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The underwater paradise

I remember when I was a kid, I was interested in street artists dripping paints of different colours onto a disc. Then they started spinning the puck, occasionally adding a different colour of paint to it. At the end of the process, it was not a large blob of paint, but a beautiful composition came out from under their hands. Now imagine an indigo blue paint box. Then pour a baby blue, emerald green, turquoise and pour it all into a pile. But don’t mix anything on it, just wait for the layers of paint flowing evenly through each other. Well, that’s what Red Sea coral reefs look like. With every colour in the fifty shades of blue. I spent a week as a diver in this idyllic environment at the beginning of October.

Away from civilization, away from the mainland, away from all troubles and workplace manners. Just me and the sea. And the millions of fish and creatures that live in the water. The Red Sea Aquarium. About what the sea means to me and how exactly one day on a diving boat looks like I have been written before. The legendary marine scientist Jacques Yves Cousteau wrote the most aptly about what it means to be underwater.

From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.

I feel the same way every time I go underwater. Though I’d like to save the tussle when two people are trying to get me into my diving suit, or when I’m standing on the deck for 10 minutes with extra 20-25kg weight on our backs and waiting for the boat. But all the trials and tribulations disappear after the splash when I descend into the deep and the big blue. The descent feels like a free fall. Not only the body but also the thoughts will be free. In a state of weightlessness, you’re just concentrating on what’s happening now. You watch fish. Or you can just let yourself drift with the current and enjoy the moment of perfection.

Perfect moments It was such a perfect moment to hear the dolphins whistle 20 meters away on El Malahi Reef, knowing they’re somewhere nearby. I can only hope they come our way. And then you see a group of dolphins suddenly in front of you, and you get so excited as only a little kid. Or in the night at Shaab Marsa Alam, seeing eight or 10 lionfish competing against each other, “running” after the light of our flashlight. You can almost see the panting on their faces. I laughed so much that my mask filled up with water and it took me a minute or two to get my act together. Or when you see two Spanish dancers at the same time during a night dive in the caves of St. Johns. They wear their most beautiful red dresses, but they don’t dance to Bamboleo music, they just play water ballet in the silence of the sea. Or when you see two baby white-spotted reef sharks under a table coral. One of them is asleep. You watch them for minutes with amazement. Then you have to keep going and say good-bye to them. Moving away, the silhouette of a larger shark appears, she’s their mother. She watched us anxiously while she was away searching for food for her babies. But it was also such a perfect moment when a 1.5-meter, 120kg hump-head Napoleon fish approached you, assuming you brought him some boiled eggs. He’s supposed to love it, but we don’t feed the marine animals with anything, we don’t interfere with the natural ecosystem of the sea. It would be hard to put every moment into words. That’s why I made a video of my most memorable underwater places. Please always remember. We’re just visitors at the home of sea creatures. Let’s behave like a guest and show respect for the hosts.

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