It’s Poetry Friday and my first post for 2022 – so, Happy New Year to you!
It’s summer here in Australia and summer, for me, means swimming, enjoying the sunshine and, as often as I can, snorkelling! I cannot believe that, until two years ago I had never been snorkelling. Now, I would go every day if I could.
Last week I drove south verrrrrry early in the morning so that I could beat the crowds at a spot which is becoming increasingly popular, known as The Aquarium – a natural rock pool that is people sized! And I was lucky enough to get there when, although there were other people, I had the water to myself for about half an hour. Even luckier – I spent about ten minutes floating above a beautiful octopus. I was especially intrigued by the wrasse that seemed to be following the octopus. Friends? A guard? Or was the fish perhaps waiting for the octopus to catch dinner, so it could have the scraps?
This week I was in Perth for work, and met colleagues for a swim, walk and breakfast at the beach. After we said goodbye I couldn’t resist seizing the opportunity for another quick snorkel before heading to work. No octopi this time (though I did spot some of the tell-tale shell piles which indicate their presence) – but I was not lonely. The warmer water off the coast at present has lead to big swarms (schools?) or blowfish (blowies) which have been reported in the media and discussed in my various snorkelling and beach groups. At Woodman Point they weren’t swarming, but there were more than usual – so you can see in my video that there are more bowies than anything.
Blowies like to nibble on absolutely anything, which is not always the nicest sensation, although I have been amused when they’ve nibbled my toes in the past. Luckily, though, this week they did not choose to nibble on me, instead following me so that I felt like I was the leader in a watery game of follow the leader, and photo-bombing my videos. They made me smile, and they are, I think, quite photogenic with their big eyes and their smiles. So, all up, I feel like blowies are my friends, and have written a poem in their honour.
When blowfish puff
it means stay away
but when I snorkel
it seems that blowies
simply want to play.
about these mice of the sea
but I can’t help
but smile along
smile at me.
(Sally Murphy, 2022)