Newsletter February 2017
My Seven Seas Voyage; 29 Jan to 10 Feb 2017
Trip Report by Jeremy Prince. Photos by Robert Delfs. Video by Lida Pet-Soede & Jeremy Prince.
It was 29 January 2017 when our party of 14 gathered around the baggage carousel in Sorong. From Bali were Jos & Lida, joint owners along with Captain Mark of the Seven Seas, Robert back with two new knees for his eighth voyage, this time with long-time friends from Los Angeles, and Jonathan and Victoria, fulfilling a dream 10 years in the making. From Jakarta came Maurice & Lina, joining up with April, their niece from New York, who had just 17 open water dives under her belt. Also from the US, Terry the ER doctor from Cincinnati; and Hector and Dave, long-time dive buddies from Portland, Oregon. There were three marine biologists from Australia: Richard and Mihaela from Port Douglas, and Jeremy from Fremantle. Meeting for the first time around the carousel, watching the black pelican cases pile higher and wondering what year and time of day it was, one thing became immediately clear, that two underwater photographers (Robert & Terry) had won the excess baggage award hands down.
Gear complements completed and baggage trolleys piled high, the friendly Seven Seas crew rounded us up and escorted us aboard, where we installed ourselves and were given an introductory briefing before cruising out of Sorong for a first check out dive. The Seven Seas newcomers amongst us spent that first afternoon marveling at the beautiful traditional lines of the vessel with upturned bow, the eight double cabins, with en-suite bathrooms, various areas for socializing and taking the breezes, and the great systems in place for everything. The highlight and the low point of that first afternoon was the whale with calf (possibly Bryde's whales) spotted feeding along a tide-line, but the low point was the floating piles of plastic trash marking the tide-lines closer into Sorong, and which we never totally escaped-so shocking and sad to have plastic debris counterpointing such beauty.
A couple of hours out of Sorong we anchored in Teluk Markisa (Passion Fruit Bay) and completed our initial check dive, after which, we settled in with the equatorial sun setting over the top deck for a first night getting to know each other over evening drinks. With evident pride, Captain Mark also introduced his crew - more of an extended family really - impressing us all with the deep long term relationships (20+ years) that hold the vessel together and make it such an enjoyable experience.
» CLICK HERE FOR JEREMY'S FULL REPORT AND MORE PHOTOS
"Big warm heartfelt thank you to all of the fantastic Seven Seas Crew! Wow!!! Such a special trip in such a special part of the world. We have loved every moment and so very grateful for the thoughtful care of every crew member. Our food has been delicious, and diving so much fun, loved our beach visits and sunset drinks."
Lisa, Matthew, Lisette, Rex (Raja Ampat, January 2017)
» Click here for more testimonials.
Our Home away from Home
By Russ and Barbara van Aardt.
We have been fortunate to travel with our The Seven Seas family on 3 occasions, have another adventure booked for 2018 with them and are planning two more. This not only due to the fact that we love Indonesia's incredible oceans and Islands, but we just have a desire to keep going back to The Seven Seas. Go Figure!
One only has to read the monthly trip reports to understand just how amazing the The Seven Seas Liveaboard experience actually is and how many adventurers just keep going back, again and again. Not sure what they are putting in the food, even with our vegetarian requirements. He! He!
Our last trip on the majestic Seven Seas, was to Raja Ampat in January 2016. It was a particularly productive adventure, in all respects and as a result, the footage that we shot there, makes up the vast majority of our 2016 Tropical 4K Film Stock Showreel. The balance of the Showreel covers shark and Whale shark activity shot in Cocos and the Maldives in 2016. For those who may be interested, our 2015 Showreel included a lot of footage from our two trips, on the Seven Seas, to South Komodo.
» READ THE FULL ARTICLE AND WATCH THE 2015 SHOWREEL
Seven Seas Sponsored Programs
We are happy to share with you that the Banda School Shuttle Project has been a great success and is now concluded. The local government of the Banda Islands has taken over this project and provides the school with funding to transport the children from their islands to school. Towards the end of this Seven Seas sponsored program, that ran for nearly 8 years, the shuttle boat was taking 51 children to school every day. These children would otherwise not have had any schooling at all. Facilitated by our local contact Alan, we heard the children could currently use some support for their uniforms, and Seven Seas will consider this when we visit the Banda islands again.
The other part of our Banda Islands Program involved providing full scholarship for one of Banda’s bright young female students. Fajarria Saban finished her BSc. in Marine Sciences from Makassar University in 2016 and is currently applying for jobs where she can use her knowledge. We want to thank all our guests who visited Banda and got involved, and helped us to fund this program. And most all of I would like to thank my good friend of 30 years, Alan, who first made me aware of the poor squatters, mostly from broken families, living on the active volcano of Gunung Api across the harbour in Banda. Without having a local of the island involved in this project we would have never been able to make it happen.
With the conclusion of the above two Seven Seas Sponsored Programs, we have looked for other projects to support in 2017 and beyond. This month we have decided that for 2017 the Seven Seas will sponsor the Misool Foundation in Raja Ampat and a donation is already being processed at this time to support the expenses budget of this foundation that is doing great conservation work in the Misool Marine Protected Area. We are currently looking at options for potential sponsoring in 2018 and some ideas are already being explored. More about that soon, we hope!
Mark Heighes and the Seven Seas Team
UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY: Forgotten Islands to Raja Ampat
November 22 to December 7, 2017 - 15 nights
Dep.: Saumlaki, Arr.: Sorong
Availability on what is arguably the most adventurous, diverse and remote cruise on the menu. Kris-crossing the Forgotten Islands, hopping from one island to the next through the eastern Banda Sea, visiting the Spice Islands, stopping over at Koon with “Too Many Fish”, and ending up in the already legendary Raja Ampat archipelago off South Eastern Misool. We are offering this cruise only once a year during the best possible season. From Saumlaki to Sorong, THIS year, in 2017, is your chance. This trip was sold out already, and it is sold out for 2018. If you think that’s a long way out to book a trip, the same trip is sold out already even for 2019! But now we have it available again for 2017! From November 22 to December 7, this 15 nights cruise is the most demanded and rarest trip we have on offer. NOW is a good time to consider it...
» Contact us if you are interested and for more information.
The Seven Seas - Pertokoan Simpang Siur (Kuta Poleng) C1 - Jl. Setiabudi
Kuta, Badung 80361 - Bali - Indonesia