I am on a boat in Nui Chua National Park. The blue-aqua waves are agressively smacking the boat back and forth. The boat is filled with environmentalists and those involved in the conservation of the reef that lies just beneath the boat.
A bright blue and red wooden boat is stationed around the side of a steep cliff, bobbing in the violent and thrashing water.
The passengers of my boat, all Vietnamese, start talking about the boat. I can only assume this from the very little Vietnamese i can understand. On the other boat, a diver pops his head out from the water and climbs onto his boat, and a young boy helps him in. The young boy starts yelling something to the people on our boat, and the park ranger on our boy has a heated exchange with him.
The driver of our boat takes a sharp turn and we quickly collide with the diving boat. The young kid scrambles to control the boat as the diver jumps back into the water to escape. My heart starts to race as we crash yet again into the diving boat. I turn to a colleague from the organisation with worry on my face
“What the hell is going on”, I ask.
She smiles nervously, “i’ll tell you later.”
The boat is rocking rather intensely and a girl from the biology institute leans over board and vomits in the white foamy sea.
With the dramatic cliffs as a backdrop, i think about how beatiful and amazing it is we are actively protecting this reef. It’s like James Bond for environmentalists i think to myself as we hit into the diving boat for the fourth or fifth time.
Down with these scoundrels, Save the Reef, I think to myself.
Finally it seems to me that the evil divers give up, realising that one more impact with our boat would make his wooden one crumble.
He throws over his loot: A glistening basket of what must be endangered shellfish,
We won! We showed these enviro-destroyers that the force is with us!
I turn to my colleague, eager to find out what is next
“What do we do with them now?” Wondering how we could keep them alive while holding them as evidence while we cuff the divers and bring them to the park authorities.
My colleague responds “What do you mean? We’ll cook them.”
Confusion washes over my face
She says calmly, “We just bought our dinner, what do you think we were doing?”