Which features a parrot*, an eyepatch, walking the plank and getting into deep water. Part One

* A very small one

I wrote, a few weeks ago, of the complete impossibility that I can ever let go of the side, when in a swimming pool, unless both feet are planted firmly on the ground. As you can imagine, this gets trickier still in the sea, because there’s nothing to hang on to. There’s more than one way of dealing with a problem: gradually coping bit by bit is one way, jumping in at the deep end is another. Depending on whether or not this is  literally what you do rather governs the good sense of the latter. It is, however, my firm belief that one should try very hard not be be ruled by fear or habit, and there are some problems which are better dealt with head on. Or feet first in this case, because I signed up for a day’s scuba diving.

it has been several decades since I have been able to bob around merrily, out of my depth, but I reckoned that the whole thing would be such a challenge that not having a leg to stand on would be only a part of it.

This is a beautiful area on the south western coast of Turkey. It has been quite sensitively developed, because there were few tourists here until two or three decades ago and environmental and  aesthetic concerns were considered when the hotels were built. None of the hotels by the shore may be more than two storeys in height, for example. Where we are staying was built 20 years ago and is still run by the family that had it built. It’s by a pine forest on the way up a mountain, so there are lovely views and it isn’t oppressively hot, but it’s not far down to the beach and harbour. The guest accommodation is a series of two-storey villas and, even when the hotel is full (as it is now), there is not impression of crowdedness.

Wink and I had a quiet day yesterday, spending most of the afternoon reading by one of the pools. Today, we were up early and on the boat by 9. It was a lovely trip out, the sea is clear and blue and we moored in a small cove.

Yup, I let go of the boat.  And I dived and swam and fed the fishes (not in the seasick sense) and the technical necessities of managing the equipment made the fact that I was in five metres of water (not deep, you see) less of an issue for me than it might have been, especially considering I had an air supply. I did consider the horridness of losing my mouthpiece and having to be towed to the surface, but fortunately it didn’t happen.

We went back to the boat for lunch and a rest and one of the instructors, still on the tiny beach, found a yellow budgerigar, or parakeet if you prefer (to us, a parakeet is much bigger than a budgie) which was quite tame and he caught it and brought it back to the boat – it was obviously an escaped pet.

it was so calm and warm and relaxing that I almost fell asleep. And Wink had gone down below to the lower deck for a few minutes.  And that is when things went awry.

18 comments on “Which features a parrot*, an eyepatch, walking the plank and getting into deep water. Part One

  1. IndigoRoth

    Hey Z! Okay, now I’m curious/wary about the next part of the tale. But hats off to you for the scuba diving. I love it, and would love to get back to it someplace warm 🙂 Onwards! Indigo x

  2. nick

    Glad the scuba diving was a success and you kept the fear away!

    And glad to hear of a beauty spot that hasn’t been ruined by insensitive, profit-driven development. It’s so depressing when that happens.

  3. Blue Witch

    Just thought – not sure where you are, but if you’re within reach of Mugla (probably an hour NE of Dalaman airport, inland), it’s market day tomorrrow. It’s one of the most amazing markets I’ve seen anywhere in the world, and really huge. A real locals market – not really for tourists, as many of those on the coast now tend to be. I took nearly five hundred photos the first year we went 🙂

    Smoked paprika is amazing value and amazing taste – I brought back 500g for £2. Some spice stalls consist of produce the seller has grown himself. The fresh figs (especially the yellow ones, which might still just be in season are also amazing).

  4. Z Post author

    Paragliding off the nearest mountain is the thing here. I’m not doing it, don’t want to hurt my hip with a bumpy landing.
    We’re a similar distance in the opposite direction, BW, sadly. We have been told that the markets are more expensive than the shops on the coast.

  5. Blue Witch

    No comments box in the post above?

    Do hope Wink is feeling better today, What an awful thing to happen! But pleased that it all seemed to work out for you. Glad to hear Turkish hospitals are efficent. Just in case, in future, y’know….

  6. 63mago

    Glad to learn that it did not go to her eye.

    My first thought was “Was sich bezweit, bedritt sich”, something like “it comes in threes”. I hope you had your share of agitation now for the rest of your holiday!


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