Newsletter September 2015
East of Flores, 6-18 September 2015
Trip Report by Dana Cook. Photos by Phil Burghard, Anders Osterballe & Terry Potter. Video by Lee & Phil Burghard.
I began to reminisce as soon as the Seven Seas came into view. Silent and starry nights steaming from one island to the next, muffled underwater shouts of excitement and the feeling of being transported back in a time where Buginese pirate ships still roamed the seas. I have been on the boat twice before, and I knew this trip wouldn't be the macro-maniac heaven of Raja Ampat, but I had no idea what wonders are held in and around the Flores Sea.
Above water we watched sea eagles effortlessly diving for food and thousands of flying foxes noiselessly emerging from their mangrove and into the evening sky. At the sea's surface we encountered blue and sperm whales, orcas and dolphins, and in its depths we met sharks, eagle rays and impressive schools of tuna. The Flores Sea is not only filled with dynamic wildlife, but its land is also alive.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE!
Bleary-eyed one morning, I crept out of my cabin and onto the top deck to the sight of a booming mushroom cloud of ash erupting from a volcano adjacent to the boat. You not only see the presence of the volcanoes above water, but also hear the explosions vibrating through the reef. We even got the chance to feel its heat after a particularly cold dive. Shivering and shaking we surfaced, hopped into the speedboat and headed towards the local beach village of Beang Abang. Upon arrival we immediately dashed the hundred feet to the hot springs for an unbelievably warm bath, and were greeted by the village kids with a backflip and diving show.
» CLICK HERE FOR DANA'S FULL REPORT & MORE PHOTOS
East of Flores 23rd August - 4 September 2015
Trip Report & Photos by Carolyn Tyler
An overnight steam from Maumere to Adonara Island. Day one: Our group of expat friends, most of whom are long-time Seven Seas fans, were treated to a spectacular sunrise view of a smoking volcano against a backdrop of puffy pink buttermilk clouds.
1st dive Ipet/Watupeni sandspit. The aptly named "Ray's Rush Hour" (15m) provided nonstop entertainment with blue spotted rays, juvenile harlequin sweetlips, white tip sharks, cuttlefish and the cutest little yellow spotted box fish. Beautiful soft and hard corals in day-glow colors.
Dive 2 & 3: Ipet Dropoff: Eight white tip sharks, shoals of scads, surgeon, large red snappers and two huge Spanish mackerel. In the shallows I found a pair of green and black courting nudibranchs and a pregnant boxing crab with white stinging anemone pom poms held in it's pincers to ward off predators (friends with benefits!).
Cocktails at dusk on the sandspit watching the tens of thousands of fruit bats in their feeding exodus to another island. Dreamy!
Lembata Island; Teluk Lewaling/Nera. Dive 4 "The Cardinal" offered a mind-blowing enormous greenish moray eel at least 50cm in circumference. Purple feather worms swaying in the current, beautiful porcelain-like lettuce coral, Spinger's Damselfish, a crinoid cleaning fish, painted spiny lobster, plus a rare sighting of a juvenile blackbelt hogfish, and oodles of Cardinal pyjama fish. Yipee!
» CLICK HERE FOR CAROLYN'S FULL TRIP REPORT & MORE PHOTOS
"Being on the Seven Seas far exceeded any expectations!! Linda is a fantastic and patient dive instructor - so glad we completed our certificate with her!! Karl is a grand ambassador - energetic, full of knowledge and entertaining stories! The crew is absolutely wonderful - Little John and Nico provided great daily service - as well as all the crew! Thank you, thank you!!"
Joe and Cindy Lenac (East of Flores, September 2015)
"As usual, the trip aboard the Seven Seas was another remarkable journey and adventure at sea. Fourth trip for me and hoping for another four trips in the future. There is no better feeling than hanging out on the bow of the Seven Seas, watching Komba explode, eating dogtooth tuna sashimi and having Little John serve up the cocktails. And oh yeah, the diving!! Fabulous dives with more sharks than I have seen in Indonesia in many years - and doggies, GT, Napoleans, bumpheads. What a treat! Thank you so much Jos and Lida, Karl & Linda, for hosting Dana and I - a trip of a lifetime - cheers. On to Komodo!!"
Chuck Cook (East of Flores, September 2015)
» Click here for more testimonials.
Komodo again... (by Lida Pet Soede)
Sometimes I hear people say: "Yes I have done Komodo, dived there a few years ago." It often means that they will not consider going back to dive in Komodo, and often they ask me where is the best place to go next. Now, fortunately, Indonesia has many fantastic places to visit above and below water so it is easy to give suggestions. However, as I was fortunate to have dived in Komodo each year over the past 2 decades, I considered what it is that keeps me coming back, and that makes me think that I still have not "done Komodo" really. Just this year, I tried using a small video camera to capture some of what I think is special about Komodo.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE!
Obviously, it turned out that I think a lot in Komodo is special as I took home some > 40GB of material. What stands out from my condensed 7 minute summary clip however was the big fish and special behaviour of animals on the reef interacting with each other, and even with me. Listening to what my newly certified 11 year old niece summarised from her dives and to what my 12 year old daughter Laura - who celebrated her 100th dive during the same trip - gushed about, I think that I know what keeps me excited every time I roll into the waters of Komodo, is the exactly the fact that I know more or less what the site should look like but that I will be surprised about something or other that I had never considered or witnessed before. That I will come up after 60 minutes and be able to add my new observations to those of all others onto the huge list of amazing creatures that Komodo hosts.
» CLICK HERE FOR LIDA'S FULL ARTICLE ABOUT KOMODO
The Seven Seas - Grahalia Tiying Gading 18, Suite 1 - Jl Tukad Pancoran
Panjer Denpasar 80225 - Bali - Indonesia