Here sharky sharky sharky...
If you were unaware, paradise is typically manifested in the form of a nice calm anchorage with azure, clear waters, protected by a low-lying coconut palm tree covered isle. A coral reef lines the island and makes for excellent diving and snorkeling and tunas jump onto the boat and filet themselves on a bed of rice just in time for appetizers with sundowners.
Aside from the 5-star resort serving cold Bintangs and cheeseburgers (and the tunas) this place is damn close to paradise. And of course a 5-star resort would bring tourists and infrastructure which would take away from the pristine isolation that is Taka Bone Rate.
Taka Bone Rate is "the 3rd largest atoll in the world", but is not quite an atoll in my book. Instead, it is a series of reefs and islands (that are not connected), some inhabited and some not. It is a marine park and the government has gone great lengths to keep at least a part of Indonesia pristine. Only the people who live here are allowed to fish, a fact I lamented when I saw a massive, beautiful tuna on my dive today.
Today I went on two dives with the local divemasters who live at the research station. We took a bok-bok out to an uninhabited island and dived on the outer reef, which was some of the best coral - if not THEE best - I have ever seen. We dived along a wall and there were large areas blanketed with hundreds of different corals, soft coral, hard coral, sponges, eels, little fish, big fish, a few sharks and heaps of other cool stuff. Really pristine, really cool. I was all the more stoked when I learned that the day of diving cost was not 900,000 rupiah but 90,000 rupiah which equals about $9. That is hard to beat.
Shark (pup) whisperer
I have a feeling that, much like a few of the other paradise-like places we have been on this trip, the tropical time warp will occur and the days will slip by while I desperately try to stop time. You might think there is not much to do here, but between diving, snorkeling, beach-combing, reading, jamming on the ukulele and sundowners on the beach at 5, time flies.
The only thing I feel slightly guilty about is that we blew off the last stop of the Sail Indonesia rally to come here. There are people in a remote village somewhere who were ready to greet us with a cultural dance and a traditional feast, but the general consensus was that none of us could stomach the thought. Alas, with every dive - let alone every moment of relaxation and bliss - those pangs melt away.
I can already feel myself gone troppo.
At 8/29/2013 1:08 AM (utc) Rutea's position was 06°34.32'S 121°05.60'E
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