|The stunning Cavalli Islands|
Last weekend my friend Edine and I drove up to Paihia in New Zealand's subtropical Northland. The drive from Mount Maunganui took us approximately 7 hours - but it was so worth it.
We stayed with friends of Edine's (and now mine) who spend their summers in a little harbourside village called Opua. Cindy is a fellow Canadian, from Vancouver Island, and she is married to her Kiwi husband Terry. They are amazing people. They opened their home to us as if we were their family.
The reason for our trip was to dive the wreck of the famous Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior, which just so happens to be Canadian (I would like to add).
Two DGSE officers, Dominique Prieur and Alain Mafart, were arrested on 24 July. Having been charged with murder, both pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. The case was a source of considerable embarrassment to the French government. While the attack was on an international organisation and not the New Zealand nation as such, most New Zealanders did not make such a distinction. The fact that the attack was carried out on New Zealand territory by a supposed friend produced a sense of outrage and a serious deterioration in relations between New Zealand and France.
On its bow she proudly carried a dove of peace carrying an olive branch – never leaving any doubt about her non-violent mission. All around her hull, there were the striking colours of the rainbow.
Greenpeace is an international environmental organisation founded in Canada in 1971. It is well known for its campaigns to stop nuclear testing and whaling, as well as its stand on other environmental issues such as bottom trawling, global warming, ancient forest destruction and genetic engineering. The organisation's official mission statement says that:
We went out with Paihia Dive - I'd highly recommend them to anyone. It was an amazing dive and the staff were professional and relaxed.
Diving is meditation in motion. It creates a deep sense of serenity and peace. I'm happiest under the sea. It feels like flying. I love the quiet, listening only to my breath and the bubbles I breathe as I exhale. I'm almost certain it lowers my blood pressure. I instantly feel calm but at the same time I can feel the adrenalin surge. I feel so alive swimming with fish. I must be a mermaid.
|My little friend Dory|
We stopped at a beach for lunch before our second dive. There were already people there, they were a young couple from Auckland sailing around for a few days. He gave us a proper native greeting.
|The Natives are friendly|
|What an amazing day. We are so lucky to be here.|
|Darren and Jordan greeting us with cold beer.|
As much as I love my life, I still need the occasional reminder just how amazing it is. I get caught up with what I don't have sometimes. Opportunities like this snap me out of that pretty quick. I often think about how nice it would be to have someone in my life to share these moments with, but the truth is, these experiences are for me right now. I deserve them. My relationships have always been so draining, mainly because I allowed them to be. My career is based around giving to others and I've got to balance it out by being available to get back. It's not my time to share with just one person yet. The universe has been pretty clear about that.