Location: Seboyar Besar, Komodo, Indonesia
The day started (for some of us, at least) at a crisp 12 am, the first minute of the morning. I heard a very loud English accent exclaim, “OH MY GOD,” almost as if there was a danger ahead, only for it to be an epic shooting star distracting everyone’s attention. The rest of the watch consisted of chilling stories, the one sparking the most reaction being about people living inside of walls. At 4 am, after we were relieved, we hastily retreated to our beds to savor the remaining 5 hours of sleep promised to us. The sun woke me up early, which I originally thought to be unfortunate, but after poking my head out on deck, I was pleasantly surprised to see we were surrounded by not only water but new interesting landforms like I had never seen before. There were rolling hills with bright green forests dotting their beaches with a tiny but mighty-looking volcano in the background. The banana bread breakfast we had foreshadowed the mood for the rest of our day: very good. Those of us who were beginner divers completed our open water exams; some with flying colors, some not so much.
Nonetheless, we took a celebratory jump off of Vela as we waited for the more experienced divers to return from their dive. After some fire-fried rice to fuel us for our dive, the open water divers and I headed to the dive spot. We then started our shallowest dive yet, submerging only about 10 feet, very scary and technical stuff. The most notable animals I saw were a bright blue starfish and Gill, the evil fish from Nemo. Some brave souls chose to swim back to the boat, Ava being the fastest and somehow the only one with no fins. While we waited for dinner, some of the crew decided to create a makeshift gym out of the bow. Around 6:34 pm, Sienna emerged from the galley after slaving away for hours to provide us all with an absurd amount of mac and cheese. We ended dinner with a two-way wave circle and a squeeze question, leaving everyone grateful for the gift of life. We now have an oceanography lecture to look forward to tonight and some Komodo dragons to look forward to tomorrow.