Newsletter April 2017
A Wonderful Adventure - From Raja Ampat to Banda Sea, April 2017
Trip Report by David Gibb. Photos by Foued Khadachi. Videos by Tamara Frins.
It is about 9:45 on our first morning aboard the Seven Seas. We were up at 6:00 and in the water for our first dive of the day at 7:30. It was spectacular. Beautiful coral and clouds of fish are all around. Everything from a Pygmy Seahorse the size of the nail on your little finger, to a school of Napoleon Wrasse and big grey reef sharks. We just had breakfast and will be going in for our second dive of the day in about an hour. We are off to a great start and first full day on board. On our third dive we saw majestic Manta Rays that were easily 12 feet across. After diving, we took a trip to Bat Island where a colony of fruit bats spent their day hanging in the trees sleeping. The island was packed with them. Their wingspan can be over a meter. Other than their wings, they look like little foxes. Right at sunset, they all headed out to feed on another island. Clouds of them flew past our boat.
On our second day we were off at 5:00am for a trip to one of the islands to look for the Bird of Paradise. They tend to do their mating dance at sunrise at the top of the tallest tree on the highest peak. We started climbing while it was still dark. It was very cool to hear the jungle waking up. We were lucky enough to see the Bird of Paradise as well as parrots, cockatoos and many other birds. Then our first dive, on a spectacular wall with clouds of beautiful fish. Our second dive was a drift in a fairly strong current. We saw more Mantas, Napoleon Wrasse and too many sharks to count. Just now, a small group of Pilot Whales swam right past our boat. The next site has set the world record for the most different species seen on a single dive. It is all pretty great!
On our first dive the next morning, we went to a spot where Manta Rays go to get cleaned by tiny Wrasse. I lost count of how many Mantas we saw. For most divers, it is a rare privilege to see even one Manta. Here, they were lined up to parade past us. And our second dive was one of my favorites. It was warm, bright and calm, and there was lots to see. We ended up under a jetty where fish go for shelter during the day. There were so many of them that when I looked up, I couldn't see the jetty.
» CLICK HERE FOR DAVID'S FULL REPORT, PLUS MORE PHOTOS & VIDEOS
"Thank you for the fantastic trip, we really enjoyed the diving & service on board & on the dive boats. The crew is great and the food excellent. Karl was entertaining as always :) & we loved the great dives with Irwan. Thanks for everything and we will be back again."
Armand & Tamara (Raja Ampat & Banda Sea, April 2017)
» Click here for more testimonials.
Family Trip for the Bucket List
Trip Report by Andrew McEvoy. Photos by Hayley Baillie.
As a family with kids growing through their teenage years, we have made a pact: Let's take a holiday each year that is truly adventurous, memorable and worthy of our collective bucket list.
Not that there is anything wrong with theme parks, island resorts, beach shacks, buffet breakfasts or visiting the family for Christmas.
We simply wanted something we could all share, that was full of activity, a bit exotic and hard to explain. The trend pickers call this the experience economy – we called it family fun.
Spending two weeks on a "live aboard" boat in the pristine waters of Raja Ampat in the far eastern reaches of the Indonesian archipelago certainly satisfied our criteria.
The Seven Seas is a 45 metre traditionally built Buginese Schooner (built for comfort, not speed) and Raja Ampat is a chain of islands located in the Birds Head region of West Papua – closer to Papua New Guinea than the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
It is made up of 1500 islands and surrounding reefs representing some of the richest marine biodiversity in the world – with more than 1300 species of native reef fish and 70% of the world's varieties of soft and hard coral.
» CLICK HERE FOR ANDREW'S FULL REPORT AND MORE PHOTOS
Under the Volcano - Diving in East of Flores
Trip Report by Tony Pigott.
Kumba is an uninhabited Volcanic island ten miles north of the island of Alor in the Suva sea of eastern Indonesia. We are moored 100 metres off shore on The Seven Seas, an 80ft Sulawesi styled wooden Trader waiting for Kumba to erupt. For the past ten days a dozen fanatic scuba divers have been sailing through the archipelago east of the island of Flores exploring the minute and the magnificent. The profusion of sea creatures and coral has been described as the Amazon Rainforest of the Ocean; a stretch of sea from Bali to Papua New Guinea that holds the greatest Ocean biodiversity on the planet.
This slice of ocean is the exclusive habitat for thousands of the world's most bizarre creatures and a magnet for marine photographers. Half the divers aboard are globetrotting photo hunters armed with massive cameras tricked out with handle bars and strobe lights with enough BTU's to daze a hammerhead. Three times a day and once most evenings we all drop quietly into the depths in search of the rare, the extraordinary, perhaps the undiscovered. So far, the biggest find has turned out to be very small. Hovering between two rocks 45 feet down on the sloping shore of Kalabahi Bay, within shouting distance of the town Mosque was Rhinopia Eschmeyeri. It is spiky pink, five inches long with the random contours of something you have spilled on the floor. They claim it's a fish. When our laser eyed dive leader spotted Rhino he banged away on his air tank triggering a mad rush of underwater paparazzi.
But for the average divers on board everything is Rhino exciting. You soar with the surging current drifting past massive walls of extraterrestrial coral formations, waving fields of Anemones and schools of thousands of rare little beauties with apt names like the silver stripped convict blennies and juvenile sweet lips. Yes there is the occasional shark and plenty of large eels but somehow in the garden of Indonesian Eden, you bask in the naïve sensation that everyone gets along.
» CLICK HERE FOR TONY'S FULL REPORT AND MORE PHOTOS
The Seven Seas - Pertokoan Simpang Siur (Kuta Poleng) C1 - Jl. Setiabudi
Kuta, Badung 80361 - Bali - Indonesia