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|Newsletter November 2013|
Seven Seas in Raja Ampat 2015-2016
Seven Seas will be doing a Raja Ampat season again in 2015-2016. That got decided recently because some good old friends and multiple return charter clients, who have been everywhere else with us already many times, asked us to take them there in February 2016. We agreed to that charter request and so we pretty much had a decision to do a full season there from December 2015 through March-April 2016. We have developed our cruising schedule up to early 2016 and charters or individual berths in Raja Ampat are now available for that season starting in December 2015. You'll find the detailed schedule here! The crew is looking forward to take you there once more or for your first time ever!
Komodo and points west on the Seven Seas, Sept 21 to Oct 3rd, 2013
Elaborated and based on Bob Seiffert's personal diary
September 21st, Saturday
We're up at 4 am to make 7 am flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo, Flores Island, about 300 miles due east. Within an hour of landing at 9 am we are already tucking into a good breakfast aboard the Seven Seas. After that, an equipment-testing dive, for the divers, off the island of Sebayor Kecil, and a drift snorkel nearby. Not having snorkeled for many years, I had some trouble breathing, and got out early. Lisa stayed with it and had a very good time seeing bright blue starfish, a stingray and other reef denizens. By lunchtime, Tim, Philly and Ruth, having arrived on a later plane, caught up with us by speedboat, and we sailed west into the Komodo National Park. In the evening, a short talk from Lawrence about Komodo and its denizens.
September 22nd, Sunday
It's up early again (before the heat), to visit the dragons on Rinca Island. Speedboats take us to the jetty in Loh Buayah bay. A ½ mile walk takes us to Dragon Park Headquarters, where we acquire a couple of local guides. Before we even started walking, a group of 6-10 dragons were 'sharing' the remains of a wild boar which we were told they had caught the previous night. The dragons looked much as we had seen them in films, but a lot scarier close up. Walked for an hour through their dry, scrubby habitat, and spotted monkeys and megapode birds, whose nesting mounds are shared with egg-laying female dragons. One of these mounds was being guarded by a mother dragon, lurking close by in the bushes.
Back aboard for a late breakfast then word comes in that the mantas are feeding. Quite strong current, so the divers have difficulty in filming them, but Andrew manages some great shots and footage, while the snorkelers see dozens of mantas from the surface, drift snorkeling over the desert-like dunes which seem to attract the plankton the mantas feed off. Lisa continued to see lots of interesting underwater creatures. Later that night, with Lisa and Lawrence on deck, we spent minutes watching a yard-long crocodile needle fish hunting in the pool of light next to the gangway.
September 23rd, Monday
Another beautiful day lies ahead. Lazed about until early afternoon, then got my 'water mojo' back and had a very good snorkel for about an hour and a half off the beaches at Sabolan. Later in the afternoon, we returned to the beach for cocktails and a stroll along the surf line. We were joined by Tim and Philly's delightful 9 year-old Lilly Rose, who now started collecting the first shells of the kid's expeditionary collection. That evening we all watch Andrew's extraordinary documentary 'Where the Whales Sing,' about Humpback whales round their home in Bermuda. Very moving indeed.
East of Flores, October 2013
Trip Report by Ron & Christine Blake
At last the wait is over and we head off to our fourth trip on the Seven Seas. Having explored Raja Ampat & Komodo on previous trips, we now look forward to our 12 day trip East of Flores. The Kiwi contingent from Dive Fish Snow Travel quickly pick up on the cameraderie from previous trips. After introduction to the rest of the team, the banter quickly follows with our fellow team from South Africa, Switzerland and USA, over dinner.
Day 1: check-out dive "Rays' Rush Hour" - hundreds of blue-spotted rays, darting around the sea floor in courtship. The rest of the day's diving was stunning, pristine reefs, a squadron of eagle rays paid us a visit on the third dive. Then, at the end of the day, drinks & snacks on a remote sand spit. Just us and the sea birds. Just after an amazing sunset, we headed to the mangroves to see what we had only seen on Nat Geo - thousands of fruit bats leaving for their nightly feasting on fruits from the mainland.
Day 2: not every day you open your curtains to find you are surrounded by volcanoes (some of them still billowing out puffs of ash). Dived 2 sites in the area and 1 snorkeling site, where the corals were pristine, thousands of small colourful fish. The divers saw many large white tip reef sharks. The afternoon spent relaxing, while we cruised on flat seas to our location for dinner, which was dinner by lava light. We were a couple of kms away from a very active volcano, with eruptions every 20 minutes. Having dinner outside on the upper deck, while watching the molten rocks glowing as they rolled down the side of the mountain into the sea was amazing.
Day 3: everyone well and truly settled into the routine and raucous laughter heard from the dive deck. The kaleidoscope of colour from the many different types of corals and fishes. Amazing vis. Just on snorkel, we saw bumphead parrotfish, dogtooth tuna, grouper, school of barracuda, a field of garden eels and many amazing critters.
The Seven Seas - Grahalia Tiying Gading 18, Suite 1 - Jl Tukad Pancoran
Panjer Denpasar 80225 - Bali - Indonesia