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|Newsletter July 2013|
Seven days on the Seven Seas
By Linda Garland
Two families who are lifelong friends joined for a trip on our favorite boat, the Seven Seas, which we have sailed with for 8 years already, and every trip is as good as the last. Ages from 65 to 2 years old! Five small kids we have on board, as well as five divers and some snorkelers. So a tall order to keep us all happy!
Day 1: Off we Go!
Sea eagles fly over us as we pull out of port, what a perfect welcome. Sailing out of Labuan Bajo's classically beautiful bay filled with a fleet of Indonesian wooden sailing Prahu, it feels like a maritime museum of the archipelago. We glide through the Islands of the park, a sculpture garden in the sea, such a different world is Komodo, each time we leave we re-plan to come back, it's a love affair with nature.
First stop a perfect little beach for the kids, shady, good walks and gentle snorkeling, lots of beautiful little fish at knee high water so perfect for the little one's first introduction to the underwater world. Then we kayaked while the others had the first dive, all very happy campers.
Day 2: Batu Monco
White bellied sea eagle with us again, diving for fish. The divers saw rays, turtles and fish galore. We walked in the finest sand with komodo trails only, lots more to see snorkeling from the beach, the water turquoise blue ... The trade winds keeping us cool which is perfect under the sun. Yummie steak barbequed for dinner, the boat is very relaxed and space for everyone to be together and apart.
Day 3: Gili Lawa Laut
Favorite dives Crystal Rock and Castle Rock, everyone in AWE. This is Komodo at its best. Drift snorkel for the non divers lots of big fish many large trevallies, the area damaged from the storm is coming back to life fast, much faster than they had originally thought... Soooo happy to see this... Late afternoon picnic and drinks on another pristine beach, so temping to collect shells... But we all respect the park rules of NO TAKE. I wake at sunrise daily as we often sail at 5 am to our next destination, and morning light is perfect for photography, the next menu of magical memories.
Diving with the Incredibles
By Janice Nigro, janikiInk
I have spent 18 days:1 hour:36 minutes of my life underwater. Nearly twelve of these days, I have logged in Indonesia. Indonesia commands you to return in large part because of the unparalleled underwater diversity, but perhaps equally important, the reason for my consecutive trips to Indonesia over the last six years, is the dive guides. They interact most directly with you every day, working hard to show you something unique every dive hour, and when you surface, they jovially join in your amazement in the creatures that you just saw. “Wow!,” they might say, “Oh my god!,” as if they too saw the critter for the first time. If you are lucky though, sometimes conversations go beyond reviewing the creatures of the last dive, and you find yourself discussing topics that you would with your friends at home. These are the conversations that can lead to really memorable moments in scuba dive travel, and trips and people become unforgettable.
On a recent trip to Komodo, a place where the landscape alone throws you back probably a billion years, such a conversation surprisingly started when a dive guide and I traded titles of favorite movies. One was the animated film, "the Incredibles." It is about a family where each member has a different superpower, and the story is about how they struggle to live a normal life, but ultimately they cannot and resign themselves to saving the world. A couple of aspects of this conversation I found remarkable: firstly, that I was even discussing a US film in a remote area of the planet with someone from North Sulawesi, a place perhaps not well known to many with the exception of scuba divers, and secondly, that the nuances of the humor of that movie had not been lost in translation to Indonesian. My favorite line in the movie is when "Mr. Incredible (Bob Parr)," the father of the superpower family, makes a phone call to the sexy female protagonist (who eventually leads him into trouble) and initiates the call by declaring, "Incredible, here." It is the best line of the movie (and really funny to all of my female friends), and I believe, as I explained to the dive guide, the entire reason the Incredibles were named the Incredibles, was just so Mr. Incredible could deliver that line. Suddenly, an analogy between the Seven Seas dive guides and the animated family with superpowers was inspired. They became the Incredibles.
Many of the best dive guides come from North Sulawesi. If you have ever had the luck of diving with a guide from North Sulawesi, I do not have to explain this analogy further. These dive guides have an extraordinary ability to find any critter, macro- or really, microscopic, whether they were previously aware of its existence or not. They have distinctive names, like Stoner (?), and they do wear suits (see image). The dive guides that I met on my most recent trip to Komodo with the Seven Seas were even brothers, provoking me to consider whether superpowered-ness is within the gene pool in North Sulawesi. Muck diving originated here, and at the very least, it could be imagined to be a unique microcosm of evolution on the planet-critters and the people with the visual acuity to find them co-evolved.
The Seven Seas - Grahalia Tiying Gading 18, Suite 1 - Jl Tukad Pancoran
Panjer Denpasar 80225 - Bali - Indonesia