Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Sometimes it is good to wear masks. It can protect you from the sun, from the cold, from harmful gas or as in its most common use, just plainly hide your identity. Take for example the day Jana spotted a whale shark.

Now Jana is Dirks better half. She has flown over to visit for the week, which has been good for all of us. Dirk is not cranky anymore and of course Janna provides new and fresh conversation. Inevitably soon she was sitting in the back seat of the little orange plane with Dirk at the helm. He had to show her the ins and outs of the island from the air but also just to be the man – you know, the guy we don’t always see but Janna knows all too well.

Soon, Dirk had shown her the local fish-traps, the turtles that hang out in the coves and those that like the deep water, seemingly just hanging out in the middle of nowhere. And the large schools of fish that adorn the turquoise waters like Christmas lights a city.

“Daars n haai!” (Theres a shark!) OK, I am taking some poetic licence here. Jana actually said, “Wats daai?” (What’s that?) But the gist was exactly the same – could that be a whale shark?
Dirk could see it too and put the little plane into a downward spiral.
“Ooooh..!” Jana shouted from the back seat. (OK, I’m taking more poetic liberties here :) But soon the large brown object became clearer.
“It’s a Manta!” shouted Dirk and the large wide winged creature took flight. They could see its flatness and tip movement and got all excited. Jana was.., OK I will stop adding colour to the story here – Jana is living in our flat and I fear some retribution…
“Ag, dis a palm tak!” Shouted Dirk. (It’s a palm leave) and the two made known their disappointment while they flew on and left the palm leave to its own devices.

Of course later on when Dirk retold the story to me he could not help harping on the size of the leave, “It was not just long but so wide…” his arms went as far as they could while his fingers pointed even further. And that’s what gave it away. You see I know that in order to hide their identity it is not uncommon for the Seychelles whale sharks to hide behind large palm leaves. And let me tell you, they are very, very good at it too…

Wish you were here!

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