Sea Kayaking off the Coast of Dubrovnik

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Today, I went sea kayaking off the coast of Dubrovnik. The water was blue and the sun was a blind hole in the sky. The surface of the Adriatic sea was like a set of chrome and lazuli tiles pouring out of the sun.

I paddled with two Australian guys I had met, staying in the hostel. We went along the coast in the white lee of the thousand-year old fort and climbed some of the cliffs so we could jump back into the water.

We paddled to the largest island and pulled our kayaks up onto the rocks and ate a bread roll, a cucumber and some beetroot out of a jar before the island police came and told us to push off.

We went around the back of the island and scaled the cliffs to jump off them into the water. The terraces of the cliffs were a nude beach and all the nudists stood up to watch. When the water dried, our bodies were chalky with salt.

Someone checked the time so we wouldn’t miss the ferry. I had left my watch back in my locker; it’s a cheap one and I don’t trust the crown to keep the water out. It occurred to me that I had even lost track of what day it was.

On the ferry from Dubrovnik to Split, I sat and read William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. Mysteriously, as is often the way, you sometimes find your own words in someone else’s mouth.

“… father said clocks slay time. He said time is dead so long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.”

Right now, I remember the kayaking like a sensation, or a smell, or a taste. Everything is concomitantly present in a long, elastic instant. The chronology is arbitrary; the details could be reordered without changing anything in the slightest.

While sitting on the ferry, it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen my shadow all day.

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