This weeks photo challenge is:

Sea

What kind of emotions does the sea or ocean make you feel? Do you remember the first time you went in the water? Had a wave crash on you? Felt the sand burn your feet? Do you feel more peaceful around water? Do you hate the beach? What’s the most interesting thing about the sea for you?

The sea, in Bali

The sea, in Bali

The sea and I have an interesting relationship: it is not as strong, as to call it “Hass Liebe” in German (=hate and love), however as much as I love the sea, I have my apprehensions, not to say fears to go into the deeper waters. As I write on, esp on my experience with the sea and my swimming lessons across the globe, I will add some photographs of beaches, we have visited in the last few years, the stories may or may not correlate.

Beach of Le Meridian mina Seyahi, Marina Bay, Dubai

Dubai: Le Meridian Beach

Dubai: Le Meridian mina Seyahi Beach, enjoying the morning tranquillity on the beach with birds and the sound of the ocean

Dubai was our latest stop at a beach, which I enjoyed thoroughly – in – and outside the water. The sandy beach has a rather shallow entrance to the sea, which makes it more comfortable for me. The water is quite and so clean, that you can see the ocean bed and some fishes swimming by. In June the water temperature was around 28C and still a refreshment in the afternoons!

Palm Jumeirah Beach, Dubai

Dubai: Palm Jumeirah Beach

Dubai: Palm Jumeirah Beach

I learned to swim from Kindergarten onwards in Germany and with lots of instructions, my parents could persuade the schools in Pakistan (where I visited school in the 70s) to let me continue the lessons. I just had learned to jump from a jumping board, when I had to change schools and that put an end to my swimming lessons.

Karachi, where we lived for a while, does have a beautiful beach, the Hawks Bay beach. When we were there, this beach was used for beach outings – without swimming! If at all, the swimming pools of some international hotels or clubs were used for this purpose, which required a lot of formalities, so that I ended up with a wide gap in swimming lessons!

 

Belek, South Turkey

Belek, South Turkey:; Men don't grow up!!

Belek, South Turkey

With a few unsuccessful efforts to get started again later in the early 20s, I started swimming again thanks to the support of my husband after a gap of almost 20 years! I for sure was surprised, that  my first few strokes kept me on the surface. Just like cycling, once you learned swimming, you don’t really forget it!

However, some kind of fear has nested inside and even if I a swimming for more than 10 years now I still don’t go the deeper side of the ocean, which is a pity. It was in South Turkey, that I went into the sea again to relearn to swim.

Belek, South Turkey: Men don't grow up!!

Belek, South Turkey: Men don’t grow up!!

Thompson Beach, Ballito Durban, South Africa

Ballito Durban

Balito Durban: View from the rented apartment

No, I don’t remember the first time the wave broke on me, the feel of water or when my feet burned in the sand. However my first memory of a beach holiday is of Kiel, Germany. My parents had rented beach baskets, and we were enjoying a day out on the beach with family friends.

Thompson Beach, Ballito, Durban

Thompson Beach, Ballito, Durban

Back to 2011: Beaches like the ones in Ballito (close to Durban, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa) are too rough for me. The Thompson Beach had this separate basin for beginners like me, where I did enjoy swimming in rather warmer waters of the Indian Ocean.

Ballito Durban: after enjoying the day at the beach with my brother's family

Ballito Durban: After enjoying the day with my brother’s family

Yes, I do feel more peaceful around the sea and also when I am in the water at the level, where I feel comfortable I think, hardly any other activity puts me so much at peace, as swimming.

Granny’s Beach, Ballito, South Africa

Granny's Beach, Ballito Durban

Granny’s Beach, Ballito Durban

 You can see my husband enjoying swimming against the waves, which he thoroughly enjoyed.

Greenball Beach, Bali Cliff

Bali Cliff a.k.a. Greenball Beach

Bali Cliff a.k.a. Greenball Beach

I already did write about my husband’s accident at this beach, which gladly ended with his safe return – thanks to Surfers at the Beach. It could have been avoided, if he had taken his gear with him and paid heed to the warnings of the undercurrents and avoid them.

This beach was not a swimmer’s beach, it is a surfer’s beach! Additionally the beggars and vendors can be quite a nuisance at these beaches. At this beach it was a group of old  women, who kept bothering me, while I was anxiously waiting for my husband! As beautiful this beach is, I could not enjoy it!

Dreamland Beach, Bali

Dreamland Beach, Bali

Dreamland Beach, Bali: not for swimmers!

Jimbaran Beach, Bali

Jimbaran Beach, Bali

Jimbaran Beach, Bali

This beach reminded me of Hawks Bay beach Karachi

Crab Art, Jimbaran Beach, Bali

“Crab Art”, Jimbaran Beach, Bali

Have to share this picture: Look closely at the Crab’s works, doesn’t it remind you of Batik?

Lava stone Beach in Amed

The quite waters of the East of Bali again are my waters, The beach in Amed is black due to the Lava stone sand. Amed, an old fishermens‘ village, has become a snorkelling and diving resort. From our hotel we had access to the coral cliffs just a few meters from its beach. You could even walk to the first cliffs.

Amed, Bali: Snorkling Site and lavastone Beach

This being my first time for snorkelling, and also I did need to get a little further than my comfort zone for the depth of the waters, I was challenged. In the end however, with my life jacket and more breathing exercise, I did manage to see a few beautiful corals and fishes! As a beginner (or if you are teaching someone), I should have made sure, to have had enough exercise wit the snorkel and the glasses before it became real!

And yes, I enjoyed it!

On another note, it was in Bali, that I became aware of how deleterious Tourism can be to a region. With the discovery of the coral cliffs and a wreck, snorkelling and diving came to Amed and adjacent villages. However the business was not shared with the locals or jobs provided to them, neither any investments done to the place and its infrastructure. Some fishermen earn a living by taking out tourists to the wreck or the farther coral cliffs, renting out the snorkelling and diving equipment and for this they can be very pushy and irritating. This I experienced on our first morning, when I wanted to enjoy a quite morning on the beach, exploring the place with my camera!

Back to the topic of the challenge: Yes, as much as the sea makes me nervous, I love being in it. It gives me the sense of peace as long as I am in control of the situation or feeling relaxed enough to go beyond my comfort zone to learn more.

How about you? Do you enjoy the sea? Which beach do you like most and the least?

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