Waking early, with the sunrise, we have almost arrived at our first location, a saltwater lake, formed when the top of a volcano blew off and the sea rushed in to filled the gap. There may be little fish here that like to nibble on your toes, like the fish spas all over SE Asia, I’m not thrilled by this prospect, yuck. We breakfast and then head on over to the island. A short hike up a steep hill and we get a view over the ocean and the lake at the same time. Our guide, the lovely Gary gives us some history about the place which, frankly, I don`t listen to. Back down the hill and we head to the lake. The water is murky and there is greenish brown algae covering all the rocks visible at the water’s edge. Not too enticing but I decide to go in anyways, it’s early in the morning, I haven’t showered today and maybe it’ll wake me up a bit. I wander off along the rocky shore a little bit away from the others, strip down to my suit and jump in. It is refreshing actually and thankfully there aren’t any of the nibbly fish. It’s not that I’m scared of these fish; it’s that when I have seen them in fish spas all over SE Asia it has grossed me out, chewing on dirty tourist feet all day, day after day, in the same water, ew.

Nobody seems overly impressed with the lake, only about half of us even bother going in. It’s a short walk over a small hump of land back to the beach we arrived on and most of us head back there early. This is definitely a filler activity on the way to Komodo. Back on board we get underway again, still moving eastward. Our next scheduled stop of the day  is for snorkeling, due to the tides we have to anchor fairly far out from the site and swim through deep water to get to where it’ll be good. Andy and I have teamed up as snorkel buddies, we both wanted it, having someone keep an eye on my back always makes me feel much more comfortable in the water, her as well. So we buddy up and explore, staying in the water for almost an hour. The swim back to the boat is long and a little creepy being in such deep water but the snorkel was good.

We’re in for an afternoon of travel now, and the seas are a bit rough, some people start to feel nauseous. Plus most of us are pretty tired from the early morning and activities of the day. Sea sickness pills are offered around, I take some as a preventative measure, for some people it’s too late they’re already feeling awful. The deck slowly becomes covered in randomly scattered mats, the ones we use for our beds at night, as more and more people succumb to naps.

It’s probably planned but the crew takes pity on us and we make a stop near sunset at a beach made up of tiny shells and rocks. The crew have caught some fish while we were snorkeling today and they bring them ashore to gut, cover in sauce and then cook over a wood fire they start. We all just hang out, have a short stroll, taking photos and having beers and enjoying the sight of the sun setting and the smells of the fish cooking.

 

Once the fish has cooked and darkness has fallen the first boatload of us are taken back to the big boat, it usually takes 3 trips to get us all back. When the boat returns to the beach there is a problem and the engine will not turn over, they have to paddle the tender back empty, while everyone stays on the beach, to get the tools to fix it. With typical Indonesian ingenuity and a bit of muscle, they whip it back into shape and everyone arrives back on board eventually. Dinnertime and it’s not the fish they just cooked (we get it tomorrow at lunch made into a curry) but it’s plentiful, I’m actually impressed by the quality and quantity of food provided on this boat.

We all spread out on deck again, socializing. The water is still rough so it’s all fairly low key. “The Italian” and I have engaged in some low level flirting, it’s tricky with the language barrier, his English is not so good and my Italian is essentially non-existent, but the chemistry is there (to my surprise) and the flirtation is subtle and ongoing.

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