Island Life Part 1 - Welcoming Waves from Shore and Sea

Loading the Cargo Boat

But before arrival on this perfectly stereotypical island paradise is the fun work of loading the two boats – the Flying Fish and the Cargo boat, with goods and supplies from Tawau and Semporna. Bags of personal gear, tiles, toilet cisterns, a double sink, fruit, gin, vodka, soda, potatoes, chicken wire, tape measurers, 10 foot long aluminum wall supports, recharge cards for phones and internet, wetsuits, fins, booties, treats like nuts and dried fruit, big blue 100 gallon plastic barrels to be used for moorings, diesel, oil, two stroke mix, the book “Viralnomics” carried from England for Professor Steve, a boat part carried from Alaska, and 5 people – 3 soon to be Divemaster’s, 1 new teacher, 1 volunteer, 1 professor, and 1 true man (The TRACC everything man Dino).

Cargo for the Island
Boats low in the bow with the weight of gear and supplies, and people arranged to balance the boat and we’re off. We leave the new tourist jetty, with its long wooden arm reaching into the ocean and in the distance, young men cart wheelbarrows of partly dried seaweed off a nearby dock, while children play and among them. The background of crowded and loosely planked and stilted houses with a startlingly silver mosque tower gleaming brilliantly behind them, and the sadly dirty water with droves of plastic trash floating on the surface melts away, and we enter the scene of deep, dreamy blue ocean accented by hazy distant mountainous Islands. One soon-to-be Divemaster lounges on the gear, smiling with the delight of a new adventure and bouncing up and down with the waves and motion of the boat. Onboard our tiny vessel there is a communal feeling of elation, excitement, adventure.

Dino Driving us to Pom-Pom Island

Soon, Pom-Pom Island appears. From the distance it looks perfectly circular and white rimmed, and the sense of elation increases. The Flying Fish slows, then stops unexpectedly, presenting a perfect moment to take in the island scene, complete with a merry welcoming party before stepping onto shore.

3 plus months of sun, sand, diving, learning, and adventures above and below the water await, and I couldn’t be more delighted to be here and a part of TRACC.

The adventures continue in part 2

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