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Cap’n Nero in Bali

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‘I saw something beautiful today.

I have always enjoyed snorkeling. Mostly, I have done it during the group trips. On group trips, my head is always working – trying to think three four hours ahead of time so that everything happens smoothly.

But snorkeling is meditative. Lying in water, staring at the sea underneath, I keep looking at the corals, the fish, and there is this one small time window of five minutes in that two three hours duration where I stop thinking about the group, the place, and am one with the water and all the organisms in it. It’s a very peaceful feeling.

Today, in the Gili sea, the instructor yelled “turtle”.I have seen turtles before at Gili island, average in size, scooting away in the ocean.

I swam towards the instructor and looked into the water.

There, on the sea bed, I saw the largest turtle I had ever seen in the open ocean. It seemed to be almost five feet long, so it must have been old. The venerable soul just lay there, looking back at us calmly. After a few minutes, he suddenly rose from the sea bed and swam in our direction. Not just in our direction, he headed right for us. I kept staring, not able to believe he was coming to us. And he didn’t stop. His eyes had an innocence that only animals know and humans can only yearn for. They spoke of gentleness, and of the oceans. In the real world, it probably lasted for seven eight seconds, but time just froze there for me. It was one of the most surreal things I had seen all year. He kept swimming towards us till he was just a few feet away in the water. And glided gracefully below us.

I hope he stays happy in his habitat. I hope the sea takes cares of him and keeps him safe.

In love with the oceans and forests of the world.

P.s don’t have a picture of him or myself snorkeling today. The best moments in life are usually involuntary and hence I captured, except for in our memories. This picture is from our boat, a few minutes before we jumped into the sea.’


Our next Bali trip is from May 4-12. You can check out the package at https://onhisowntrip.com/trip/bali-2/

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Neeraj Narayanan

Neeraj Narayanan, a.k.a Captain Nero, is the founder of OHOT. In the summer of 2013, he quit his corporate job and went backpacking around the world. In a year full of (mis)adventures, he ended up being chased by a bear in a Croatian forest, being held at gunpoint by a mafia gang lord in Turkey, running with the bulls in Spain, and dancing in the clubs of Spain and Italy. A year later, he started leading group trips for people.

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