Jungle paradise diving

Floatplane arriving at Moyo

A couple of years ago before quitting my “real” job and travelling a friend asked what my plans were. Half-jokingly I replied “Be a beach bum in Bali”. And now, here I am working as a dive instructor at a 5-star resort on the jungle paradise island of Moyo.

I’m working too hard to be a bum but there is a beach and it’s only a hundred miles or so east of Bali. Don’t scoff! It’s harder than it sounds, this swanning around in SCUBA gear looking at fish and other underwater delights.

I arrived by floatplane early in March and quickly settled in to my new environment. The resort nestles on the western edge of the nature reserve that is Moyo, a decent sized island mostly covered by jungle. The largest mammals are Rusa deer, wild boar and monkeys. The monkeys like to visit the resort around dawn and sunset and can often be seen, and heard, playing tag on the roof of a guest tent. The deer wander around the resort in the evenings, the boldest comes right up to the restaurant and can be hand fed slices of apple. The wild boars are much more discreet and I’ve only seen them once. Smaller resident critters include snakes, lizards and spiders. The lizards range from small geckos about 5cm long to 1m long monitors. There are many different species of butterflies flitting about in the sunshine, bats are seen at night and sometimes sea eagles fly across the bay during the day.

Underwater is where my real interest is though. The diving here is very nice with warm water and good visibility. There are many different kinds of hard and soft coral, sea sponges and fans. Swimming or crawling around among them are countless species of  aquatic animals. Having bought an underwater camera and housing in Singapore on the way here I’ve been photographing some of the sea life. Or trying to. A lot of it seems to be very camera-shy. As soon as I point a camera in its direction it swims away. I guess the port on the camera housing looks like a big eye and the fish think I’m a big predator that might eat them. Whatever the reason, very few hang around to pose for the camera. There are few large pelagics here but lots of “the usual” reef fish, some turtles, eagle rays and reef sharks. The sea slugs are blind and move rather more slowly so they feature quite heavily in the photos.

It’s boutique style diving here; just me and a guest or two on a boat, and a whole dive site to ourselves. We do two or three dives a day and occasionally a night dive too. It’s a whole different world to the one I gave up in 2011 and I know which one I prefer.

I still miss dancing and will get back to it one day, but for now I’m living my “Bali beach bum” dream. The travelling and adventures will continue for a few years yet. Do you have any life-changing dreams? What are you doing to make them real?

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5 Responses to “Jungle paradise diving”

  1. Ghost says:

    I once remarked on MsH’s blog that the direction you were heading with dance was the path that usually ended up with leaving it.

    Really glad to see it took you somewhere else that’s wonderful :o)

    • Mark says:

      Did you really? I never saw that and I can’t find it now. It would have been interesting to read at the time and to compare with hindsight the path you predicted with what actually happened.

      As you can see, it’s been a long time since I visited here myself or checked for comments. The blog will be moving to a new hosting provider soon and I may make a bit of an effort to revive it.

  2. Ghost says:

    Drat – should be a smile face at the end. Hypertext turned it into something else, sorry.

  3. Ghost says:

    I can’t find it either – the search engine doesn’t seem to care about comments. The jist from memory was that I’d noticed a trend in people going to jive weekenders finding weeknights unsatisfying. And so a lot of them gradually ended up no longer dancing socially.

    Mind you this was before Ceroc changed their marketing strategy to massively favour weekenders – I didn’t see that coming! Also with hindsight, very few people I know from back then still dance jive socially now, so maybe it just has a limited natural lifespan for most people?

    • Mark says:

      Interesting. I enjoyed weekenders but never went to more than a handful each year. Before I left the UK I was dancing 5-7 nights every week, a mixture of MJ, AT and WCS. If I was still there I’d probably still be dancing that often. There were very few opportunities for dancing on my travels and now I’m living in Phnom Penh there are really none. I miss it very much but not enough to return to the UK.

      I think the majority of my dancing friends are still dancing regularly, even if they sometimes attend weekenders. But I’ve fallen out of regular contact with many of them so I’m extrapolating quite a lot. Some I know have given up or reduced how often they dance because of changed circumstances like getting married, work or study or financial pressures.

      A quick google didn’t turn up any useful results for social dancing lifespan.

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