Monthly Archives: June 2010

Come home again


Come home again, come home
Wherever you may be
Come home again, you sailor man, sailor man
Home again, to the sea

I hear a dream all day
A dream that calls to me
“Come home again, you sailor man, sailor man
Home again, to the sea.”

– I Hear A Dream, Gulliver’s Travels –

Gulliver’s Travels was one of my favorite animated films growing up. I sang along to the soundtrack as best as my four-year-old mind would allow me to, laughed at the blubbering little Lilliputians, and cried at the end when Gulliver left Lilliput to the strains of I Hear A Dream, a song which has remained to this day one of my favorites from any soundtrack.

When I decided to obtain my diver’s license last year, it was purely for the chance to go where a snorkel could never take me, to witness all the things I’d heard about and seen on TV in real life, and to satiate my own thirst for adventure. Granted, it wouldn’t induce the same kind of adrenalin that I got from bungee jumping and snowboarding, but the risk of danger and potential death made it just as appealing.

Now, after a year of diving and having experienced one of the best dive destinations on this side of the planet, I realize that it has given me a renewed love for the sea, and a feeling I haven’t had in a long time: peace. Peace in knowing that all the things, big and small, that I’ve been so unsettled about in the past months can be overcome if I just allow myself to believe that they were mostly in my head. Peace in knowing that even if I can’t overcome them in the short term, at some point I will know when and how to move on. Peace in knowing that one day, none of it will matter anymore, either because I’ve gotten past them, or because I’ve simply learned to let go.

Watching that scene now — showing Gulliver looking out at the waves and expressing his longing to return to the sea, to the voyage he had just begun, and to his own world — gives me a vague understanding of why this profound love for the sea exists. It brings about an extraordinary tranquility that allows you, for a few precious moments, to leave the world and everything in your life behind and just revel in its calmness. And for the ones who love it for more than just the whales, Mandarin fish and nudibranchs that dwell beneath its surface, it also makes them feel like they’re being called Home.

My kind of Paradise

When people ask me how my trip to Mataking and Sipadan was, I say, “It was really nice.” And they kind of nod and go, “Ohhh… so nice la?” probably expecting more, having heard of the island that is famous for its marine life. But I don’t say much more beyond the fact that I saw a staggering number of turtles, white-tip sharks (although, unfortunately, no whale sharks) and barracudas, and the water pressure from the showers in the resort was abysmal.

I have been sitting at the computer intermittently for the past 24 hours, wondering how to write about my experience in Sipadan and Mataking over the last five days. And every single time, words fail me because all I can think of are the beautiful, exquisite things I saw as far as 36m below sea level, and also probably because I still feel that swaying in my head that always stays with me after I’ve been on a boat for so many hours a day.

The truth is, there are no words. No words to describe how completely, unbelievably beautiful the island, the ocean, and the life that exists quietly beneath it are. No words to explain why being there for five days has managed to make me think that I could drop everything in my life right now and just be a divemaster for maybe a year or so. No words to express how every time I stood on the shore and looked out at the endless sea and listened to the waves that were sometimes gentle and sometimes pounding, I was so profoundly moved by it that I could have stood there forever.

The thing about Sipadan is that it’s just one of those places that one really must see for themselves to believe and understand its allure. I suppose the easiest way to put it is that for most divers, this really is their Mecca. On this side of the world, anyway.

Off to Sipadan!

It’s the one place I’ve been dying to go to ever since I got certified last year, and even more so after I got my advanced license two months ago. This time I’m going armed with my camera (as in, I will actually use it as opposed to let it sit in my suitcase), SPF 130 sunscreen to preserve my skin color as much as possible for the filming and a new photoshoot I’ll be doing in July, and my own Auntie Mei to ensure I’m not saddled with morally-questionable roommates again.

As my flight is at 7:20AM tomorrow and I have to take the 4:30AM (yes, you read that right) bus from KL Sentral to LCCT (making it my very first time flying AirAsia — and you read that right too), I will do my auf wiedersehens now.

I’ll be home on Saturday. Don’t miss me too much! À bientôt!