The dense drizzle on the wind shield is only just swished away by the overworked wipers. The headlights of oncoming cars glow in their nimbuses and the mountains are wrapped in a saturated haze. It is a sad Sunday.
At the air chute just before Black Head the wind brushes semi-circular frowns on an uneasy surface. The sea ceases to exist way before the horizon. Even the waves look tired in their never ending salutations to the limestone.
Should I smile and think of days gone by that glowed with celestial inspiration? The tiniest of tiny is all cloaked in grey, the sun only a memory, all that remains is rain.
Greedy riverettes have formed on the Green Road. We walk them down till they collect in the shoulder of the Coast Road. Slipping down a very muddy trip track we can see Ute. She must have by far the most swimming hours in Pollenawatch, even more than the dolphin.
Such a relief to hoist myself into my wetsuit. I feel invulnerable to rain and wind and cold, cold water, but not to gravity. For some reason the autumn has accelerated the growth of algae on the rocks. Routes that were safe in the summer suddenly turned very slippery and are silent murder to walk.
The tide table had promised us high tide and we arrived just after, so we could simply enter the water from the Poolrock. I held my head above the wing, ducking in flat, but Verena held hers between her arms, thereby losing her mask. The water was not too clear, but I thought to find the mask back soon enough. As it was nowhere on the place of loss I looked at the direction of the waves. They went straight to the Whirlpool and flowed aside through the Crack. I was tossed to and fro over the Head and Shoulders rock, but couldn't see a thing but bubbles. Even Dusty swimming around me in a help or harass fashion did not bring the mask back.
Meanwhile Ute was leaving the water and had graciously lent her goggles to Verena. We swam out, but though the water got deeper, it did not get clearer. As diving to the seabed did not make much sense we stayed a lot at the surface. Here the wind was towering waves and after a while I got that most hated familiar feeling in my belly, known to me as seasickness. I had planned to let myself wash into the Bathtub, but the receding tide took its time before it gave me a leg up and even after that I felt that elegance had left me with my feet joined in the mono and my snorkel making this plaintive sound each time I exhale.
As we went out, Ute went in again. I had only just taken my arms from the sleeves of my suit, when I saw Ute with Dusty, Verena's mask on her beak. Ute took it off and moved towards the Poolrock with it. It became rapidly clear that Dusty did not like this one bit. She closed in on the mask in a very threatening way and Ute quickly let go. That was the last we saw of the mask.