Went out with a turtle yesterday. It was ‘snorkel o’clock’: stolen from Mark – thank you Mark! The 4pm mark. The girls and I put our masks and flippers on. Off we went.
The girls ended up just swimming around the boat. Lu with her new free-diving skills has been teaching Delph to dive down deeper. Lu is using the techniques she’s been taught. Indeed, she tells me with blossoming calmness, that this is the very foundation of free-diving. To stay calm and relaxed.
So Delph has been diving under Questie and to the other side. This can feel a little hairy. It does to me anyway! Because once you take a breath and head down, you’re committed. You have to wait until you get under and past Quest’s copper-coate, greenish belly before you can come up to breathe again.
Delph has been doing this like a pro. Over and over again. She’s been taking a deep breath on the one side, duck-diving down, her little white fins splashing up. Moments later an upright arm appears on the other side of Quest, followed by a blow through a turquoise snorkel. Delph’s back!
She can dive right under Quest’s 2.1 metre deep keel. Delph goes a metre under that. She twists around like a seal as she turns. Her body faces the inverted sea skin. When we practice together, she prefers I go first. Then I wait for her, watching as she appears under Quest. I’m so proud of her. For Delphine, she takes her time doing things, so when she gets there it feels really special.
Then there’s the free-diving monster. Lu goes 30m now routinely. She’s still practising the static apnea requirement of 2:45 minutes to get her advanced ticket. Last night, we practised in her cabin. She got to 2:20. Today she rests, then she practises tomorrow. Hugo the instructor is confident she will get to 2:30 tomorrow. He has sent her a breathing table of rest and recovery, and we follow it with the timer on the phone. That kid can take an amazingly impressive breath in. As if you’re sucking the wind and catching it in a bottle.
Lu saw a bottle on the sea bed yesterday. It was around the same depth which Delph can dive to, except it was on the bottom. This is different. When there’s water still underneath you, it tricks the mind you aren’t so deep. Lu began persuading Delph to get it. Delph gritted her teeth. The first time you could see her head shake for the surface at only a metre. The next time she dove down deeper.
Did she get the bottle? I don’t know. The sisters seemed so happy together that I left them to it. I went to the fisherman’s dock where they two greedy turtles hang out. I found the big one. He was like, ‘You want to come for a swim with me?’
I was like, ‘Sure.’ Then with his scutish back, he took me for a tour.