Today was one of those pinch yourself moments. Two weeks ago, I was in rainy old London, but now here I was, sailing through the beautiful waters of Bora Bora's stunning blue lagoon, listening to an evocative band of wonderful Polynesian singers, about to go swimming with wild sharks. Life can be surreal sometimes.
You can't get many better natural settings than this – to a soaring backdrop of jagged green mountains, the range of colours in the sparkling lagoon looked like they'd been photo-shopped for a magazine article rather than coming from nature. However, photos really can't do them justice.
We first went snorkelling over the coral garden, which seemed to be in quite good health – lots of purples and blues in the coral – while, there were lots of exotic tropical fish munching on the coral or flitting around in front of my mask. Then, the excitement levels went up as we approached the area of the lagoon where the sting rays and sharks normally hang out.
Some people moan that the experience is akin to a petting zoo, but these are wild animals in a totally natural environment. Admittedly, they know to come here because they're used to getting fed, and the sting rays have got quite used to being handled; but, believe me, when you're eye-to-eye with a dead-eyed shark that's been circling you for the last few minutes, the adrenalin begins to pump.
Our guide quickly spotted that my fellow escort, Simona, was petrified of the rays, so he delighted in grabbing them and thrusting their rubbery bodies, flapping and splashing, right onto her. To his massive amusement, she predictably screamed and grabbed hold of him like her life depended on it. If that part of things wasn't quite as nature intended, the whole experience was great.
To get over all that excitement, we sailed over to a private island where we had a barbeque picnic, cold beers, and tables in the warm shallow waters all set up for us. It was all so perfect that it didn't feel real.
Somehow, I have ended up in an alternative universe where the real world doesn't get a look in – everyone is happy, the views are unbelievable, even the sharks are friendly. I don't want to wake up!