Diving, Puke and Whales

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It was 6 in the morning when our taxi showed up at our beachside hotel. We were wiping the sleep out of our eyes as we climbed into the back seat of the van. We buckled up and headed down the road along the coast towards Paje in eastern Zanzibar. We prepared our gear at the Buccaneer Dive Shop (http://www.buccaneerdiving.com/) and were soon headed out onto the Indian Ocean.

Joined by divers from around the world, we climbed into a small boat (the one seen above) and headed out past the reef wall. The swells were immediately big. Waves crashed over all sides of the boat, soaking us from head to toe. I looked around and noticed a few of the divers were looking a bit seasick, including my friend Sophie. 

We prepared to make our entry and flipped over the side of the boat. As we descended down to 20 meters, the swells rocked us back and forth. We were diving along when all of a sudden I had a tap on my shoulder. I looked over to see Sophie’s eyes darting back in forth in a panic. She made the signal to ascend and I signalled back that we were too deep. Not a second later, fluorescent yellow streams of puke raged forth through the regulator, to live as fish food. Sophie looked at me, regained her composure and kept on diving for another 40 minutes. 

When we finished our first dive, we ascended and were promptly picked up by the boat. Back on board, the seasickness had not abated and she was not alone. A few of the others were also not looking so hot. As I rubbed Sophie’s back as she tried to master her domain, two giant humpback whales breached not far from our boat. They shot plumes of water out their blowholes and were gone as quickly as they’d come. But something had caught my eye. Shot into the air in the midst of all that water, I could have sworn I saw fluorescent yellow speckles. 

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