It’s 5.30am and as I raise my head I see the orange glow of pre sunrise light playing on the calm waters of the anchorage. Cloud hangs low in the lush island jungle and the distant sound of waves lapping on the shore carries across the still waters to my ears.
Oh yes, I’m in Raja Ampat! It’s day 4 onboard our freediving liveaboard and having opted to sleep on deck I’m first awake, able to enjoy those cherished moments when the rest of our floating microcosm is sleeping. A slow stretch to wake the body follows, as does a growing sense of being a lucky bastard.
This morning I’ve decided to skip my usual routine of meditation in favour of witnessing the sunrise alone from one of the paddleboards.
Leaving our boat behind I glide over the surface taking care to appreciate the moment, the light, the sounds, the water as it drips of my paddle with every slow deliberate stroke. Small bait fish pass under the board and an occasional turtle pops up its head to breathe, it too having woken from its slumber.
Out of sight of the boat I pause for a moment. The lagoon system is punctuated by karst towers adjourned with plants that cling impossibly to its sheer surface. As the sun rises its rays light up the world around me, White sand beaches contrast against the deep green of the jungle, turquoise waters against the deeper blue. I want to cherish this moment, the vibration, alone, connecting to everything and all that is.
Breathing in I inhale deeply , filling up with the incredible healing energy that only nature can provide, exhaling giving thanks, love , my appreciation for all that is, inhaling drawing that energy into my heart, exhaling giving back, each breath cycle amplifying a growing sense of connection to everything around me.
Raja Ampat is magical, thriving ecosystems above and below the water which when we take the time to tune into stimulate our senses and soothe our souls.
This is why I return here to freedive and explore nature, several times a year and probably always will.
Paddling back I wave to the guests onboard, the smell of fresh coffee, yoga mats clutched under arms and gazes full of expectation. What will today bring? I don’t know exactly, but look where we are, this is Raja Ampat and it’s going to be amazing!
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