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Posts tagged ‘sea’


Husband: Would you like to see a tsunami?

Me: Would I like to see . . . a . . . salami, did you say? Why, is it an unusual salami? Can it do tricks-

Husband: No, a TSUNAMI!

Me: Oh. Mm. Really? Ok. Oh actually – wait. Did you say ‘TSUNAMI!’? Hey! That would be AWESOME! To be humbled by a raw, first-hand glimpse of the tremendous might of Mother Nature.

Me: <rolling internal mental footage of the final scene from ‘Deep Impact’ where Tea Leoni’s face melts off in the pre-force of a supersonic 3 mile high megatsunami caused by a comet striking earth because Bruce Willis wasn’t available and you can bet your ass Elijah Wood wasn’t about to pilot a spacecraft to the face of the comet, drill a hole and nuke the fucker moments before it is due to erase mankind forever>

Me: We’ll have to go to a beach with a really big hill-

Andrew: Well, it’s only a meter high.

Me: What? The TSUNAMI!? But- but that’s pathetic! I make bigger waves farting in the bath!

Andrew: And if we go to one a west coast beach, it’ll only be 40cm-

Me: 40CM? How are we expected to distinguish the TSUNAMI! from other waves? I saw the Queen Mother give a bigger wave from her deathbed! I make bigger waves doing the dishes! Your turn.

Andrew: Er. Mexicans give bigger waves.

Me: Yeah, well, um. Ok.

Yet an event like this does not happen every day, so we decided to drive to Piha to observe this natural phenomenon. Despite myself (I’ve seen bigger waves on a stale perm etc.) I was quite excited. As you can tell from the frequency of recent posts, our life rarely features exciting events (although you will be glad to hear we have no shortage of Magic Moments).

Immersing myself in the spirit of the occasion, I made coffee to go, packed snacks, the camera, and swimming togs. I would have fired commemorative mugs with a big roller and ‘Tsunami Simon’ inscribed on them except I ran out of time.

We arrived at the lookout point above Piha with plenty of time to spare, regardless of Andrew’s pessimistic predictions that we had ‘missed it’. And then we stood there staring intently at the sea for fifteen minutes, until around the time Andrew said it was scheduled to hit Christchurch.

So we didn’t miss it – not that we noticed.

So you might say, the TSUNAMI! was a wash-out, as limited to the metaphorical sense.

We went home.

A fish eye view

When we lived in Dubai, I used to swim 2000m along the shore of the Gulf in the early morning. It is one of the few things about the Middle East that I recall with warm nostalgia (as opposed to rising gorge).

The first time I ever went for a power swim, thick mist shrouded the beach. I accompanied a group of gnarly triathletes, undeterred by being unable to see anything beyond the length of their arms. It was an extraordinary experience. In contrast to the world above, the rippling sand below the surface was clearly visible. The water was colorless, clear as gin. On the return leg, I paused for a break, treading water. I lifted my head and saw the tip of the Burj Al Arab emerge from the dissipating mist.

I started going to the beach two or three times a week, often before work. It was the only real time I spent outdoors during summer. Next to three liters of coffee, it was the best way to kick-start the day.

One morning, I was tucking my hair into a cap at Jumeirah Beach, when two girls asked if I would look after their bags. Vivienne was covered in Vaseline, so I guessed they were swimmers. (I sincerely hoped they were, anyway.)

They were planning to swim around the Burj Al Arab, so I joined them. That’s how I met Helen and Viv and – later – Chantal, who had never swum before and whose style initially focused on vertical rather than lateral propulsion

Do I look fat?

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