Capri Blue Grotto, Deep Water and Enclosed Spaces

Guest Post by: Bridget Staroscik O’Reilly

Coming to Capri, and wanting to see the Blue Grotto, Being the queen of denial that I am I managed to get myself caught up in the worry about bus transfers and timetables. Before I knew it and perhaps too soon, the bus let us off at the stairway that led down to a small landing a few feet above the water. In the water there were several rowboats that were taking people off of boats, many like the raft I had refused to board, about four at a time.

Every third boat or so would come to the landing where there was a line of about ten of us: then eight of us then six. I tried not to ponder the Agatha Christie implications of this countdown. I mean these people came back. Well they probably would eventually. The boats had to wait in line to go through the small opening and that took time. I was sure that eventually everyone would get back safely to the landing including me. Especially me. I hope.

As the boat approached me and I realized I was next in line, I felt the nausea overtake me. I suddenly felt dizzy and light headed. See I was sick. I shouldn’t get in a boat. I probably had food poisoning or something. Never mind that all I had eaten that day was toast. As my mind scrolled through the list of reasons why I couldn’t do it I knew that every one of them was basically the same. Fear.

Blue Grotto, Capri, ItalyWhen the rowboat came for me, I stepped into it almost without thinking. As we rowed over to the main boat to pay our money and then turned towards the Blue Grotto it suddenly it hit me. The Blue Grotto was a cave. A cave with a very small opening. Did I mention I'm also claustrophobic? Great, now I had two options. Jump out into the ocean or go through a very tiny hole into a cave.

I was sure there was a lesson in this somewhere, but as we all leaned back almost prone in the rowboat while it slipped through the eye of the needle, I really couldn’t think of it. Then in one moment two things happened. First, the person in front of me, whose not inconsiderable weight had been on top of me, sat up and at that same moment I felt a sense of calm overtake me.

When I opened my eyes the first thing I noticed was that all around me the cave seemed to glow with an ethereal blue light. One of the rowboat captains began to sing and the others joined in.  Their deep voices filled the cave as we gently rocked on the glowing blue water.

Sitting there I felt so proud of myself for overcoming my fear. I wanted to take a picture so I would forever remember this beautiful place. For the rest of my life this blue glow would represent peace.  I knew I needed to capture the color so I would never forget the beautiful hue. I reached for my camera…and realized that before I had left the hotel this morning I had loaded it with black and white film.

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Guest Post by: Bridget Staroscik O’Reilly


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