Blue Lagoon October 23rd

Due to an early childhood obsession with Disney's Peter Pan, I've always associated the word "lagoon" with mermaids and have typically believed them to be magical places. If ever I were to find jealous, possessive mermaids disdainful of my legs, it would probably be in Turkey's Blue Lagoon. Then again the colonies of vacation resorts, huge cement blocks resembling nothing so much as low-security prisons complete with garishly red umbrellas shading equally garish red lounge chairs, probably have driven them away.
After the relatively untouched pristine beauty of Butterfly Cove they seemed especially awful.
We lounged on the gulet in a relaxed, satisfied silence produced by our morning excursion. Mark climbed carefully into the hammock that was suspended above deck by the main (useless due to lack of sails) boom, and Jonah fell asleep on the cushions underneath him. I gave myself up to the feeling of absolute content in the sunshine with liberal slatherings of SPF 45, a large floppy sunhat, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Dear Reader, you may have trouble believing this, but for whatever reason, I was just unable to be absorbed by Hemingway. I really do like him as a writer; he reminds me of my father. But something just wasn't clicking.
"Hey Rosie?" Mark called softly from his cradle.
"Can you do me a favour?"
"Sure," I marked my spot in my book and set it down.
"Can you get me my towel?" He pointed to the rail. "It's just really awkward getting in and out of this hammock."
Getting up to fetch his towel is when I first saw the Holiday Prison Camps. Zafir had our nose pointed straight at them, so I don't mind saying that a knot of dread formed in my stomach. A little pit of worry that we were destined to lounge underneath one of those umbrellas in the shade of a looming resort hotel that smelled unmistakeably of plastic started to rub against the mucus lining of my stomach. Packaged hospitality was not entirely the reason for my discomfort. Caligynephobia is the fear of beautiful women but I'm extending it to fear of beautiful people.
My second entry on this blog may give you, Dear Reader, a hint of my phobia when I visualized frumpy, non-beautiful people being "re-educated" on how to be beautiful. Normally I'm not concerned about my appearance. I make about a %60 effort to look nice, put together, that sort of thing. Even when I go out, my focus is more on being comfortable than being a knock-out. People generally take one look at me with my big glasses and my, er, "interesting" style and assign me to the caste of Mousey Nerds (I am a nerd, but I'm not mousey). Therefore, Beautiful People paralyze me with intimidation. I become clumsy around them, recalcitrant, almost petulant, I slouch like woah, especially when I'm in a bathing suit surrounded by Beautiful People in their bathing suits.
The point is this: People who can afford the luxury of reclining under an over sized red cotton umbrella can also afford the beautiful John Galliano maillot bathing suit, the Channel sunglasses, the loving treatment of their hair, the food and exercise (not forgetting the stylish workout clothes)that keep their limbs long and slender. Class warriors, I can tell you, are people who desperately want the described accoutrement's of wealth but know they cannot procure them.
Can there be anything worse to ruin an otherwise fantastic vacation?
Zafir bypassed several HPC's, finally dropping anchor in blue waters gently heaving against a rocky outcrop. Chef tied a rope around his waist and dove off the rails, swimming with powerful strokes to the rocks. We were not the only gulet in the area and multi-coloured ropes streamed forth from the cliffs like party streamers. Chef wound the rope around a piece of rock and we bobbed gently back and forth.
Between the rocks a sliver of rich, still blue could be seen, and lush green trees, and white sand. "This," Zafir gestured to the paradise peaking through, "Is the Blue Lagoon. You can go swimming here; it's very nice beyond the wall. But please remember: On this side-," his arms fluttered to our left, "it's not expensive. On this side-," his arms fluttered right, "VERY expensive."
One by one we jumped in. I don't think there will ever be an experience quite like plunging into the deep blue, and warm Mediterranean. Every time the water swallowed me I lingered beneath the surface instead of shooting up for air like one usually does in colder water. It felt so nice, a warm hug almost that I didn't want to leave. When I did surface I saw Nathan and Veronica swimming to the gap between the rocks.
Accurately described, the gap was more a dip, a valley in the rock that swooped low enough for the sea to cover it periodically with every wave. Such a combination of elements made it fertile ground for all sorts of.... things to grow on it. I say things because I don't know for sure what they were. They were colourful, that's certain; a speckled, sparkling display of oranges, pinks and greens washed every 15 seconds by bright blue. They were slimy and slippery, I can say that also. But something magical about them would prevent even the most sensitive person to tolerate the feel of them under their toes.
The sea rushed back and forth, like it was being drunk in by great gulps, over the dip. Each way it went it pushed and pulled me, reminding me of an overzealous child wanting me to come play with it. Making my way carefully up, trying not to slip on whatever was covering the rocks, I finally rose from the sea, feeling like the daughter of Poseidon himself. To my back was the restless water. In front of me was absolute calm and quiet.
A lagoon, by definition, is an area of shallow water separated from the sea by low sandy dunes (or rocks, or coral reefs). The etymology, as given by Chambers Dictionary, is 17th c. Latin from lacuna, meaning pool. What it is in actual experience is startling, stunning, astonishing and so on and so forth.
Fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, StarGate and any other sci-fi saga that involves transportation from one world to another by simply walking through a portal are perhaps the only people who might appreciate the shivers that went down my spine. It WAS like walking from one world, where the sea shifted relentlessly with a glassy sheen, to another, where it was quiet, safe, still and the water was cloudy as uncut crystal.
Nathan and Veronica stood on the rock, shielding their eyes from the sun with their hands. I cautiously climbed up to join them, my toes curling around the jagged edges so as to gain purchase. Kirsty had already crossed over to the other side into the lagoon. But Mark, Marcus, and Syrah were pulling themselves higher up on the rocky barrier.
Mark arrived first and paused at the edge, surveying the sight stretched out before him. Then he took a few steps back only to reel forward and hurl himself in the water. There was a sploosh and a shimmering spray of water. Marcus followed, producing a slightly more subdued sploosh, slipping into the water as though he had always meant to be there. Syrah, on the other hand, slammed against the surface of the sea with a smack that made us all wince with pain. She didn't resurface for a while, probably writhing and howling in pain beneath the waves. When she did break through the water it was with a beet red face and to comments about how her backside must look.
Jonah, meanwhile had given his camera to Zafir with instructions on how to get a good picture and was now surveying the rock to find the path of least resistance.
"Are you going to jump?" I asked him.
"Yeah. I mean, everyone else did, so I guess I have to now," he shrugged his shoulders. I didn't see him jump, but I did hear a graceful splash behind me as I slipped in to the calm waters of the lagoon on the other side. The pictures Zafir took show him progressively clench his muscles tighter and closer to the core of his body until his feet begin to dip and then slice into the water. It was pretty impressive.
Swimming within the lagoon was almost eerie. The water was so still, as I have said before, and the surroundings were so quiet. We could see a strip of white sandy beach seemingly unreal.
The only activity within the lagoon was complete surrender, and I did; again and again. Forty five minutes later I climbed over the rocks, back into the real world and back onto the gulet. My body was feeling a little stunned. Lying on the cushions on deck, my heart beat was relaxed and I watched as clouds smothered the peak of a nearby cliff. Darting in and out, silently swooping in the sky were para gliders. They were like mythical huge eagles guarding Mount Olympus.
Swim Champ chimed the bell, bringing me back to Earth and lunch.
Gliders seen at Blue Lagoon: 7
Mermaids seen at Blue Lagoon: 0
Fruit and Vegetable Servings: 4


  1. Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.............................................


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