The Coral Reef

Written by Basil W.

A gust of wind ruffles my hair as I stare over the side of the small boat and into the clear, blue waters of the coral reef. As I step down the rungs of the ladder on the boat, I feel the cool water lap gently at my ankles, as if urging me to enter the water. I stretch my goggles over my face, and attach the snorkel. Before I decide otherwise, I quickly jump into the water, and I become submerged.

Just for a second, a tingling, numbing sensation takes place on my body as I readjust to the temperature of the water, but then I begin to paddle with my flippers, and I begin to feel warm again. A completely surreal calm takes over as my head goes under the water, and all noises drone out except for my regular, slow interval of breathing in and out of the snorkel. A slight current in the water pushes me so that I drift slowly away from the boat, without needing to move. Riding the current, I float into the heart of the coral reef, where a tropical, shallow undersea paradise lays. Green and blue fish with shiny scales dart this way and that, weaving through the corals which bob from side to side in the gentle currents. Small, transparent jellyfish float through the waters, there tentacles tickling my skin as they brush past. I even spot a large brown, spiralling shell which is half buried in the white and powdery sand.

However, it is as if I am there only for a short while because soon, I hear the loud and short blast of an air horn signalling that I need to return to the boat. For one last minute, I just stay there, letting the warm afternoon sun beam onto my back, as I try to enjoy the tranquil beauty of the coral reef, before heading back to the boat.