Newsletter November 2016
The Forgotten Islands, November 2016
Trip Report by Karen York. Photos by Darrell Hejde.
On the sixth of November a diverse, multi-national group of adventurers boarded the good ship Seven Seas and cruised off to discover the Forgotten Islands of Indonesia. Remote, isolated and difficult to reach, Maluku Tenggara - The Forgotten Islands - was important to the spice trade centuries ago. Today it's seas offer spectacular reefs filled with a great variety of fishes, corals and creatures, unspoiled, uncrowded - a true diver's paradise!
So off we go . . . Each dive begins with Sonia's cheerful call, "Rubber Ducky, Rubber Ducky!" This is our cue to climb aboard the dinghys and speed off to the chosen dive site. A backward roll from the boat to the water and down we drift to begin our adventure. The reefs are amazing in their diversity of species and color and life. Currents run the gamut from non existent to a lazy drift to "hang on to your hat!" Visability is also variable although usually good to excellent. Everyone finds some source of wonder, excitement and awe in this spectacular world. Steve and Marianne swim off in search of new and unusual nudibranchs. Karen (Spike) hovers motionless, patiently gains acceptance from a large octopus and proceeds to capture the most amazine video as it grooms itself atop it's coral perch. "There goes Doug again" as he disappears into the blue, then reappears, then disappears again. Darrel and Nancy descend over the wall, down and down, cameras flashing away.
Divers report such wonders as winged pipefish, crocodile fish, a hamerhead shark. Susan helps us identify the different species we find. Feather stars cling everywhere in a great variety of colors but beware - if you get too close they might jump and hitch a ride - harmless but a bit un-nerving! On Maoporo Teland we watch as a pair of large cuttlefish mate and tuck eggs deep in the crevices of a coral head to protect them until they hatch. At Pula Meatimiarang we discover a lovely honeycomb gold fish wearing a brown mask over it's eyes. No-one can identify it - perhaps a new species? Naming rights should go to Karl ad Sonia! A large school of Batfish pass us by in the blue on the West Wall of South Terbang and a pair of juvenile Rockmover Wrasse entertain us in the shallows. On Dai Island the crew bargains with each village head man to secure diving rights in their waters. One such negotiation breaks down so Karl decides to try an unkown site. He warns us - "Don't go beyod the longest point or they may shoot arrows at you." We name this one "Archer's Point". On this same island Irwan discovers a spectacular dive - high coral walls and ridges interrupted by sand and rubble covered slopes all teeming with life. We call it Karang Irwan - Irwan's Reef. Here the night divers encounter the attack of the worms. Bill motions Marina closer to see, but her bubbles spell out "Oh HELL NO!" as she speeds away. We turn off our lights to experience the flashlite fish darting everywhere and the magic of the phosphorescet "fairies" dancing all around us. This is the closest I have ever been to being "narced". Every dive here is, as Sonia would say, "the best dive ever"! (Except maybe the worms).
» CLICK HERE FOR KAREN'S FULL REPORT AND MORE PHOTOS
"Just a small note to thank you immensely for this dream of a super-magical trip!!! The Seven Seas of course lived up to its usual superb standards, and the Crew are simply the BESTEST there is, extremely hard working and professional, and ever so kind hearted and gentle, and always smiling, even if travelling hours were so long and sleep was scarce!! You are so fortunate to have such a wonderful Crew.
The diving was truly out of this world!!! Most sites were simply to die for, with a unique diversity of fish and coral, as well as 40m visibility++ and 27 degrees ... especially Mark's new place of Dawera was truly exceptional!!! Dai was also incredible and Teun and Sermata and Kalapa and Batu Tara and and and and..... 2 weeks of utter magic!!!
And most dives the count of butterfly species was 20-24 ..... awesome!!!"
Sonia (Forgotten Islands, November 2016)
» Click here for more testimonials.
Video: The Forgotten Islands 2016
By Karen Doby
CLICK HERE TO WATCH
The Seven Seas - Pertokoan Simpang Siur (Kuta Poleng) C1 - Jl. Setiabudi
Kuta, Badung 80361 - Bali - Indonesia