90 nautical miles west of the burmese shore, one lonely boat drifts on the open sea. Daylight breaks. Then sounds the battle cry “Diving! Diving!”. We laid anchor on the Burma banks, a largely unexplored diving paradise. The sharks await us below. We could not be more excited. These are the adventures of the dive boat Smiling seahorse with the mission to dive where no diver dove before…
Five nights in Bangkok on the Chao Phraya, the river of Kings. We have lived as such, slept as such and dined as such. “This place has a Michelin star but the food is only so so. That place is much better” is proclaimed on ever street corner. We have eaten in the darkes alley and on the highest tower (?). We have completed the tempel run in less than 12 parsecs. Here is to the start of our NBA.
We climb through the narrow passage in the cliff, the whitewater of Jinsha River 100m below. There, on a narrow ledge, the first ladder clings to the vertical cliff. 168 almost vertical steps with no safety and not a soul in sight; but its our best way out.
We are on day 5 of our Yunnan adventure. Its our last trip before leaving China and moving back to Germany. And maybe it is the most spectacular trip, yet. Yunnan is an amazingly beautiful place with stunning nature and amazing people. We would not have wanted to miss it.
We have found the end of the rainbow in Gansu. In this arid land, the mountains themselves bring color to the desert. Gansu’s Rainbow Mountains are a beautiful site.
But Gansu is not only the end of the rainbow, but also the end of the Great Wall. At the end of our time in China, we stand at the First Watchtower of the Middle Kingdom.
Huge doors open in the darkness. A primal scream rips through the air. Fire explodes, as the Hakka sounds all around us. Dinner at Ultraviolet has begun.
“Dinner” is an inappropriate term for this extraordinary journey, which may elude classifications entirely. In the next three hours, we dine by the sea, have picknick on the lawn and eat a cigar butt. It is a surprisingly imersive and emotional experience, which binds together ten strangers for a night in a remote warehouse at Suzhou Creek. This is the UVC menu, Paul Pairets third and latest creation.
Describing the experience is a task similar to Hunter S. Thomsons description of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, albeit lacking the talent. This is my recollection of a dreamlike evening.
At sunrise we find a large pile fresh dung, only 5m from our tents. While we pack, we keep an eye out. Then we see it; a Kamchatka brown bear on the opposite river bank. The bear starts to fish, at the spot where we caught two trouts last night. As if we are not there, the bear crosses to our camp’s shore. As we enter our rafts, the curious bear is less the 5 meters from our camp. Continue reading “Bears and Volcanos of Kamchatka”
At 6m depth, I turn around and see her. Michi is drifing on the bottom, not breathing. Three strong kicks, I am with her, grab her and bring her up to the surface. Mask off, regulator off and start rescue breathing.
Luckily, this is just a scenario in the Rescue Diver course and Michi is fine (exept for some bruises and some water in the lungs from my not yet perfect rescue attempts).
We are back at Malapascue for an intense dive training session with Thresher Shark Divers.
Here is the full story.
Zhangjiajie – world famous as the Pandora Mountains from the movie Avatar – is a stone forest with needles of quartz sandstone which reach up to over 1.000m. Despite all warnings, we decided that it is the place to go over the May holidays and we – the brave – were rewarded by small crowds, magnificent views and thigh pains worse than almost anything we have ever experienced.
Majestic creatures. Here is a video from the second dive at Koh Bon on April 5th. Continue reading “Manta Ray at Koh Bon”
The Manta Ray glides above us, then circles around. We can almost touch it as it gently lifts its wing and drifts into the void of the Andaman Sea. Its our third sighting in two dives. These waters are teeming with life, from the giant Manta Rays to small boxer shrimps and sea horses. All this has been made possible by a diving accident that dispelled Michi to the deck of the Somboon 4.