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  • I swam off the coast some years back. I was still afraid to swim in the ocean then; afraid of what lay beneath, afraid because of a story I read as a child, where something used to pull people under the surface when they swam; afraid because of unnatural fears.

    This time though, I decided to swim and with my mask and snorkel and two friends who loved the sea immensely and were so very comfortable in the sea, I dove in. The boat was a rustic local fishing boat, a 'hodra'. Simple, with no cover, and no ladder back up so that once I cut my leg up pretty badly while climbing up.

    And the deep blue sea was spectacular, clear, no churn; we swam for hours. At one point I saw a family of cuttlefish, two big ones and three small ones, looking up at me with huge soulful eyes. I didn't have the heart to shoot them with my spear gun. And they scuttled off as I stuck my head out to show them to my mates.

    Another time I swam I ended up in a kelp forest; the most sublime experience. There was kelp growing as high as trees. I swam between them, through the forest. It felt as I was flying, truly flying in between trees, weightless and gliding. The kelp grew about ten feet apart, as if planted by some meticulous gardner. The tops, at about about three to four feet below the water, waved on the surface, perhaps creating the equal spaces between the plants.

    It was dreamy. I flew, amidst kelp trees that looked like Christmas trees, and thought: this is how birds must feel when gliding through the sky.
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