We have a number of talks coming up about our expeditions, register for a talk by clicking here!

I’ve been putting off writing a journal entry for the past few days, not because I’ve been uninspired – it’s honestly just the opposite. I’m simply overwhelmed! We’ve been at the marine camp since Sunday afternoon, and so much has happened my brain is finding it hard to process. I’ve seen so many incredible and wonderful things in such a short time.


Photo by Krishan Hanspal


On the day we arrived, we went on one short snorkel. I was speechless. It might sound strange, but I never knew so many colors existed, let alone in fish! Like everyone else, I’ve seen the nature documentaries on TV, but experiencing the ocean’s wonders with my own two eyes was nothing short of amazing. I saw some rainbow fish, with colours that only begin to do justice to their name, as well as turtles, manta rays, some sharks and spiky and poisonous lionfish. But what really impressed me were the coral reefs. They made me think of fish apartment buildings! Back at the camp, it’s now hard to find the right words to describe my feelings and sense of wonder that all of these fantastic creatures and environments exist.


Photo by Dave Smith


On my list of personal precedents, I’ve also been going to bed very early, much earlier than usual. But last night, we decided to stay up late and look at the stars on the beach. It was incredible. I am used to seeing only a few select bright stars or planets in the city sky, but being able to see entire constellations was simply mind-blowing. I spent an embarrassingly long time searching the night sky for the Big and Little Dipper, the constellations my North American self is accustomed to seeing, before realizing we were in the southern hemisphere! The sky I was looking at was completely different from what I was used to. I really was on the other side of the world!


Photo by Jack Hague


The last couple of days have been sprinkled with reef ecology courses, where we’ve been looking at maps showing the distribution of marine biodiversity worldwide. It’s funny because the level of marine life in Quebec simply doesn’t compare to what exists here in Indonesia. There is so much more life in these waters.


Photo by Alistair Bygrave


We’ve been sitting on the beach watching the sunset before dinner or, if it’s cloudy like today, just appreciating where we are. The white sand and clear blue water aren’t what I’m used to seeing, so I’ve been trying to enjoy every second of it. This all feels kind of transformational.

It’s getting late, and it’s almost bedtime, so I am going to wrap this up. Can’t wait to discover even more incredible things tomorrow. Wow!


Joe Marlow


Title photo by Emanuele Montaguti

View Research Expeditions   View Dissertation Expeditions   View School Expeditions
Wallace House, Old Bolingbroke, Spilsby, Lincolnshire PE23 4EX, UK
| +44 (0) 1790 763194 | info@opwall.com