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  • Samuel John

The Ocean in Monochrome

There are many ways to experience the ocean - ankle deep tide pools, cliffside sunsets, SCUBA dives; even simple 'sand between the toes' moments.

Admittedly, the one that really speaks to me (almost literally) is experiencing the ocean with nothing but fins, a mask and snorkel. Even for the slightly deeper secrets that the ocean waits to share, I enjoy the idea of listening to them on a single breath.

This image of a jelly briefly sharing its solitude with us is the first in a series of moments captured on a single breath. #StayTuned #BreathTaking

Stingray of sunshine. Early in 2019 when my free diving prowess was limited to trying to look at my feet and flooding my snorkel, we used to see these magnificent looking rays in the sandy patch below us. Between murky visibility and the inability to get a closer look, the rays remained fondly yet mysteriously in our memories.

2 years later, we were presented with good light, great visibility and the company of the breathtaking Honeycomb whipray (the breathtaking part is not so convenient when you're down there on a single breath). Little is known about the natural history of this endangered giant in the shallows but we were grateful for each second of its company. #BreathTaking. The ray rested partially hidden in the sand; the remora continued to suck as it does; and we looked like the answer to the question "what would driftwood look like if it could smile like an idiot?". #NowWatchMeWhip

Learning from the best. As a person who has had a relatively recent introduction to the ocean and the surreal world of free diving, I'm still learning. Fortunately, I've been in the company of experts like this green sea turtle.

At 7m below, this turtle sat comfortably on a single breath chomping away at seagrass. Time itself seems to move slower down there. We briefly stared at each other in bewilderment and I returned to the surface for a breath - some 15 minutes before my breakfast company came up for theirs.

I love walking(even when it's the most impractical thing to do). Carrying yourself around with nothing more than your bare needs is the most rewarding experience you can give your senses.

When I walk through the streets of Bangalore, I try to imagine the life stories of each person I pass, I watch as crows strategize for their next meal, I smell food being fondly prepared and the sounds of horns signalling the lives of the unfortunately hurried. What I feel when I walk through the forests is a story for another time.

When I began to scuba dive and experience the underwater world, it changed my perspective on life to say the least. However, it wasn't until I began to enter the water with nothing more than fins and a mask that I felt the ocean's humbling embrace.

The trouble with spending time underwater on a single breath are moments like this, when a curious clownfish peeked at me from its anemone abode. They quite simply take your only breath away. #NemoWasNotDisplaced


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