When you live in a big city or even a mid-sized town, there is one thing you barely see: stars. And I am not talking about moviestars, no, I mean these wonderful lights allover our sky. If you come from the so-called civilized world, it is increasingly hard to find a place where you can look up in the sky at night and see anything. Most of the time the lights of our never-sleeping cities around us prevent us from seeing this beauty above.
The last time I could really see the stars was basically in the middle of the ocean. I was on a tiny island on the Maldives and surrounded only by water. These nights were dark, really dark. Looking into the pitch black water all around you, you suddenly felt very small – and even more so when you looked up. The infinite ocean of lights above you was simply fascinating.
Only equipped with a mini tripod, I tried to take some photos with long exposure. Especially in the sand and heavy wind trying to knock over your camera, this wasn’t too easy. Somehow I managed anyway to produce some decent pictures.
When I visited the Maledives last year, it was a trip to paradise. There’s no other way to describe it. I had never before seen a place that looked literally like the pictures in the travel brochure.
Just at night, that changed a little bit. The pitch black ocean made me feel uneasy – especially after I had seen the shark feeding. On the island it had become a custom to throw leftovers into the ocean at night.
Standing on a barely illuminated pier, you didn’t have to wait for more than a minute until the water was actually boiling from huge sharks fighting over the food.
While I thought it was a pretty dumb idea to teach these animals that food is to be found close to the beach, other visitors had a blast.
A little later, a boat with fishermen, not equipped with any lights, suddenly appeared from absolute darkness. The men started unloading their fish, throwing the half-dead animals on the pier. I was very hard taking photos as there was barely any light. I have no idea how this boat could even navigate in these conditions.
While I took my share of the typical “oh look how blue the water is”-pictures the days before, on this night I got to see another side of this paradise, a dark side (literally, metaphorically it was awesome). It was surely interesting, but at the same time assured me that I wouldn’t take a night swim 😉
Some months ago I had the chance to take part in a trip to the Baltic Sea up in the north of Germany. The reason of this trip was a visit to EnBW Baltic 1, an offshore wind farm a few kilometers off the coast. As I had just returned a few weeks earlier from Galapagos, I wasn’t too eager to get on a boat again. You have to know, on the Galapagos islands, I spent almost four hours every day on jumping, hot boats. While exploring the islands was simply awesome and even though the boat trips didn’t give me any seasickness, sitting two hours on an uncomfortable chair in a hot boat that jumps up and down until your a** feels like raw meat is no fun.
Luckily, this trip turned out to be fun anyway. It was incredible to see these incredibly huge wind turbines. Each wing attached to the rotors is about 50 meters long and it is just impressive to hear this deep sound of them rotating in the wind.
On this picture you can see another boat called “Achiever”, transporting the maintenance crew of the electric utilities company EnBW back to the coast. These guys actually work over 60 meters high on these wind engines on the open sea and keep everything running.
Last December I was snorkeling in the Maledives. I have honestly never seen a place that actually looked like the picture in the travel brochure. The beaches and the water were just incredible, as were the food and the people.
While later in this blog I’ll show some photos of my encounters with sharks, manta rays, turtles and all kinds of other animals, for now just this photo:
I took it on the second day on this island. At this moment I hadn’t built up the courage yet to go out into the open ocean with all these sharks around, so I stayed inside the coral reef that surrounded the island. This bottle on the ground of the ocean immediately caught my attention. Must have been down there for quite some time and looked like right out of a treasure hunter movies. Or maybe it was a message in a bottle which never came further than here. I decided to leave it right there to find for the next diver wondering how it got there.