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Castaway

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Since I have been so busy lately, I have not been able to make it to the past two meetups of the Tokyo Cameras Photo Club.  That’s why I decided to organize a small get together  in Kamakura last weekend for some of the members.

Weather-wise, we could not have had a better day, and we capped the afternoon off with a stop-off at n Izakaya near Kamakura station.   It was exactly what I needed, and even though Kamakura is a very well beaten path for me, I still enjoyed myself.  Same place, but different light.  That’s what makes photography such a continued passion for me.

Currently I am in Diego Garcia.  If you don’t know where that is, then draw a line between Madagascar and Sri Lanka, and at the point directly South of the Seychelles you will find Diego Garcia.  I arrived here last Tuesday and will be staying through next Thursday before flying back to Japan.

And while the work is keeping me very busy, I do have this weekend to relax and explore.  Today I took a long bike ride down one arm of the atoll and spent the better part of the day on a deserted beach, all by myself.  It has been a long time since I last experienced solitude like that, and it was an entirely cleansing experience.

I found a great spot, just up from the high tide mark that is shaded by palm trees leaning out over the beach.  Looking out over the lagoon I could neither see nor hear any indication of human presence.  No power lines, no roads, nothing.  Not one single thing to make the place appear to be inhabited.  The only indication of human activity was my own footprints on the beach.

It was there that I smoothed out the seashells and sand to form a bed where I could take a nap, for how long, I have no idea.  You see, I did not take a watch, as that would have been totally counter productive to the reason I was there.  I drifted off to sleep with the waves softly lapping at the shore, and the rustle of the palm fronds in the sea breeze as my only company.

Upon waking I noticed that the water had ridden the incoming tide and had crept up a bit closer to my own private paradise.  I then proceeded to have a light snack and packed up my impromptu camp so I could wander my way down the coastline, taking in the sea birds, crabs, sea turtles, and the occasional black tipped reef shark or stingray as they cruised the shoreline in pursuit of schools of fish who were in turn looking for their own next meal.

It is a complete privilege to experience a place like this.  There are not too many truly unspoiled places remaining on this earth, I feel very lucky o be able to experience one of them.

I love my job.

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  1. Marc
    May 16, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Diego Garcia, a wonderful place. Unless of course you get stationed there for 2 years, gets old from what I understand!

  2. May 18, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    good for you Jeff, sounds wonderful!

  3. J.
    May 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    You are one lucky guy Jeff! And I guess that your GF is now envious as hell seeing all these pictures of your “private beach”.
    Heck, I wouldn’t mind being there for a month or so.

    J.

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