Back to
Students in a long tail boat in Indonesia. Photo by Aaron Slosberg, Indonesia Semester.

My Love For Laut

Every experience I have had with the sea (“laut”) on this journey has been special. The first was the day we spent on the 17 Islands. I had been feeling completely nauseous and drained and almost didn’t go on the day adventure to explore the islands. However, I ate some bread rolls, tea and charged on. I had to get to the water. As we sat in the boats, heading to a snorkeling destination , I placed my hand in the water and watched the impact. The smell of sea salt and songs came flooding into me. “Black Water” by The Doobie Brothers”, “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John, “Blue Sky” by The Allman Brothers – not all songs of water, but beautiful and reminiscing – none the less made me feel whole.

We reached a certain area of water, we all paired up and went snorkeling. I saw blue starfish, dead and alive coral, yellow, blue, crazy patterned fish and other creatures. The ocean has such a crazy and magnificent world. After exploring for a long while, allowing the sea salt to seep into me and struggling to breath through my snorkel mask, I headed out of the water to the boat. Eventually everyone got out and we headed to a beach for lunch. I sat touching all of the treasure on the sand. There were so many sea shells of different sorts that I didn’t even know existenced – the combinations of colors, the textures and shapes that were formed. The water can be so clear and aqua blue and then can turn to a deep dark green in an instant. After lunch we went to another snorkel located, were I spent the time in the sand with Izzy, Nina and Anna Harris, chatting and covering our bodies in the sand. Afterwards we headed back to the boats to go ashore. As we headed home, I placed my hand in the water and watched it glided and get thrashed by the ripples and waves. It was beautiful and it was all I wanted in the moment. To watch my hand and smell the sea salt.

The next stop was to a bungalow hotel called Eco Eden in Flores where we met the amazing presence of the owner, Philip and his staff. We traveled to an island where we snorkeled, ate dinner and slept on the beach. Ate night we gazed at the stars together, hoping to see shooting stars. The next morning I swam in the clear blue water and felt so at peace. I’ve been the happiest when I am in the ocean. I recently learned from a marine biologist I met named Hannah that technology and the internet gives you negative ions, but when you get in the ocean, the water pulls them out of you. That is why you can be SO happy in the ocean. Cool, right?!!

There is always more I can say about the ocean, but will now end it with some photos I hope you all enjoy from the 17 Islands, Eco Eden and Pantai Bira (where we just concluded our X phase – yak post coming soon about X phase experience) – Kate