I spluttered in the water, clutching at the pool noodle which had been thoughtfully provided to me. The waves weren’t strong, but what was ahead of me was, in short, terrifying.
I watched as my husband bobbed along like a motor-driven cork and dipped down, below the cliff face and into… nothing. Moments later he popped back out and I could tell from the look on his face that he knew this was going to be a challenge for me.
Behind the cliff face, so the tiny boat driver had told us, was a cave – the Blue Cave. Only, to get there, we had to dive down under the cliff face, through the water, from the blazing sunlight and into complete darkness, trusting that we would pop up into the cave.
Now, by way of full disclaimer, although I did get my scuba qualification last year, I am afraid of putting my head under water and, also, of fish (curious given I’m a Pisces). Being six months pregnant made me a little more wary (although perhaps more buoyant), but, I doubt I would have felt much more confident at my fighting best.
I was determined though. I hate letting fear stop me from living. Clutching my husband’s hand, he promised he’d hold it and guide me through. We swam toward the cliff face and dipped down, how far I’m not sure, too far I’m told! Half way through, my husband let go of my hand. His plan was to push me through if I needed it – only I hadn’t been informed of the plan, and panicking I turned tail and swam back to the light.
On my second go down, hand held (no pushing required) I swam from the light down, down, down and through… into what appeared to be total darkness and popped up into something that can only be described as magnificent: a cave, hidden to those who aren’t shown, lit by a single shaft of light from a hole above the cave. Silent, calm, amazing.
Beautiful blue clear water lapped at us and we were the only two people in the cave – our own beautiful Valentine’s Day moment on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu. It had been described to me as an almost spiritual experience and it’s certainly one I’m glad I didn’t let pass me by because of a little fear of the unknown.
Every so often in life, to get to somewhere magnificent and memorable, you have to venture into not only uncharted, scary territory, but also into a place where the destination can’t be seen and is often beyond our imagination.
Many won’t dive. Many will try and turn back. Some will make it through regardless of how many goes it takes them and they’ll experience their own Blue Cave moment.
Kirsty Dunphey is the youngest ever Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year, author of two books and a passionate entrepreneur who started her first business at age 15 and opened her own real estate agency at 21.