The Seven Seas News - August 2015
Komodo Family Cruise, 22nd - 29th July 2015
Trip Report by Joris Romijn. Photos by Jan Soede.
With a very early rise the voyage to the seven seas began, the alarm set at 4:30 and a cab ride through Kuta that was the quickest ever due to a total lack of other traffic at this time. An early flight to Flores followed after which we were picked up by the crew and transported to the boat. Later this early rise turned out to be very luckily as just hours after our flight Denpasar airport closed again due to vulcanic activity.
Once we arrived there we were met with breakfast of excellent quality, when everyone had a satisfactory meal it was time to go test gear, this was under comment of jos about the ridiculously low pace. Luckily there was still plenty of time left for a first day dive at the seven seas's secret spot, unfortunately the location of this spot can not be disclosed.
During this dive there was a lot of communication between Laura and Karl, first part of the dive this was exclusively about the under water adventures however this changed quickly when Karl realised that there would be Spaghetti bolognese for lunch, after this realisation the dive was ended and the divers were transported at top speed back to the boat. And after tasting the bolognese the expectations were definitly met.
The daytime was ended with aperatives combined with a wonderful sunset seen from a white sand beach. After the sun went down Karl made the understatement of the trip by saying: "Let's see if we can find some flying foxes". The expectation was to do a boat tour while searching for some flying foxes. This turned out to be a small misunderstanding. After traveling towards to the boat the sky turned black with thousands of flying foxes so the quest was completed with relative ease. This quest was not without danger as there was quite a real danger of being pooped on by the foxes, luckily every survived and came out unpooped.
The first day was ended with an exquisite diner on the deck after which everyone went to bed early to be fit for maximum performance the next day.
Not as early rise as the first day with a very acceptable 7 o clock. The energy required for a day full of activities was supplied by the first breakfast.
This was followed by a dive and a snorkel at the fishbowl, which prooved his name worthy with an excellent variaty of fish and underwater live combined with a beautiful scenery of coral.
The second dive was at castle rock, this was also very good but was over shadowed by the third dive of the day at crystal rock. Even according to Jos this was a very rare and excellent dive, with grey reef, white tip and bamboo sharks, tuna and many many other kind of fish which I can not name. This dive gave new meaning to the expression: swimming with the fishes.
At the same time Tessa was doing her certification dives to obtain here PADI open water certificate, under guidance of Linda. Laura joined them and by doing that reached her 100th certified dive. This later also turned out to be good for the rest of the guests as there was a very nice cake to celebrate this.
The third day the boat docked in a beautiful bay in the north of Komodo island. The first 2 activity rounds were (by me) filled with kayaking to the beach and doing some very hard relaxing once we arrived there. This was done under constant alertness for potential dragon sightings, unfortunately there were none.
Also during the first 2 rounds Tessa completed her certification dives, making her a certified open water diver! Another great accomplishment in the family was achieved by Viktor by climbing the mountain in record time!
Special notice was earned today by grandma, for snorkling at the age of 77.
The water activities this day were ended by another dive at crystal rock, the expectations were high after the very beautiful and diverse sea life the previous. However a new standard was set during this dive, while being surrounded by 10 sharks at the same time there was still numerous other sea life. Even according to Jos this was a very rare and special sighting.
Today began with the same ritual as the previous days, this meant an ealry rise with a healthy first breakfast. The location is South Komodo and the agenda included dragon spotting and multiple dives.
The first being not very hard as they were already visible on the beach from the boat. A close encounter was arranged later that day, with the 2 speedboats we went to the beach for an upclose meet and greet. At that moment there were 5 komodo dragons at the beach who quickly came closer after hearing the sound of the boat. Big john was not impressed and started taunting them, this made some very nice scenery. Also in their chase for the perfect shot Jan and Lida walked around the group of dragons, which after a lunge of 1 of them almost ended in the first casualty of the trip.
The schedule also involved some very nice dives again, with a beautiful scenerey at yellow wall and.. But the most exciting dive was the night dive. This was for me and Eva (lantwaard) a complete new experience. With very low visibility and a sandy bodem this resembled more of a treasure hunt than a dive. Of course the excellent guidance of Jeffrey and Irwan ensured all the safety risks were kept to a minimun, and maximized the fun of the dive.
Day 5, we had a very cryptic briefing by Karl, the location was just called " the alley". And we had to keep and eye out for the M-word. Apperantly these things were black and white and very beautiful.
The first dive of the day delivered on the promise purposfully not done by Karl. Soon after entering the water an adult manta ray appeared. He/She was not scared at all and even seemed a bit curious about these weird creatures that were blowing bubbles constantly. On advice of Karl everyone kept their calm and moved calmly to a good spot to watch this creature. It was truly majestic, just minding it's own business and coming real close with some of the divers.
However awesome this encounter, the most memorable activity of the day was definitely surfing behind the speedboat apparently called Scurfing. After a short demo by the captain Wahyu it was first my try. It seemed quite easy but once on the board this proved to be a lot more difficult. After a few futile attempts it was Eva's (lantwaard) turn. Immediately on the first try she got it, proving it was not beginners luck by following it with a very succesful second turn. This motivated even more to be succesful on the next try. After failing a few more times finally succes, standing on the board and trailing behind the boat. Even holding on with 1 hand for better balancing with the other was no longer a problem. A few more tried (Wouter,Elize) but there attempts did not even come close to the awsomeness of the rides by Eva and me.
Today was Grandma's birthday this was celebrated with the decoration of the boat and a small surprise party for grandma. After waking her for the second breakfast, she tended to skip the first one. The dining area had been decorated and everybody was waiting to wish her a happy birhtday. Even the crew participated by bringing their instruments and singing an indonesian version of happy birthday.
The rest of the day was filled with activities again, after an early dive and the birthday ceremony a few manta's were spotted relatively close to the boat. Quickly we gathered the snorkel gear and headed out on the speedboat. We were dropped up current and just floated towards the manta's. they were feeding so they were close to the surface which resulted in a very close encounter with them just making minimal way for us to float by and continue eating. Also 1 of the manta's was completely black, this interested Jos so much it had to be told at least on 4 separate occasions.
A small group did a big hike in the afternoon, most of the group (including me) was busy relaxing on the beach. The hike was riddled with awesome views of the blue ocean, surrounding islands and beautiful bays. It was mostly uphill which was no problem on the way up. The way down turned out be more troublesome due to the fact that the path consisted mostly of very loose small rocks and sand. Luckily everyone came back in 1 piece without any serious injuries.
With day 7 already the last full day of the trip had began, time flew by and seemed like just yesterday we arrived on the boat. I guess even though this makes it seem very short it is definitely a good thing. It shows that there was never a dull moment and the atmosphere was very good.
Today another dive at the seven seas secret was planned. Because this dive was at different time of the day the current was reversed from the last time we dived here. We therefore entered on a different point and drifted the other way, this again revealed many scenes that were movie worthy.
In the afternoon there was a guided hike through the komodo national park. We had another encounter with the famous komodo dragons, 2 adults and 2 juveniles. It was fun to learn some more about how they live and grow up.
The day was supposed to end with a BBQ on the sand spit we visited earlier in the week for a sunset, however a trip with mainly Dutch guests would not be complete without a little rain. And so it was, during the boat trip to the sand spit everyone moved inside to shelter from the rain. Once we arrived at there luckily the rain had stopped. With the speedboats we moved to the sand spit where the crew had magically made some drift wood appear. This was turned into a huge fire with the help of Big John and Big gasoline jerrycan. Unfortunately the rain came back after lighting the fire and the BBQ became an indoor grill in the dining area of the Seven Seas.
The day of disembarkation, today we fly back to Bali after leaving the boat.
I would like to thank Karl, Linda and the guides for the excellent guidance during all the activities. And Karl in particular for all the wonderful briefing pictures he so expertly drew.
Furthermore I would also like to thank the rest of the crew for making this such an exquisite trip with everything perfect to the smallest detail.
» Click here to see what our guests had to say about this trip.