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|Newsletter June 2014|
East of Flores to Komodo 2014 - Trip Report by Mark Heighes
Photos by Foued Kaddachi
Every year for the last 6 years we have been joined by a group of friends who like to do things a little different than our average group. They take the whole boat and insist on keeping the numbers down around 6 to 8 passengers. This means they get a cabin each to themselves. Plenty of room to move, privacy when you want it, and most importantly for them, fewer people on the dive sites.
This year our voyage started in Maumere and ended in Komodo via the islands that lie east of Flores. We focused on Lembata and Pantar for this cruise. No cameras, no critters, no nitrox, no night dives. Just good quality, high adrenalin, adventurous diving with a maximum of three dives a day. Everyone was experienced, in good physical condition, and well aware if their own limitations. "Stick together and keep an eye out for one and other. Reef right or reef left, maximum depth of 50 meters" was pretty much it for the briefings on most sites.
Our first stop was shark point in Lembata. An overnight steam from Maumere. Flat calm, good vis and sharky it was. The spectacular Volcano of Illi Api, smouldering away, flanked our anchorage as we settled into our first day of diving operations. There is nothing quite like surfacing from a wall dive to be greeted by the sight of this perfectly shaped volcano filling the lens of your face mask. Wow ... I felt it was good to be back in Indonesia after a 2 month stint in Australia.
Another calm passage that night to South Pantar where we would be spending the next four days exploring. It was half-moon which meant neap tides and that was exactly what we needed for this area. The other 2 factors that dramatically influence this area are the vis and the south westerly ground swell. Looking over the side of the boat, the water was blue and there was no sign of any significant swell. All the variables were in our favour.
The passage that runs between Lembata and Pantar is called Selat (Strait) Boiling on the old British Admiralty Charts for a good reason. It is approximately 10 miles wide and over 650 meters deep. This means a huge volume of water passes through it. Also it is the only passage in the chain of islands that stretch over 1000 nautical miles, from Java to Timor and beyond, that constantly flows in one direction (South) during a rising and falling tide, apart from the notorious Lombok Strait.
East of Flores 2014 - just 2 cruises left with availabilities
Just 2 cruises left with availability on our East of Flores itinerary in 2014! First option is August 24 to September 5 and second option is October 13 to 25. One of the most diverse itineraries in the Coral Triangle. From superb macro sites with abundant critters to high voltage big fish diving, and via peaceful snorkeling in coral gardens right up to close encounters of the sperm whale kind.
Contact us for the final cabins available this year. Full charter options for East of Flores are available again in April-May of 2015.
The Seven Seas - Grahalia Tiying Gading 18, Suite 1 - Jl Tukad Pancoran
Panjer Denpasar 80225 - Bali - Indonesia