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Newsletter November 2010

Highlights of our October cruises in Komodo and Alor

Our 6-14 October voyage (Werner Kurn Ocean Enterprises) featured spectacular manta encounters in South Komodo, with trains of 5-9 of the giant rays cruising among the diving guests as well as pairs of mantas engaged in barrel rolls and play.

This year has been one of the best in recent menu for manta encounters in on the Seven Seas in Komodo, with unusually good visibility at the southern manta sites for the time of year.

Another highlight on this trip was viewing a herd of more than 25 Timor deer on the short hike across the saddle of Padar Island for cocktails at the most stunning Pink Beach on the planet. Deer have only recently returned to repopulate Padar Island. Will dragons be the next to reclaim this ancient territory?

The 15-23 October broke records when guests got to snorkel with a whale shark in Horseshoe Bay. These spectacular animals, the largest of all fish, are not common in these waters. The day-trip hike at Loh Liang yielded spectacular encounters with terrestrial wildlife usually only at a distance, including wild boar and Timor deer. A startling moment came when three Komodo dragons, suddenly rushed the park ranger, knocking him to the ground! Fortunately, the ranger and our guests all escaped unscathed to tell this exciting story.

The final highlight on this voyage was snorkeling with an immense aggregation of feeding mantas at the submerged reef of Karang Makassar, an experience that has been described as "swimming the wrong way up the manta expressway". This behavior only occurs during the northwest monsoon from November through April, and is never guaranteed, but it's always magic when it happens.

Participants in our 2010 trips to Alor had exciting encounters, with multiple sightings of weedy scorpionfish (Rhinopias frondosa) and various species of frogfish. Just in the past week, we have discovered three new high-voltage sites near Alor, with incredible soft corals, rock formations and swimthroughs as well as tones of big fish of many species, including massive dogtooth tuna and a whale shark.

That voyage now continues in the Forgotten Islands east of Alor. We just received word today that guests have been swimming with a 3-meter crocodile just outside the mouth of a river - and everyone loved it! We will update you with more news from this adventure in our December newsletter.

"Stop Taking Pictures and Start Creating Images"

An Underwater Photo Workshop with Burt Jones in Raja Ampat 11-23 December 2011

Late next year, Burt Jones will offer his renowned "Stop Taking Picutres and Start Creating Images" underwater photo workshop on The Seven Seas over 11-23 December. This is an opportunity to learn from one of the world's most accomplished and widely published marine life photographers in one of the world's richest areas for underwater wildlife. Burt will share his intimate knowledge of Raja's marine animals, their habits and habitats so that you can more easily spot the ones you'd like to photograph and learn the best ways to get close to your subjects.

Raja Ampat is one of the places that Burt Jones knows best. Burt and Maurine's guidebook, Diving Indonesia's Raja Ampat, introduced divers to the world's most diverse tropical reefs. Their new book, Diving Indonesia's Birds Head Seascape (to be published November 2011) explores new sites, many not yet dived by other boats. Under Raja Ampat's karst limestone cliffs lies the perfect place to explore and photograph the best new sites in this exciting region.

Two Christmas bonus gifts make this trip even more special. The Seven Seas is offering free Nitrox to all guests, and Burt and Maurine will give each participant a signed copy of their new guidebook Diving Indonesia's Birds Head Seascape!

Special Offers and Availability for our upcoming seasons

We are almost fully booked for the next half year, but there are empty berths still available on two cruises in Raja Ampat.

  • 17-31 December 2010 (4 berths available)
  • 4-12 February 2011 (8 berths available)
We are offering a special 10% discount for the last cruise of our 2010-2011 season, from Komodo to Bali over 30 May to 10 June. This route includes P. Sangeang and other spectacular macro dive sites on the north coast of Sumbawa.

Our next openings are on the Les Argonauts "Point & Shoot" workshop from 22 August through 3 September in Komodo National Park. Book now and get free nitrox and a reduced "12 nights for the price of 10" rate of just US$4,450 per person for this cruise.
The Seven Seas - Grahalia Tiying Gading 18, Suite 1 - Jl Tukad Pancoran
Panjer Denpasar 80225 - Bali - Indonesia
[email protected]