The Great Barrier reef

 · Jim Fuller

Sometime in the 1990's we had been sailing the seas around the blue green waters of the Great barrier reef all day.

We had just sheltered the 40 foot sailboat into a neat deeply hollowed out fjord like bay in miniature. It was paradisaical with a broad, flowing waterfall coming off high cliffs on one side and parrot birds singing their songs in the trees lining the inlet. Impenetrable jungle lined the bay ... I wouldn't know where to start to try and step on terra firma it was so thick.

The heat of the day was trapped here, turning us sweaty if not just a little bit dizzy.

As we stowed away the boat from the day of sailing, it was clear that her father and I had not hit things off ... mainly due to the fact he had run over a bunch of coral at the outset of our trip. I being a sanctimonous git internally complained about the poor coral ... I cringe now knowing the roles will reverse when my daughter brings home someone with a similar 'cut of jib'.

I think we both silently agreed to make a good fist of things, if not for the sake that we were all to be on a boat together for several weeks. Lets face it he would never approve of me. Wasn't to be the first or last time I encountered judgement from apprehensive parents - I agree with them that I was hardly marriage 'timber'for their daughter - she was a lovely girl but I have no explanation why I asked for her hand in marriage during this trip. I do know as far as I was capable of love my proposal was pure but with all my failings (immature and incomplete) it would have eventually doomed us.

After some time in this bay, I all of sudden saw on top of the cliff where the waterfall ran off - a tall, slender, as far as I could tell amazingly gorgeous woman running in barely a bikini.

'Now what the hell is she doing here' I thought to myself, looking around to my girlfriend, her and her twin were looking dickensian having sensibly covered up from the powerful sun, wearing large brimmed straw hats. The dichotomy between them and this Amazon running around the jungle was so much as for I to believe all this had been staged and as I glanced away to the twins I could see they shared my confusion.

In an instant amazon girl jigged her running course having seen the waterfall, splashing great big puddle strides her intent seemingly to run straight off the cliff. At the last moment she then launched herself into a perfect dive not worrying the least what may lie beneath the dark waters.

Her tanned, athletic frame whispered into the waters, where after an agonizingly long time she surfaced in mid-overhand stroke, swimming the complete distance across our little bay - disappearing to some other part of this uninhabited island, in the middle of a rather large ocean.

All of us on the boat were stunned silent, made even all the more dramatic when the captain/father informed us that this little bay of ours was one of the only known places in the entire world where hammerhead sharks bred and nurse their young.