Thursday, 29 September 2011

Watermelon,feta and stingray!

It is the first impact when your head hits the water and your brain, that is bleeding and bruised, immediately flips and a sharp ice cold pick axe penetrates your mind and suddenly there is hope for the future, a future you had given up on since opening your eyes that morning. To dive into the fresh morning sea is the ultimate hangover cure.

So I swam for an hour oblivious to the morning activity of snorkling hoards and mishandled pleasure boaters. Children were entranced by the volume of sea bream that would devour the fish bread they threw from the side of the boat. Fighting packs of excited blue hungry fist fights would erupt in front of their very eyes. I swam through the clouds of fish than shimmered and yet stayed in place swaying with the undercurrent rhythm. The light was muted beneath the waves giving a mysterious other world and there was a silence only interrupted by the distant motors revving up and mooring into place.
Suddenly and without warning a slow dark shape drifted beneath me close to the sea bed. Majestically moving its outer edges and ghostlike disappearing into the dark. It was a stingray. In 20 years of swimming and diving off these waters it was unheard of to see one so close to shore.It moved as if listening to a Pink Floyd soundtrack. My heart was pounding with the joy of such a sight and I tried to follow it but I wanted to alert everyone above the waterline to come and see it for them selves. Unfortunately I lost sight after following for a while and at the same time I felt the sea grow cold around me. This was unusual because the sun was burning overhead but still my skin was covered in goosebumps and my arms felt weighty to the cold.
I looked up towards the little speed boat and could see, curling round the cliffs behind us, a thick stubborn fog making its way toward the bay and with such speed. I needed to move fast.
It really was all hands on deck as each of us did the necessary jobs in quick fashion. We sped off just edging ahead of the white blanket of mist and kept our eyes on the harbour opening as soon we would not be able to see it at all.
Danger over and a beer in mind we did a shop in the local market where I picked up fresh watermelon, parsley and mint, some fresh chilli and feta cheese. A large scoop of black olives and a large Figueres onion you could eat like an apple.
All was chopped into mouthsize chunks and then drizzled generously with Serraferran olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar. Then the juice of two limes were squeezed and mixed in thoroughly.
The afternoon crept into night and the rose flowed well until in the early hours it was evident the morning would have a familiar start.

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