Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Crystal Clear

I have always wanted to go in a submarine so I did.

It was parked in Basca harbour, looking like one of the Royal Navy's nuclear subs except smaller and redder and with fewer nukes. I hope. It cost 90 krone per person for a ride, which seemed to me to be a major investment in a bit of transient joy, but what do I know? So in the blink of an eye we were 180 krone poorer but boarding this marvellous vessel.

One of its attractions was that it had glass windows below the surface.  At first all one could see was the blue sea bed. It had sand and the odd bit of detritus but otherwise was curiously uninteresting. So at least initially I would have traded the view for a few torpedoes. However after we had been underway for a few minutes and before we submerged to fifty fathoms deep (*) we found ourselves surrounded by schools of small silvery, golden and black fish. By one of those weird coincidences that make life interesting the man at the tiller had just thrown some fish food in the water. We therefore returned from our mission not having sunk anything nor having destroyed enemy cities but at least having seen some lovely fish in the bay.

After such an adventure I was exhausted. I was planning which bar we could inhabit while we discussed the excitement of our maritime quest.  Colleen suggested going for a walk and, while I was not expecting a pub crawl it did seem to be sensible to sample the delights of the various hostelries along the waterfront.  I could not understand why Colleen had packed two bottles of water in her backpack.  I must have lost concentration for twenty minutes and didn't come to my senses until we were 100 feet up a mountain, about to enter a forest.  The purveyors of food and drink were disappearing into the distance as we trod on pine needles.

We were inclined to visit the church of St Ivan but it was locked. So we continued on our adventure across field and mountain. The ground underfoot was curious; a combination of sand and pebbles which appeared utterly barren but which nonetheless supported a good amount of forestry, until the tree line was reached half way up the mountain and there was no further growth of any sort.

Some time thereafter - the memory is a blur - we returned to civilisation and after a scrub up we did, in fact, promenade along the waterfront. I saw two children lying down on the pier with their heads just over the edge. The great thing about being years old is that I no longer get embarrassed so I decided to emulate the younger generation. I didn't need to. As soon as I looked over edge of the pier it was obvious the water was astonishingly clear.

After our astonishment subsided, we walked on, taking in the free sunset provided. God had been busy with his pastel paints and it would have been rude not to appreciate the result. The submarine sat silently at its mooring. It had seen hundreds of sunsets and was no longer impressed.

(*) sadly, now I think about it, we never did submerge. Odd, that.

1 comment:

Ian Allenbrook said...

Thanks, Sean - keep it coming - enjoying from my armchair!