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Would you believe it? This shark was more scared of me than I was of it!

Here’s the second instalment of my story about diving in the Tubbataha Reefs, Close Encounters of the Wild Kind:

I never feel more helpless than when I lose myself to the sea. My body is weightless, flailing to find equilibrium in the freefall. The seawater rushes into my suit, bringing in the cold. It seeps into my mask and assaults my nostrils, and I tell myself, Breathe through your mouth, not through your nose, breathe through your mouth, not through your nose, and it curbs the panic somewhat. Fear is my constant companion. My dives are often half a battle, a struggle to survive and end with my life and limbs intact. Perhaps therein lies the beauty: this exquisite tug o’ war between fear and reverential awe. Beauty can be terrifying.

Read more at OSM.

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