Yesterday truly was the first day of the rest of my life. And it already began before boarding the Doolin ferry to Inisheer. My as-long-as-Dusty-friend Jane was there as well. So we chatted our way over to the island in no time and arrived in a truly paradisiacal ambience. I like high tide in spite of it taking a longer journey, up to 12 meter, to reach the seabed. I guess this has to do with plentitude and generosity. The water was very calm, the only waves caused by manmade objects, like boats. The water looked crystal clear and best of all, Dusty was there, at the steps. After a brief hello cuddle Jane sped down to the rocks. I sauntered up to the hotel for my morning tea and the occasional word with whomever wanted to. Then I went up to Mortien’s shed to walk my gear down. My rock seat had stayed intact over the winter and last Monday I had lodged my weight belt and sea shoes in the hole adjacent to my seat and covered them with loose rocks. I got them out, lodged my rucksack in the hole and began unpacking. My system still worked flawlessly. It’s a bit of work, taking some discipline, but it suits my every need.
Half an hour later I was ready to go in and Jane was about to leave the water, waiting for me to take over Dusty. Dusty seemed well aware of me coming in as she came as close up as she possibly could. Which was about where I got water born after edging in bum-wise. She almost demanded a cuddle by blocking my access to the deeper water I needed for basic maneuvering. So that was a bit awkward, but I managed to push and cuddle my way into better depth and extensively celebrated our get together again.
Then I swam out to the rock gardens that I find the most beautiful I ever encountered anywhere in my swims with Dusty. We did a bit of hide and seek between the gorgeous soft weeds in between the rugged sculpted rock formations. I’ve often thought the colours under water have an added quality in that they are more lively by the light that is captured inside water, even when the sun doesn’t shine. It was a wonderful journey, Dusty popping up everywhere I least expected her, both of us weightlessly flying through this world of natural wonders.
When we arrived at the pier, the tourist fishing boat just left so the lower end of the pier was all free. I banged my waterwing a few times against the sports of the iron ladder, but I didn’t need to, Dusty stayed close to me. I swam to the steps so some girls could give Dusty a cuddle as well. I filmed her a lot, just because I could. She didn’t do anything out of the ordinary and I hadn’t brought anything to experiment with. I just wanted what she wanted, us having a good time.
I was in for about an hour and a half and I would have stayed a bit longer if not a dog had taken one of my wet shoes and was trying to get on-lookers throw it into the water. I got really annoyed: that bloody same dog has taken my wet shoes before and I need to be able to put them on when I come out of the water because my feet are sensitive to the smallest pebble and also the shoes are great sock-savers.
It was nice and warm on the rocks and I took my time, as usual, to ease out of my suit and into my clothes again. First thing I checked was if my stoma bag was still dry after 1.5 hour in the water and a few dives as deep as 5 meter. It was and that crowned my happiness, I thought.
I treated myself to a salmon salad at the hotel as a belated auto-birthday present and had an ever-interesting chat with my old young friend Michael French. I ferried back on the top deck of the Jack B. and was rescued by Dony’s firm hand shake when I stumbled off the exit bridge onto the old pier.
At home disappointment lashed out at me when I viewed my footage. My Midland xtc400 camera has an adjustable lens that can be turned into one of three positions, relative to the position in which the camera is held. I remember giving it a quarter circle turn, because I thought I had turned off my usual camera position on the back of my hand. I should not have done that. All the footage I took was on its side. I don’t know how to rotate video, only how to rotate photos. So I thought the footage didn’t have to be a total loss as I could hunt it for attractive stills and then rotate those. All in all I took 28 photos off the footage and in processing them in iPhoto I found that there was a blessing in my lens fail. If I had taken these photos off proper lens capture they would have been wider than they were high and the reflections off Dusty against the subsurface would have been cut short. Instead the images I took, when rotated were higher than they were wide, thus giving a total view of Dusty as well as of her reflection. I am delighted by this fortunate stroke of serendipity that has resulted in a series of photos that otherwise would have been cut short to mediocrity.