Saturday, October 27, 2007
Liz Clark - Sailing Surfer Girl
An atoll is the remains of an ancient volcanic island that has sunk back in to the sea over millions of years, leaving only a rim of the crater and/or part of the coral reef exposed above the ocean's surface. The shocking beauty found 'above the waterline' in the Marquesas had not disappeared in this next island chain--it had only been transformed into the glorious biodiversity and color of coral forests 'below' the sea. I chose to visit the less popular atolls. I dissolved into their remoteness and delighted in realizing how much I can live without as my supplies dwindled to all-time lows. The generosity and warmth from the locals were shocking. They were eager share their culture and to show me how they live. I dove in their fish pens and they taught me to husk coconuts. The kids played marbles in the dusty dirt roads and wove palm fronds instead of playing video games. I wandered along palm-lined beaches and waded into the turquoise lagoons of my dreams. Hermit crabs shuffled by while I studied the amazingly adapted atoll flora.