Tuesday, December 17, 2013

relative safety

Off the coast of Labuhanbajo, Flores - an island south of Lombok - the diving is superb and giant lizards reign supreme. And justifiably, Esther and I wanted to partake in both. In light of my lack of a PADI certification, however, we settled on a snorkeling tour on the way to Komodo Island instead.

We entered the boat that would house 8 of us (and 3 crew) for two days and were told there were enough life jackets to go around. There were six.

"But there are eight of us," Esther told the captain. "We need two more at least."

"We have enough," the captain retorted. "And we won't need them anyway."

"It's better to be safe. Can you please get two more?" she urged.

In 2008 there was a story, still spoken widely around the island, in which a group of divers fortunately wearing float vests were swept away in strong undercurrents for 10 hours in shark infested waters. They finally reached land around nightfall on Rinca Island, Komodo's neighbor. Instead of sighing in relief, they continued to fear for their life, fighting off 10 foot long lizards (who's bite alone can cause a slow and painful death, having injected its victim with dozens of differing bacteria) with their weightbelts.

He was a grumpy man, that captain. His eyes narrowed in on her. "You don't have to be here. You can go," he threatened.

Esther held his gaze.  Unlike him, she didn't back down.  Two more vests were brought in a few minutes later.

And then we were on our way, to see how dangerous the dragons actually were.

1 comment:

Patti said...

Huzzah for Esther's iron will!