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|Newsletter December 2009|
Dear Dive Buddies
The Seven Seas just returned from a fantastic trip to the Banda Islands, where guests watched Kora-Kora war canoe races, dived with sea snakes at Manuk Island & schooling hammerheads at Ai. Seven Seas' Cruise Director, Stew Esposito, writes:
Banda Islands - Trip Report
"We got under way at 6am. A short run from our anchorage to Tg. Nama, SW Banda Besar. We were scouting Hammer Head Sharks. The sun is shining and the Banda Seas is as calm as a lake. We load up the tanks and head to the point. The plan is to drop down and cruise along the wall at a shallow depth. The visibility is stunning, 100+ feet. When we see the Hammer Heads we can drop down deeper to get a good look at them. As we descend into the 'BANDA BLUE' the fish are all over: Fusiliers, Red Tooth Triggers, Pyramid Butterfly Fish are dancing around the reef. We are in a slight drift down the reef and I drop down to 120 feet to look around. It is quite and serene down there. Looking along the wall, in front and behind, looking down and out into the BLUE. Time is ticking away, time to head up shallower. No sign of the sharks. Well we tried. We enjoyed the cruise around the point: beautiful visibility and nice fish life.
The next day we get underway at sunrise towards the island of Ai. We plan to dive the Southern tip, dropping in with the reef on the right, heading down the reef, flying above the wall with 'Banda Blue' to the left and below. Mark is in front scanning the ocean for what could be out there. All of a sudden Mark is banging furiously on his tank and pointing out to the open ocean. In the faint distance I see a grayish figure. I know it is something good and I start heading out and down into the depths. I can see better now, it is a shark, yeah it is a Hammer Head, and not just one, but a school of them! I can see a bunch of figures, I count what I can see: 10, there are TEN HAMMER HEAD SHARKS cruising below us. By this time I have dropped to 105 feet and they were still deeper. I was pointing my video camera towards them, but with all that blue and the distance it was unable to focus, so I did not get any footage. Ten Schooling Hammer Heads swimming off the Southern Point of Ai Island - Too COOL!!! The Banda Islands, what an Adventure!"
Through the Banda School Project, the Seven Seas sponsors 55 children on the island, who came on board to meet the guests. Donations from guests on this trip alone totaled $1,600, which will help these kids get to school on the Seven Seas School Shuttle. On behalf of the Banda kids: A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL WHO DONATED.
To read guests' comments about this trip, check out the Testimonials page on our website.
Raja Ampat SeasonThe Seven Seas is about to start its Raja Ampat season and we're looking forward to some great diving at newly discovered dive sites, as well as some exciting new land excursions to look for salt water crocodiles, birds of paradise and nesting turtles! Keep an eye on our website for upcoming testimonials and photos from these trips: /www.thesevenseas.net.
Available SpacesWe only have a couple of spaces left for the upcoming Raja Ampat season:
New OfficeFinally, Seven Seas will soon be moving to a new office, here's our new address & phone/fax number:
PT Sevenseas Cahaya Utama
Villa Lumbung House no 6, Suite A
Jl Raya Petitenget 1000X
Kerobokan, Badung 80361
Tel./Fax : +62-361-735742
As this is the last newsletter for 2009, on behalf of the Seven Seas team, we would like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!
The Seven Seas - Grahalia Tiying Gading 18, Suite 1 - Jl Tukad Pancoran
Panjer Denpasar 80225 - Bali - Indonesia