Into a Disappearing Deep


A beautifully muscled body soars to the apex of a majestic leap, painting a perfect arc over my head ...

Clouds billow in the late afternoon sun and light glints on the sea. The diver’s long spear touches the water and a moment later he’s gone. Only an empty dugout canoe bobs in the water next to me. Standing in a small dinghy, I balance my weight to absorb the rocking, and wait for the freediving Moken fisherman to reappear.
We had raised anchor at four in the morning, heading for the village of Ma Kyone Galet, on a tiny spit of land off the southern coast of Myanmar. Somewhere along the way, near a mangrove swamp, an encounter awaited with the sea nomads known as the Moken and their traditional kabangs, or longboats.

Or so we thought.

But the Moken evaded us as we sailed across constantly changing seas.