At the peak of Gili Lawa Darat

The Seven Seas News - August 2015

Komodo Family Cruise 31st July � 7th August 2015

Trip Report by Claudia Morawetz. Photos by Hadrien Benk-Fortin, Paul Fortin & Claudia Morawetz.

Three families catered to for a week by seventeen crew members on a luxury sea vessel, what could be a more idyllic way to melt away from the real world? Each day, four underwater or land activities were bookended by a surfeit of tempting food (a second breakfast anyone? fresh bread and donuts?). We were sultans at sea, our every need anticipated.

Snorkeling or diving - each time our choice - was spectacular: the most memorable dive around Batubolong rock displayed an assortment of colourful corals, sponges, anemones, huge schools of anthias and large dogfish tuna, trevallys and sweet lips, with visibility more than 200 feet. The sharp-eyed divemasters pointed out hidden eels and camouflaged scorpion fish, and our teenager was ebullient after a sunset snorkel where she snapped photos of mandarin fish, box shrimp and a two foot long jellyfish. The adrenalin rush came from following graceful manta rays whose curiosity occasionally rewarded us with exceptional video footage as they chose a head-on collision course towards us before veering away.

Like kids at camp, we could also choose between a variety of other activities: kayak to a beach, skurfing (a cross between two equally difficult watersports: waterskiing and surfing), hiking up the yellow-parched hill islands, heading out to see the Komodo dragons and stargazing into the clear night skies. Impromptu jumping from different heights of the boat escalated the excitement when we challenged crew members to join us. There was barely time to squeeze in some reading time, a game of cards, or a nap - for the adults of course - the kids were still scurfing!

Exhausted at the end of the day, our eyes drooped shut as soon as supper on the upper deck concluded. We headed off to our spacious, air-conditioned cabins complete with hot, fresh-water showers and North American power adapters, collapsing on firm, comfortable king size beds (our kids next door in terraced bunk beds), lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of the boat. As quickly as we adapted to the daily rhythm of activity-eat-rest-repeat, we barreled into the final evening with bar-b-q by sunset on the beach, signaling the end of what we wished would be a never-ending holiday.

Claudia Morawetz
August 2015

Jelly fish encounter, by Hadrien Benk-Fortin
Loh Buaya hike: Water buffalo, by Hadrien Benk-Fortin
Hiking Padar, by Hadrien Benk-Fortin

Padar Island: On top of the world, by Paul Fortin
Farewell lunch, by Claudia Morawetz

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