Photo of the week 2014 – Week 14

The horizon was tilting from left to right, or up to down depending on which way you looked at it. Wafts of shrimp sizzling on the BBQ rose up to us as we in turn sizzled on the sun deck. Every now and then a small wave would lap against the boat, breaking an otherwise deeply content silence.

I was with Justin, Tom and their dive instructor Helen just off the Tioman Islands in Malaysia, killing time until lunch after our first dive of the day; little did we know this was going to be our life for the next week. Both Justin and Tom were doing their PADI open water courses while I was diving with Femi , one of the local divemasters.

As the excitement of our first dive wore off, and after Justin and Tom had finished trying to describe every little thing they just saw, including sea cucumbers, the four of us were up on the sun deck happy to pass an hour doing nothing more than rolling over occasionally.

Helen was telling me about life on the Tioman Islands. After instructing and diving in Thailand and Borneo, she said life on the Tioman Islands, particularly where she lived on ABC beach, was quiet. Her days consisted of waking up early, diving, sun bathing, diving, a little more sun bathing, lugging some kit from the boat to a store room, only to finish up with a beer on the beach at around 3pm; I have to admit, I could see the attraction of being a dive instructor.

“Lunch is ready,” called up Femi from the kitchen. Quickly, Justin and Tom scrambled down below as Helen and I took our time.

Fuelled on food and strong black coffee, it was back into the water; the PADI boys headed off in one direction following Helen while Femi and I ambled off in the other.

After a few days on the Tioman Islands in which we were diving every day, we started to get into the groove of island life too, and our schedules started resembling something similar to Helen’s.

It didn’t take long before it was hard to differentiate between dives, let alone between days, and all three of us found a familiar routine that was extremely easy, enjoyable and entertaining; we had discovered the life of the diver.

Even though we were only on the Tioman Islands for a week, a passion was born that will last a lifetime…