The time has finally come, Ill start packing tomorrow and if I get a chance Ill show you guys all the gear I am bringing (its a lot). I leave Thursday, and its about a 26 hour trip to Phuket.
Most of the shooting we are doing will be in and around the Andaman Sea, specifically in regards to local the "Moken Sea Gypsies" who are best known for recognizing the signs of the impeding Tsunami in 2004 and were able to escape into the mountains unharmed. The Mokens' lives revolve around the ocean and have even developed super human skill sets from their lifestyles, such lowering their heart rates to dive longer, dilating their pupils to see better underwater, and they are are crazy good fishermen. I am including some links here if you guys want to read up on them.
I will be meeting up with my friend Paul Broman in Thailand and we will head over the border into Burma to meet Jack, and then get on a small boat headed towards the Andaman Sea. We will be living on the boat for most of the time we are there shooting, and Jack has hired a dive master to accompany me on the shoots.
Jack wrote me tonight:
I've already contacted the head of a Molkins' village. They are one ethnic group in Myanmar who live in the Andaman sea, and expert on diving without using oxygen. We'll have them stab fish under the water, and you can take photos of them. Hope you can get neat photos!
I have to stop myself every once in a while and ask... "How in the world do I get so dang lucky to have opportunities like this?!?!?" Im not complaining, Im very grateful and hope to make the most of it.
I've only been shooting underwater now for about a month, but I feel I am pretty comfortable with the 2 different housings I am bringing. Should be a pretty incredible trip and I look forward to sharing everything with you guys when I get back.
My assistant Adam will be running the blog, and my emails until I get back. If there are any emergencies, please contact him: support(at)michaelthemaven.com
Sea Gypsies Of The Andaman Sea
Sea Gypsies by National Geographic