The skin of the ocean

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Communications and Arts


Greenhill, S. (2012). The skin of the ocean. Island, 128, 29-41. Available from here.


In the months after he leaves her, after a cyclone hits the coast and rips the coral from the seabed on the outer islands, there is a long period of calm. It's hot. He sits up at night unable to sleep. One midnight, working on the yacht, he drops something precious over the side - a pocket knife with an ivory handle. He leans out and for a moment watches it sink, then dives from the stern, careful not to submerge it further with his body. There is a light current of phosphorescence running through the water. He catches glimpses of the sinking knife...