Flying Underwater


A purple Porite dome suddenly appears out of the underwater haze. It is a massive community of living coral polyps. Photograph: © Jeffrey Cardenas

During a drift dive the underwater world passes by as if in a dream.

Usually I search for clear and still water where I can free dive slowly to observe the minutiae of subsurface life. On this day, however, I am letting the wonders of the ocean unroll before me like a movie reel as I drift over the reef in a three-knot current. I am being towed along by a rope attached to my inflatable dinghy. The water is silty, stirred up from a large breaking swell, but I savor the muted detail and color as I am pulled swiftly past the underwater landscape. I like knowing that my propulsion today is powered solely by the gravitational pull of distant celestial bodies.

It is said that these large underwater boulders known as Purple Porites are the most unappreciated of all coral species on the reef. They wow me. I like how they suddenly appear out of the underwater haze—a massive community of living coral polyps that somehow has evolved to be colored purple when everything else around it is tan or green or brown. They are sometimes etched with the bite marks of parrotfish. Often the Porites will have colonies of Christmas Tree worms flowering in their substructure. I wiggle a finger at a worm as I drift past and its spiral of feather-like tentacles zips closed into the security of an inconspicuous exoskeleton.

A drift dive is like listening to soft music. The current carries me in a state of consciousness that seems just out of focus. It is meditative and relaxing. I have to remind myself not to become so complacent that I drop the line to the dinghy as I drift swiftly toward the Indian Ocean.


Christmas Tree worms blossom on a mound of tan Porite coral. Photograph: © Jeffrey Cardenas



For upcoming passages when I have no cell or WiFi signal, I have activated a satellite tracking link that shows the daily position, current weather, and includes a few personal thoughts from the daily log of Flying Fish. I will not be able to respond to messages via satellite but I love the idea that you are sailing along with me. If you would like to follow the daily progress of Flying Fish into Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean via satellite you can click this link:

Please subscribe at the bottom of this page so that you don’t miss a new update, and consider sharing this post with others who might enjoy following the voyage of Flying Fish.

To see where Flying Fish has sailed in the past year click here:

Instagram: FlyingFishSail

Text and Photography © Jeffrey Cardenas 2019


14 thoughts on “Flying Underwater

  1. Jeffrey, Thank you again for sharing this very interesting post. I look forward to your reports and am so glad I am able to share a little piece of your adventure. Edd

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the feedback on the daily log excerpts, Herb. It’s great to know you are reading. I have a memory like a spaghetti colander so these daily notes will be like gold to me when I’m in the senior citizen center trying to remember when.


  2. Jeffrey, You are a true master of the written word. Your ability with a camera is phenomenal. As I lay here in my hospital bed I was uplifted immediately upon reading and viewing your latest post…… Thank you , dave r

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Each time I read one of your posts I feel like I am a stowaway onyour adventure.I continue to look forward to your writings.You are a master words
    Phil Roche

    Liked by 1 person

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