We now move our narrative briskly away from rafting on the Soca to the Istrian coast where the aforementioned EWPTKNACT dons her snorkel and takes to the warm(ish) shoreline waters of the Adriatic, just south of Rovinj.
It should be noted here that your esteemed (and surely, by now, most favourite) blog author (having worn spectacles since his early teens) struggles on the rare occasion when snorkelling appears on any trip itinerary, since facemasks tend to leak avidly when worn atop a pair of glasses. (I did see fit, on one family holiday on the Turkish coast several millennia ago, to pro-actively equip myself with a pair of contact lenses instead. However, the abject stress caused by three members of my immediate family all simultaneously attempting to help me fit miniscule transparent suction-cups to the surfaces of both eyeballs proved too much for my constitution and I decided that sitting on the shoreline watching everyone else’s snorkels circulate gently around the bay was a far more relaxing activity.)
So, when the Lone Navigating Amphibian emerged from her immersive experience, she was positively bursting with excitement at what she’d seen, recounted here with as much journalistic skill as a complete amateur can muster. It appears that, having swum around in about four metres depth of clear water and observing a few starfish and sea-urchins, our heroine decides to simply float in neutral, so to speak. And as she became immobile, sea-creatures began to emerge below her. Hermit crabs and blennies appear and bustle about, and then a fish swam by. And then another. And then several more. Within seconds, these few fish – each about the size of a decent herring – had turned into a fast-moving, silvered shoal, heading out towards the open sea, at speed.
Passing swiftly around our passive snorkeller like a burst from a sparkling Sodastream, not one fish touched her or collided with its companions as they avoided the floating obstacle (sorry, dear). Transfixed at this sudden spectacle and in awe of the experience, she reckons it can have lasted no more than a few seconds and must have involved over a hundred fish. Any attempt she may have made to give chase was deemed pointless as these streamlined, shining creatures had collectively disappeared into the wide blue-green yonder. In the stillwater vacuum of their wake, however, her eyes regained their focus on a magnificent jellyfish – similarly passively floating, sub-surface, not two metres away.
Well, David Attenborough would have been proud of her as – realising the jellyfish had no integral motive capabilities – she could swim around it at a safe distance and observe at leisure. Almost half-a-metre across its ‘skirt’, and with a peculiarly vivid colour-scheme, this true denizen turned out to be a Fried Egg Jellyfish, a native to the Adriatic and Mediterranean, and reported to be “very beautiful and very scary all at the same time.”
When we got back to the Knumptywagen, I googled prescription facemasks.