting people, you swap numbers, share war stories and sometimes by chance end up diving together again in the most random of places.

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*Marco Peterhans took all the beautiful photos of the Nudi’s

X0X0

A Dive Addict

6 thoughts on “Curiouser and Curiouser

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