Sunset in Raja Ampat, by John Kelly

The Seven Seas News - January 2016

Seven Seas Poem, by Cath Stark

Photos by John Kelly & Andy Rothenbach.

All big adventures need a bit of a song
This epic one began in Sorong.
After being kicked out of the choir at the mere age of thirteen
I will talk through the song - to sing would be mean!
The Kellys, Starks, Barkers, Van Aarts and Skinners
I just knew I'd hit the jackpot, a full house of winners.
Upon arrival, I heard an Amercan 'Hey ya'll!'
And there he was - the famous Karl!
Huge bags were loaded in taxis for the short trip
And there in the harbour was the Seven Seas ship!

We then met wonderful Linda from the UK
And Karl gave us a briefing regarding our stay.
To those who missed bits - here's a quick recap
For quietly in the corner, Ken and Bev had a nap!
The daily routine was eat, dive, eat, dive, eat, dive, eat
And after a good nights rest, the sequence in repeat.
After a shallow check dive to test out our gear
We headed South, Captain Wayhu at steer.

The Seven Seas

The full staff complement was introduced after dinner
With Chef Nico and Widhi, we wouldn't get thinner.
Hera and Nico were the lovely hostess and host
Tending to our every desire, from Bintangs to french toast!
Irwin, Jeffry and Karl made the best DM team
From Pygmy Seahorses to disco dancing - any diver's dream!
Captian Wayhu, Pai and Ilham were the navigation heads
With them at the helm we slept snug in our beds.
Yosef, Koro and Anjas are a prize engineering mix
Between the trio, there's nothing they can't fix.
Imam, Big Jon, Bado and Marwan are steermen of the Seven Seas
Their hard work made for smoothe sailing through the warm breeze.
And with Linda, film-maker and knowledge fountain of the Seven Seas ship
The whole crew worked tirelessly to ensure a great trip.

Beach party

Getting to know fellow divers has been an absolute delight
And I've come to expect the daily cookie jar fight!
The matriarch of our team, Bev, and her camera-iPad prowess
One of the best looking grandmas I've met, I must confess.
Ken could have been a soapie star if not for insurance
His pre-scuba soap routine is a full-body rinse.
Ken sometimes likes to test out his newfound flexibility
Although trying on Bev's wetsuit was an act of futility!
Rob, with his snazzy earplugs, is the third of the Barker group,
With his expansive diving knowledge, you're ensured the inside scoop.

Iain made history when the cleaner wrasse gouged his leg
Whether shocked or surprised he nearly bit through his reg!
The wrasse isn't really necessary with nurse Jane's tender loving care
With recent retirement, they make a fine pair!

Relaxing on the aft deck

When it comes to mantas and sealife, we're full of admiration
Barbs sets an example with her marine conservation.
Russ Tim-Tam-thief van Aardt is her partner in crime
Their underwater photography is simply sublime!

Although not quite retired, JK reminisces about 'back in the day'
With slalom skills like that, he'll fight to keep the 'birds' at bay!
Jan, the snorkeling queen, out in the big blue
In trendy kit like that she's a magnificent view.
Sandy toils with the idea of scuba dives at night
Or raising a Bintang faster than a kite!
It was Shona who spotted a wobbegong on the sand bank
She nearly snapped her pointer banging her tank!

Blue-ring octopus

Remember when Vick found the blue-ring octopus
It was a day I was real proud to be her sis!
They say the Swiss are neutral, they don't like to compete
But in Zämähebe Zämähebe Prost, Theresia brings the heat!
Playing Vicky at chess isn't John's strongest suite
And though he's an avid underwater spotter, he doesn't hear a toot!
There was one hair-raising moment with man overboard
Lexi tumbled off the ship, Jan exclaimed 'Oh Lord!'
Lexi took to recuperating back to full health
With copious Nutella helpings, she achieved this with stealth!
If it's Vicky Blue-Ring Stark, let's make something clear
It's not Cath Wunderpus Stark, a nickname I fear!

Other highlights include G and Ts and watching the sun go down
And our visit to ... The beautiful seaside town.
Canoeing through the mangroves, music on the beach
For all the creatures identified and to all those willing to teach.

Sunset cocktails
Sunset on board

There's no more than forty winks with that bell around
And after a painful wetsuit struggle we're dive-site bound!
With masks and pointers we leave the deck
And onto the tender boat - 'check, check, double check.'
Raja Ampat gave us the most beautiful dives
A place on earth where marine life thrives
It's difficult to explain the abundance that abounds
Lurid coral, enormous sea fans, critter-filled mounds
Sadly, this is the end of our amazing holiday
And to all those on board - a huge thanks I say!

To Karl and Linda, thanks for an amazing trip
We all hold dear memories of the Seven Seas ship.

Cath Stark,
Raja Ampat, January 2016

crew & guests

» Click here to see what our guests had to say about this trip.

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