Sunday, September 26, 2010


A myriad of fish

What a difference it makes when the wind drops! We’ve had one big storm and a few nightly rumblings of thunder over the past few days, but after a blustery morning the wind has given us a bit of a breather for some snorkelling this afternoon.

So, with Chris’s back somewhat better, we go back to Punta di Spanu, the wild little peninsula that is locked away behind the water-sports Mecca of Sant’ Ambroggio in the Balagne. And the water in our favourite little cove is clear and calm.

Once we have finned our way past the bathers standing, splashing and chatting in the sandy shallows, we are off into deeper waters. First, the rocks appear, then the water becomes distinctly but not unpleasantly cooler and almost completely transparent.

And we are surrounded. Not by thousands but quite literally millions of little fish. They don’t appear to be going anywhere, just staying still in their myriads, taking up space and occupying the little bay completely. The visibility is set by the density of the fish; underneath, bigger fish pass by, some prowling in purposeful formations, others with completely separate directions and, presumably, different agendas. Ships that pass in the night.

Beyond the enormous shoal we can see a deeper sandy patch perhaps 6 metres down, and in the distance, some 20 metres away in the crystal clear water, a huge boulder rises from the sand, grazing the surface to give swimmers a false impression of shallowness. The sun’s rays twist round the sides of the boulder and catch tiny glistening particles in the water.

It’s a soundless paradise down there and there is hardly a ripple. I turn into a tiny, rocky inlet where the sand, weed and rocks are beach-bright in the sunshine and small rock fish dart about... I am genuinely sorry to disturb them.
We have taken our masks and snorkels to more famous and more tropical oceans than this, but nothing matches this little patch of sea for its peace, majesty and beauty.

That was a beautifully written post. Hope the weather continues to cooperate and that Chris' back continues to heal so you can continue to visit your favorite spots.
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