Thursday, May 10, 2012

Komodo 2012

Komodo Island 2012

Well, its time for an adventure to a new place where bathrooms are scary and water is suspect – Indonesia.

While we will be spending some time on land with the 150lb dragons of Komodo, will also be capturing underwater images of the diverse, pristine, and abundant coral reefs and animal life that surround the tiny islands of Rinca, Padar, Lawalaut, and Tala. Manta rays are plentiful in these waters, as are most of the fish from “Finding Nemo”. My camera gear consumes even more space on a trip like this, as I have to pack the regular “dry” camera equipment as well and the “wet” stuff.

Although these volcanic islands are nearly astride the equator, the temperatures are quite moderate – 82 degrees for a high, nearly year-round. The 17,000 islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago are home to the 1.5 million year old fossils and tools of “Java Man”; and as of new evidence in 2011, Indonesia is also home to early Homo sapiens, who possessed the maritime skills needed to make the ocean journey to Australia for vacations and barbie’s.

The Indonesian island chain contains 150 active volcanoes, including the remains of Krakatoa, which in 1883 exploded – killing over 36,000 people and creating the loudest sound ever heard in modern history. The most recent tectonic activity in 2004 produced the infamous “Boxing Day” tsunami that killed 167,000 people in 14 countries. And, if I’m not mistaken, the last cannibal feast was in the mid 1960’s, where a missionary was served with kale and rice.

So, it seems Indonesia is the perfect place for a working vacation of photography, hiking, and diving; all under the doomful shadows of nervous volcanoes, giant ancient lizards, reef sharks, earth quakes, malaria, biting monkey, cannibalism, sun burn, and dysentery.

Rob Hart