They could not believe what they were seeing. None of this was meant to be here, but it only added to the anticipation.
Jonothan looked for his camera. He needed to capture this moment. The salty air was accented by something else now as he disembarked—a gloomy sense that they weren’t supposed to be here.
Jonothan Reece and his close friend Matt Leclerc did not reserve island exploring for just holidays.
The longtime pals had been explorers from childhood and had discovered a way to make a living out of it. They’d traveled to many isolated areas together before, but nothing could have equipped them for this.
On To Bigger Things
The pair traveled far and wide-exploring remote islands like Flores, Panama, San Blas, Iceland, and even a part of Cat Island in the Bahamas that was uncharted.
They have obtained a lot of experience from their years of exploring, and they were finally ready for the most dangerous trip they have ever done.
Despite Matt and Jonothan’s confidence, they were both well aware of the dark reputation that hung over their next destination. All that they had with them were their little boat, an even smaller canoe, and a backpack.
However, they would have to cross through a notorious waterway known as the “gate of tears” in order to get there.
It Was Worth It
The strait was notorious for its tiny tunnels and heavy marine traffic. This stretch of the Red Sea linked a number of tourist destinations, but it was known for its high yearly mortality rates.
It was mostly used for merchant vessels, which meant pirates visited it frequently. The eventual destination, however, was still worth braving these perils for Jonathan and Matt.
Best Of Friends
Jonathan, who was two years older, had always adopted the position of the older brother. This meant that anytime they came upon strange or dangerous places, he was the first to enter.
Jonothan feared that they had made a big mistake. The Gate of Tears was a walk in the park compared to what lay ahead.
The men’s families had always encouraged their trips, having developed thriving businesses as vloggers and online travel writers. However, Matt’s father was concerned this time.
Mr. Leclerc had done his homework about the area they were going to see. His problems stemmed from the fact that not only did it traverse through active combat zones, but the island was also classed as ‘volcanic.’
These facts just strengthened the men’s desire to go there, since they are not the sort to back down from a challenge. They realized that getting some great photographs of the island would be a significant accomplishment.
It wasn’t long after they arrived at the Gate of Tears that both men began to question their choice to venture here.
Heed His Warning
The two men encountered a fisherman, who asked them where they were going in a very thick accent.
When they shared that they were on their way to Mayun Island, the man’s expression darkened. He warned them about the dangers of the island and rowed away.
However, the man’s warning just made them want to visit the island even more. They successfully navigated through enraged ship captains and safely departed the strait. Continue on—the maritime traffic would soon pass them by.
There was something sinister about the emptiness of the waters. Their island was suddenly visible a couple of miles away, but Jonathan felt there was something amiss right away.
They Could Not Believe It
After months of planning and excitement, Jonathan and Matt had finally reached Mayun Island.
Their research had indicated that it was deserted. Yet, even from the shore, the men could clearly see man-made structures everywhere.
It seemed that, what was once an uninhabited island, was actually an abandoned military base of some kind.
Jonathan Knew The Truth
Initially sticking to the shoreline, the mens’ curiosity outweighed their hesitancy, and the pair ventured further inland.
Along the way, they came across ruined buildings and even an airstrip. It wasn’t until they saw construction vehicles and heard voices that Jonathan suddenly realized the truth—the base was still active.
They Had To Leave
The old fisherman’s warning made sense now, and Jonathan realized they had been lucky to gain entry without detection.
Moving around on the island undetected had become far more daunting now, though. Jonathan could see armed guards in full military regalia patrolling the island and knew they had to leave immediately.
The Story Of A Lifetime
The men had begun their adventure hoping to find relics and other interesting trinkets. Instead, they had stumbled across a clearly active airbase. Jonathan’s mind was scrambling to remember his research.
Nothing had indicated an active base in the area, which led him to a troubling conclusion—they were probably the first outsiders to ever learn of this place.
They Kept It A Secret
The experience had left them shaken. From hearing the soldiers’ accents, they had an idea where the soldiers were from but kept it a secret.
Reaching home safely, it was months before news outlets got wind of the base. As images and theories circulated worldwide, Jonathan and Matt smiled to themselves—glad to be safe—knowing they had seen it first.