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|Newsletter March 2012|
UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY: Re-Breather Cruise with Jeff Bozanic on Seven Seas
Get closer to fish than you ever dreamed possible! Join rebreather expert Jeffrey Bozanic on this special cruise, and learn to dive a closed circuit rebreather. Jeff, the author of the seminal text "Mastering Rebreathers", will train you to use a current, state-of-the-art rebreather, allowing you to stay longer and approach bubble-wary fish. Just think... more time underwater, less deco, and better photographs! Jeff Bozanic is a certified trainer for six brands of CCR systems. He is a PhD with a career specialty of teaching technical diving (CCR and cave techniques) and we are most fortunate that we have found this award winning diver willing to do this course with us! Jeff won the 2007 DAN Diver of the Year Award and you can click here to see what DAN had to say about him at that event.
Lecture and pool work for Jeff's course will be conducted in Bali, before taking off with the Seven Seas. Class and pool work will probably take about 5 days: 2 days lecture, 1 day equipment maintenance and 2 days pool. Dates for the class and pool training will be either 2013 July 8-12 or 2013 July 9-13, TBD. Then you will board the Seven Seas for an extraordinary opportunity to conduct your open water training dives in the Heart of the Coral Triangle. Based on availability, you will continue to use your rebreather skills to dive the remainder of your course in one of the most bio-diverse destinations in the World. Cruise dates are 2013 July 14 to 26, and the destination for this trip will be Komodo National Park and surroundings.
Space is limited. Only 12 paying guests plus Jeff and his assistant, plus the Seven Seas crew and Cruise Director will join this expedition. Several models of rebreathers will be available for use (probably including Titan, Evolution, and Poseidon). You will be able to use one of ours, or make arrangements to rent or purchase your own.
First Come First Serve is the rule as usual with Seven Seas cruises. Jeff has the full boat charter to run this course so you can book your trip directly with him. Please call or write for more information to Jeff Bozanic:
Email: [email protected]
The course price is US$ 1,450, including supplies, textbook, c-card fee and supplies shipping. Rebreather rental could be arranged at US$ 500. Cruise price is standard cruise fee for Komodo in 2013. Just US$ 5,400 for the trip, even though only 12 paying guests will join this expedition. Lots of space therefore on this cruise! Total for the rebreather training course and the cruise fee is US$ 6,850 per person. Not including domestic flights and not including on board incidentals and gratuities. NOTE that this cruise is OPEN also for "normal" divers (if such exist). So Air or Nitrox Divers also welcome on this cruise. This is to enable spouses or dive buddies to join the trainees and enjoy their own regular dive program with Seven Seas dive masters and guides. Of course it's Cruise Fee Only (US$ 5,400) for Air and Nitrox Divers.
Rescue for "Too Many Fish"; A marine conservation agreement for Koon
Many of us will be familiar with the great dive site at Koon Island, East of Seram, a MUST do stop in any itinerary between the Banda Islands and Raja Ampat. See for example the trip report in our December 2008 Newsletter. This site is an important grouper spawning aggregation, one of the few remaining aggregations in Indonesia, used also by many other reef fish to aggregate and spawn. And no, this was not a secret - it has been heavily fished for at least a decade and probably longer. We have seen the resulting declines in recent years and it was clear that live grouper fishers were targeting this site to supply the Live Reef Fish Trade to Hong Kong and mainland China.
Fortunately WWF decided to try and develop a conservation agreement with the local communities. After some surprisingly uncomplicated negotiations, the Village Head of nearby Grogos island signed an agreement (in May 2011) to protect part of the island and it's reefs. WWF made a conservation easement payment to the village administration of Grogos and to the responsible raja at Kataloka, Gorom to be spent at the village discretion. A community patrol team with 3 villagers now conducts patrols two days per week around the beautiful site that covers (only) about 2,500 Ha. Encounters between patrol teams, local fisher folk (from outside Grogos) and dive live-aboards point to the importance of (and need for) site demarcation, the use of mooring buoys and flyers for visiting divers. WWF will soon reach out to update the dive community with information about the village initiative and a request to support this.
The initiative has not gone unnoticed in the region. Following the village agreement, the local government proposed to cover a larger area under stricter management. The newly proposed Marine Protected Area would cover 8,160 Ha including the Koon and Neiden Islands and their surrounding waters. Hopefully this proposal gets endorsed legally by the Minister of Marine Affairs and Fisheries this year. Please contact Lida Pet at WWF Indonesia if you are interested and willing to help!
Do you want to dive Koon AND Raja Ampat AND the Banda Islands in 2013?
Captain Casey and the Seven Seas will take you there on a BLUE KIRIO charter from Sorong to Ambon in 2013, April 2-13. We will start in Sorong in Raja Ampat and dive our way South, stopping at Koon, the Banda Islands and Nusa Laut, ending in Ambon Bay. This tour will take us through the Northern and Southern parts of Raja Ampat, including Dampier Strait and Misool sites. From there to Eastern Seram to dive with "Too Many Fish" at Koon, and continue to dive the Banda Walls, Nusa Laut reef and finish up with the Ambon Bay critters. This itinerary is probably the most bio-diverse one on the planet. Ambon Bay alone is one of the best critter dives in the world and sports a large number or rare and seldom seen creatures. Raja Ampat has one of the richest ecosystems in the world and the highest concentration of fish species found anywhere.
Captain Casey will be conducting an UW Photo Contest / Workshop with cash discounts on future trips for the top 3 participants. Cruise dates for this 11 night expedition are 2013 April 2-13. Captain Casey has the full boat charter so please contact him immediately and directly if you are interested to join this Blue Kirio charter. Space is limited so if you are interested in joining what is sure to be an outstanding dive tour, contact Captain Casey ASAP:
Peak Numbers of Seven Seas Website Visitors and Newsletter Readers
Peak numbers of close to 12,000 unique visitors were recorded to visit at least 3 pages on average at www.thesevenseas.net in Q1 of 2012. An all time high, exceeding Q1 of 2008, the previous high, before the financial crisis of that year took effect. Right now the S&P is back up, and optimism is returning, reflected nicely in the trends we see in website visits, with current expectations of over 40,000 unique visitors this year. At the same time we are now getting close to 1,000 active readers of this Newsletter and expect to reach that number also in 2012. Close to 700 guests have written testimonials after their trips with Seven Seas. Read here what they had to say about their experiences!
Remaining Availability for 2012
Just 3 cruises with remaining availability in 2012 - and all good ones! Two cabins in September East of Flores, three cabins in October in Komodo and 6 cabins Banda and Raja Ampat via Koon in December. The Forgotten Islands are sold out for 2012, so for those who were late (and there were a few, sorry!), make up your mind now for November 2013!
The Seven Seas - Grahalia Tiying Gading 18, Suite 1 - Jl Tukad Pancoran
Panjer Denpasar 80225 - Bali - Indonesia