Thursday, 9 February 2017

Ocean Warriors: Plastic in Paradise, My Favourite Part to Write




Ocean Warriors: Plastic in Paradise is a story book based on a short story that I wrote last year.  

When I wrote the original piece my aim was to introduce readers to the splendour of Raja Ampat, to entice the reader to feel a connection to the sea, and to bring awareness to the relentless plastic that is choking our mother ocean.

My favourite passage to write was about the children, Petrus and Novi, swimming with manta rays. 

Freediving with manta rays is one of the most special experiences I've ever had.  Having the opportunity to do so, so often, in Raja Ampat, is not something I ever took for granted.  It was a great pleasure, when writing the story of Novi and Petrus, to allow Novi to experience the majesty of the manta rays for the first time...


...Tateruga led them towards the island's point where the plankton turned the water into a mauve haze. Pari Manta swooped through the soupy sea with a chain of others behind her, mouths agape, feeding on the tiny particles.  Novi's eyes widened in fear as the giant black shape swept towards her.  Pari Manta was mesmerising, yes, but for the young girl who had never experienced such a creature, she was also terrifying.  
Petrus laughed at his sister. 
Pari Manta circled the children, gliding effortlessly through the water, her giant wings moving up and down, fluid, graceful and strong. 
Petrus smiled at Novi, took a big breath in, and disappeared beneath the surface. Novi inhaled, closed her eyes, and relaxed into the sea.  She felt her body become calm and still, and her heart expand.  She was one with the ocean and imagined, for a moment, that she could stay beneath the surface forever. 
The children swam with the mantas as they circled the point, again and again, their mouths wide, feeding.  They dove to the sandy bottom and turned to gaze towards the sky. Streams of light sliced through the oceans surface spraying the reef with twinkling stars like a thousand shards of broken mirror littering the sand and reef below them...

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