Day 11 - May 22, 2014 - Komodo, Indonesia
By Andrew Marshall, Science Communicator
Co-ordinates: S 08º36.4’, W 119º31.0'
Weather: Fine with scattered clouds
Air Temperature: 30ºC
Pressure: 1011 hPa
You guessed it, another early start this morning!
An enormous effort is achieved every morning before most souls on board have even awoken to their alarm clock, or perhaps just the sound of the ship coming into anchorage! As soon as the anchor does hit the bottom, the deck team is busy dropping the zodiacs off the crane into the water, making certain the pontoons are inflated and the fuel tanks are full.
After a couple of cups of coffee and a rushed breakfast, I realised the stunning beauty of a Komodo sunrise over the impressive geological landform, convoluted, curvaceous and reluctantly revealing itself slowly to the early morning light.
We whizzed excited guests ashore. Greeted by the park rangers and soon on the trail, sighting Rufus deer and exotic birds species in the canopy before coming face to face with real life Dragons! Cameras exhausted by the work being forced upon them, wonder in the face behind the machine. Large and impressive, and dappled by the light piercing it’s way through the forest canopy, the mysterious and irreverent beast revealed. Let this moment linger -before the persistent hawking of the vendors selling wooden Komodo Dragon carvings, pearls and “Been there” T-Shirts brings us back down from the dream. Maybe succumb and take a small memento to trigger this grand memory.
After a short reposition of the Silver Discoverer and the dropping of the anchor, we were heading across to the afternoons activities at Pink Peach. I stationed myself as lookout on the beach, attentive but buoyant to see everyone was not only safe, but enjoying great aquatic adventures encountering a myriad of intricate, complex and delicate marine coral and fish species.
Bathed in warmth and free from gravity, every two meters is a new world.
Special mention has to be given to the recap tonight where Malcom introduced us to the greatest orgasm on earth, the annual mass spawning of the coral reef. A song complete with actions “Coral polyp, coral polyp …”.
We scrubbed ourselves up and donned our finest for the Captain’s Farewell Cocktail. The Captain introduced a number of the crew who have all contributed as one team to make this voyage so pleasurable and memorable. At this stage of the voyage conversation is fluent and convivial, everyone is familiar with one another.
It is not over yet, we have Waikelo to look forward to tomorrow, and -you guessed it- yet another early start!
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