With Earth Day coming up on the 22nd of April, we’re taking time to reflect on the natural highlights of our six year odyssey across Southeast Asia.
Earth Day is intended to inspire humans to appreciate our natural environment. And nature certainly deserves appreciation since we depend on it for our survival. We depend on nature and we love it!
When we study the mushrooming towns, cities and roads, we look around and everywhere we see eyesores. On the other hand, when we look an untouched natural landscape (a forest, a million year old mountain range, a blanket of stars over an endless blue ocean, or a palm fringed beach touched by sunrise) what we see inspires happiness. This is reason enough to preserve nature and we must focus our efforts strongly in this direction.
In the 6 years since Raja Laut set sail we have crossed many seas, and seen a great deal of natural beauty. What were the highlights? Here are our 3 personal favourites:
The Komodo National Park
All of it – east to west, south to north, below and above water. Savanna landscapes, contrast with aquamarine blue and sunsets that make unbelievable colour combinations, scuba diving sites that set the pulse racing, and the Komodo Dragon – a giant reptile that grows to 3 meters and feeds itself with carrion, birds and other mammals such as pigs or deers.
Seascapes of the Raja Ampat
In English, Raja Ampat means Four kings. Maybe it is a predestined name, because the Raja Ampat archipelago is truly majestic. The archipelago encompasses more than 1500 islands, the four main islands (hence the four kings ) being Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. Above water landscapes describe paradise, and below water seacapes are the most bio-diverse in the world.
Turtles in East Borneo
The nutrient rich water flowing through the Sulu-Sulawesi seas on the east coast of Borneo attract turtles in great numbers. So much so that when you dive in Sidapan they’re swimming across, above, and below you so you’re almost bumping into them. Just below the scary drop off which plunges down 500m is the eerie Turtle tomb discovered by Jacques Cousteau. On nearby Sangalaki island I was lucky enough to see turtles laying eggs on the island and even seeing turtles eggs hatching and little turtles running down the beach at night. This was a magical experience.