South Pacific Ocean, French Polynesia - Nolan MC

In March 2018, my family and I were out for an adventure out at the Fakarava Atoll in the South Pacific Ocean. It was rough; our boat went over wave after wave. For hours, we did this. My family were on a boat to go snorkelling, at the other end of the Fakarava Atoll. We heard there were going to be sharks, lots of them. When we arrived at our first stop we practically kissed the sand, we were so happy to be back on land! I put my mask on and waded in. I could feel the warm Polynesian water soaking me as I submerged. I could feel the soft sand on my feet.

There, right next to me was a shark! I didn’t panic. I just watched it under the water. It was sleek as it quickly moved through the crystal clear water. It stopped for just a second next to me. I felt as though it was looking me in the eye deciding what sort of creature I was. I was mesmerized by that moment with that shark. Then the shark zipped off into the deeper blue water.

My younger brother came along kicking his feet and scaring the shark away. He stopped and waved at me under the turquoise water. Then, the captain of our boat put on his mask and told us to follow him. We went out to the boat dock and swam under it. There were so many sharks! Then I looked down: I saw a vibrant painting of coral and fish and giant bright clams. This moment was so powerful to me as I felt a connection to the water that supported that marine life.

Then, I looked out to deep dark blue water and below me a dark blue drop off. I stared at it for a while feeling so connected with the water, the blue colour and the slight chill of the cooler deeper water. I looked down again, just mesmerized by the colour.

I didn’t want to leave that moment: just me and my family out in the deep blue water.
It is moments like these that convince me that all our waters should be protected.

Trinity College School
Alison Elliott
Nolan MC

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