Here in Jangamo Bay, we are privileged to welcome an array of beautiful marine creatures (including some pretty cool megafauna!) season after season. Striking their own perfect equilibriums to coordinate with weather, feeding and breeding patterns, we know how important it is to care for these animals to keep their populations in check.
In the wake of Sir David Attenborough’s latest BBC series, ‘A Perfect Planet,’ we felt inspired to reflect on all the crazy creatures and curiosities that our planet has to offer. Although travelling to our favourite destinations may be off the cards right now, that won’t stop us dreaming! After reading your magical moments in nature, this post is dedicated to the world’s perfect places.
Looking out from Jay’s Pro Dive Centre onto glorious golden sands, impressive waves and pretty palm trees, it’s easy to describe our base here in Jangamo Bay as a perfect paradise!
But, as an inevitable consequence of human activity, even our slice of paradise isn’t indestructible. Dotted along vast expanses of white sands are bits of plastic and trash, much of which has travelled from afar and landed right here on our Mozambican shores.
Despite the picture-postcard perfection, (which don’t get us wrong, it most definitely is!) it is clear that there is a lot to be unravelled beneath the surface of our shimmering seas. But just by being here, we are working tirelessly alongside community leaders to establish our area as a sustainable safe haven, allowing Jangamo to flourish and reach its perfect potential.
Designated by Dr Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue initiative as a ‘Hope Spot,’ our beloved base at Jangamo Bay has official recognition as a place on our planet worth preserving. Filled with unique species that support both biodiversity and indigenous livelihoods, our coastal corner of the world is something we are proud and passionate to protect.
Moving beyond the magic of Mozambique, the world undoubtedly gives us some perfect moments that we need to treasure. We asked some of our followers on Instagram: ‘What’s a perfect moment you’ve experienced in the natural world?’ And here was the result!
‘Hearing a whale blow in-person for the first time’
‘Momma Arctic fox!’
‘Seeing kingfishers at the lough near me’
‘A glacier in New Zealand’
‘Swimming with wild striped dolphins during internship in Italy’
‘Swimming alone in the waterfall plunge pool in the middle of the rainforest’
Reading your responses was enough to put a smile on our faces and even inspired the LTO team (and friends!) to think about our own magical moments. It’s safe to say humpback whales featured A LOT!
‘Whale shark in Mozambique that I swam next to for like, ever.’
‘Humpback whales on the paddleboard last year in Mozambique…pretty perfect because it’s non-motorised so we could get really close. The mother and calf were super interactive.’
‘After finishing my grizzly bear training as a guide, we went for a bonfire on a rock on this little island. As we were roasting sausages on a stick, a whole pod of orca popped up in front of us and stayed for about an hour, throwing themselves out the water and tail splashing.’
‘Humpback whales every time. Although that one dive we did at Manta Reef that had 9 surfing mantas was pretty awesome.’
‘Seeing a group of humpback whales heading straight towards our tiny whale watching boat in Juneau, Alaska in 2015. Totally magical.’
Shifting baseline syndrome is a phenomenon whereby, as each generation passes, the natural world’s former state is gradually forgotten. By focusing on new reference points, our expectation gradually lessens, rendering us blind to the true changes taking place.
But all hope is not lost! We hope that by sharing some of our responses, all of us can feel inspired to preserve our planet so we can continue to experience these magical moments for many generations to come.
By getting out a pen and paper to record what we see (just like these invaluable flower records made by John O’Keefe over decades) it is clear that small-scale science shines a magnifying glass on phenomena that may otherwise go unnoticed. The only way to protect nature is to appreciate the value of what we might be losing, and that can only be done if you get out there and enjoy nature for yourself.
Making a special appearance on the very first episode of a brand new podcast for WWF, Sir David encourages us all to ‘Stop. Sit down. Don’t move. Keep quiet. Wait. 10 minutes. I’d be very surprised if something pretty interesting didn’t happen in those 10 minutes.’
So, if not from us, take it from the hero that is Attenborough and cherish every opportunity you have to get outside…and be sure to treasure all the awesome moments our perfect planet has to offer.
Next time you’re feeling a bit low, try reflecting on the moments in nature that have made you feel most alive and guaranteed it will give you a boost.
What’s a perfect moment you’ve experienced in nature? Spread the inspiration by letting us know in the comments on our instagram!
Written by Lily Holbrook