Underwater Images by Peter Pinnock
Bali is an eclectic ensemble of religion, rice paddies, ocean vistas, big fish, small fish and weird and wonderful underwater creatures. It reminds me of their daily staple, nasi goring - fried rice tossed with whatever is available from the kitchen and served topped with an egg. The basic ingredients of a nasi goreng usually include a protein such as chicken or pork and it is spiced with onion, garlic, ginger, chillie, soy sauce with bok choy added for colour. The ‘rice' in this case, is the Balinese faith in Hinduism which forms the very foundation of their lifestyle and thus represents the chief ingredient of a nasi goreng.
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Humans have legs - fish have fins. Some have short and fat ones; some have long and slender ones. There are those that sport the athletic type and there are the lazy types. Of course there are the attractive and the sexy ones but they all follow the same principle of providing movement in some way or other, be it fast or slow. The functions of fins however, are far greater than that of mere propulsion. Fins are capable of being weapons, oars, brakes, paddles or hydroplanes, propulsion and communication devices, sex symbols and are even used for just plain sailing.
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Crash, bang, rattle thud! I woke up from a deep sleep as the winch ground into action and the anchor chain was laboriously winched from the depths of the Bismarck Sea. It was still dark outside. "The curse of economy class cabins", I thought to myself. I was sleeping in the forward cabin of Paradise Sport. Here there is no escaping any activity on the bow of the boat. I understand that anchors are all a necessary part of boating, but does it have to be at 5am in the morning? Leaving our safe anchorage for the night the boat slowly motored to get to the first dive site of the day by sunrise. I rolled over and let the rocking of the boat lull me back to sleep.
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It’s rush hour underwater. Daylight is fading and night is creeping in. Traffic is building up as nocturnal fish are slow to wake and venture away from the sanctity of the reef. Diurnal fish are desperately looking for safe parking space for the night but the parking lots are still occupied. Adding to the chaos and causing multiple accidents are the voracious feeders that attack the homeless fish. Each attack scatters the queuing fish, causing many to crash into the reef barriers as they attempt to flee from the chaos. The wounded limp into crevices to recuperate only to find the hospital staff are off duty for the night. The hustle and bustle of a coral reef can be likened to a giant underwater city with many different buildings, apartment blocks, tunnels, alleys, freeways and parks - all in a cosmopolitan atmosphere.
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The annual visit to the dentist is not one I choose to remember. Lying on a narrow couch with a mouth full of instruments and latexed fingers is not my idea of fun. Inevitably at some awkward moment, when nothing more can fit in my mouth, the dentist will ask a question. Which finger or instrument do I spit out in order to reply? “Ah huh, your teeth are fine but you need to see the oral hygienist”. Is this a money making racket or a polite way of saying – ‘I can see what you had for lunch?’
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Imagine an invitation to a ballet where the theatre is in the open, the seats unreserved, neither a sound man nor wardrobe mistress were hired, the choreographer is one of the cast, the lighting is au natural and the show is neither rehearsed nor repeated. The show has no producer and the makeup artists only sanitize scars or manicure wounds. Yet the show is mesmerizing with no interval and no curtain call. In fact, the human audiences are the only ones to leave early and that is done unwillingly when, literally, their breath has been taken away and they have run out of air. The show is never advertised as the cast members perform when they feel the conditions are right yet..
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Does size matter? Well that depends on who is asking and of course - who is answering. But the burning question is - does shape matter? Shape must have some implications otherwise the ‘weight loss remedy’ wouldn’t be worth the billion dollar industry that it is, not to mention the recent upsurge of sports nutrition products. Both industries challenge one to change body shape to achieve a certain effect. Being a certain shape or size can certainly have its advantages...
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