I had successfully put those nightmares aside and had never even thought about them for years.
Until a few days ago.
I had the unique opportunity to come face to face with those fears, finding myself in a similar experience; and I squealed like a school girl with joy at each spout of water, each acrobatic jump, each aerial breach as I ventured off the coast of Maui on a whale watching expedition.
Until the whales came a little too close for comfort.
Even the captain seemed a little alarmed as the whales came within our comfort zone. But rather non-chalantly, the captain informed us that the whales had dived and were going underneath our boat.
How would they resurface? Would they shoot triumphantly upwards as they had been doing? How good was their vision? Were they as aware of us as we were of them?
My heart got stuck in my throat. I tried to remind myself of the thrilling moments just before. The captain seemed calm. Then so should I be.
Miraculously, I was. It was even a bit of an adrenalin rush.
I have always been fascinated by these mighty creatures of the deep, so long as they kept their distance and I could admire them from afar.
Now we're close friends.