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thoughts & musings :: CCC

Friday, 21 October 2005

Maspalomas diary 08 - Wave goodbye

Today we are back in the waves again, jumping the breakers and larking around. A French couple are doing likewise some 20 metres to the side of us.

After a while, the French couple go back to sunbathe. Every now and then, a particularly large wave will beckon the French guy back into the water. He charges in trying to catch it as it breaks but never gets there in time.

Hayley and me are busy jumping breakers and splashing each other in waist high water. After one quite large wave breaks over us I start to walk back to shore but I can't. My feet are walking towards shore but I am moving backwards, moonwalking Michael Jackson style.

The pull from the undercurrent is nothing like I have ever felt. Suddenly the French guy is on his feet, whooping with joy and sprinting futilely towards the sea.

That's when I half turned and saw it.

Just 3 metres behind us I see the reason for the under current. Another wave is coming in.

The wave is massive.

The larger ones so far have been about 5 to 6 feet high, still powerful and large but nothing compared to this. It dwarfs them all so far. It still has no white foam on top -- it is a solid blue wall of water and is still building.

Finally an 8 to 10 foot high wave is standing behind us. I didn't have time to try and wade away or even shout a warning to Hayley - I just froze. It happened so quickly and I knew this wasn't going to be a nice jump in the breakers - it was massive.

It disregards us in silent nonchalance and then calmly crashes down on top of us. It feels like a library shelf of aquatic encyclopaedias has just collapsed onto me. the wave smashes me under water and pushes me to the sandy bed.

I cannot move, frozen by paralysing fear and the massively strong under current. Water is pouring into my nose and mouth. The bubbling deafness in roaring inside my ears and I find myself bobbing in the darkness... my mind is now the entire world... it is all that remains.

But my world now is bigger than that...

Where is Hayley?

This is the turning point. Hayley can swim so I think she'll be okay. Thinking and knowing are oceans apart. A ticker tape or paranoia starts flowing across my mind. What if she's not okay? What if she is okay but I don't make it? She'll be stuck in a foreign land with this to deal with. What if neither of us make it, ignorant of the others distress?

From the area of water around me where they have recently dissolved, a solidity pours into my limbs and the fight begins. Fortunately the wave has washed me a little more ashore than where it first collapsed onto us. I manage to turn over and force my head above water, struggling in the swirling sand to find a grip to steady myself.

I momentarily push up and my head feels air against it. I cough up a lot of the water in me and manage to drag in a spluttering breath. I go under again and the deaf blindness bubbles all around once more, but having tasted air, I thrash and punch at the floor and propel myself up.

I stand up and cough up more water. The first sound to greet my reborn ears is the whoop of the Frenchman, having arrived at the scene late but obviously having enjoyed the tail end of the sea monster that has just swallowed me and spat me onto the shore.

I spot Hayley, looking as bedraggled and washed up as I feel, her bikini half wrenched off by the force of the wave, coming towards me breathless but smiling. I'm still shaking but relieved and happy. I hug Hayley.

Suddenly my world feels brighter...

Hang on... my world actually IS brighter.

"Where are your sunglasses?" asks Hayley.

I have lost my rather pricey reaction lens glasses. We hunt for over an hour but they have vanished. The sea took a memento off me, but I am just happy to walk away from it otherwise intact.

When we get back to the apartments I check my email and discover that my brother, in my absence, has got himself on the BBC caption competition... sneaky git.


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