Newsletter September 2017
Two Weeks of Shear Bliss, Above and Below
By Sonia Goggel. Photos by Dorothy Lee.
East of Flores and Alor on our home in Indonesia, The Seven Seas, was two weeks of shear bliss above and under water, especially the cold bits and the Rhinopias dive. Lembata diving is beautiful, Tanjung Bacatan was great and the shallow Cardinalfish dive, awesome...
Rusa was fantastic, albeit 18 degrees... but amazing in all the ways possible... but my absolute favourite was Alcatraz... wow for coral growth and fish life. ?? Alor is very beautiful, great fish life and beautiful coral walls. The anemone city at at Pura is stunning... never seen so many anemones in one place... incredible!!
On one dive we had 'schooling' frogfish, as we found at least four different frogfish sitting on sponges ... two even having a romantic tete-a-tete ... On the same dive we also spotted three blue ribbon eels, many morays and stunning slopes covered in light green soft corals and fans of many kinds, finishing up on mesmerising shallows blanketed in soft corals and anthias...
We also dived on many walls with magnificent ledges, framed by dense soft corals, fans and whips, and populated by convict bennies and all reef fish, with clouds of anthias, fusiliers, triggers and unicorns in the blue...
» CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT AND MORE GREAT PHOTOS
"Third time on The Seven Seas and it must just keep getting better. I am ruined for all other live aboard, dive boats forever. Wonderful diving, wonderful food and the best boat crew ever. Thank you so much Karl, Wahyu, Pai, Anton, Totok, Luluk, Fitri, Nico, Marwan, Yosef, Bado, Ardi, Rizal, Irwan, Jeffry and of course Big John (Hercules, Rice Cooker) :) :) Love you all, teman-temanku. See you in Dec 2018 for Raja Ampat Fun."
Chris and Owen (East of Flores, August 2017)
"Our 1st Seven Seas Cruise and WOW, What a trip! The staff are amazing, can't thank them enough, really great diving. Gorgeous boat! A dream cruise!"
Lori and Bill (East of Flores, August 2017)
» Click here for more testimonials.
The Summer of Love
By Lori Pottinger. Photos by David George.
It's the Summer of Love all over again, flowing with psychedelic colors and random couplings under the sea–hot pink disco clams, fire urchins in a host of pulsating metallic colors, mating nudibranchs in green and red and black, spawning sponges, sexy shrimp, preening peacock mantis shrimp (their flared tail can almost pass for bellbottoms when they stand up to check you out). The waters East of Flores are surely a paradise for old hippies to relive their bohemian past. Even the crinoids seem to come in more colors than we've ever seen in one place.
Every dive brings something unusual, even for this seasoned group of divers (some of whom are on the Seven Seas for the fourth time). First, some macro highlights. A tiny yellow pair of dice with black dots entertain us against the backdrop of a dark crevice in the wall—baby yellow boxfish just learning to navigate as “odd shaped swimmers.” A gang of Pegasus sea moths scoot about on a night dive. Schools of tiny convict blennies form baby bait balls. Solo dragonets, their red-checked suits well set off by their bright yellow fin-shoes. Two tiny urchin clingfish do their best imitation of a free-swimming micro-eel. A stunning juvenile ornate ghost pipefish shows off its delicate tailfin and comes out to play so everyone gets a good look.
But if the land of the small was enchanting, East of Flores also abounds with super-sized critters. Three-inch-long nudibranchs aren't uncommon. A huge cuttlefish greets night divers one evening. An especially big slashing mantis shrimp gets hold of a diver's pointer and won't let go for about a minute. Didn't know that pufferfish came in extra-large. Then there's the pair of massive lionfish we spot on a couple of dives at The Ledge. And the biggest frogfish in memory—dinner plate size—gives one photographer a jolt when it swims right after her (I'm done with my close up, Mr. DeMille).
» CLICK HERE FOR LORI'S FULL REPORT AND MORE PHOTOS
Text & photos by Dorothy Lee.
Rhinopias are just one of these incredibly ornate looking creatures that, I believe, are rather rare to come by, and I can remember only ever encountering one rhinopia at any one time, on any one dive.
There was a faint elevation of my heart rate when I heard Karl's dive briefing, that rhinopias had been seen here in the past. Dropping onto a black sandy slope littered with the usual myriad of trash, I was quietly enthusiastic that eagle-eyed Irwan and Jeffrey would spot this rarity for us.
After what seemed like 20-minutes of photographing giant octopuses and moray eels, I swum towards a bunched-up group of divers hovering over what I could only assume to be the rhinopia. A beautiful lavender-pink weedy indeed. The crowd had dispersed and I thought would spend some quality time with the beauty; however, after a few shots, Jeffrey signals me...
» CLICK HERE FOR DOROTHY'S FULL REPORT AND MORE PHOTOS
East of Flores Cardinal Fishes
By Susan L. Williams, Ph.D.
Between 10-22 August 2017, cruising and diving East of Flores with the M/V Seven Seas, I identified 27 species of cardinalfishes (Family Agpogonidae) plus a few others that go unnamed by me. After years of ignoring small reddish fishes at night on Caribbean reefs, where there are about a dozen species, the diversity and habit of cardinalfishes in the Coral Triangle have enthralled me.
» CLICK HERE FOR SUSAN'S FULL REPORT
The Seven Seas - Pertokoan Simpang Siur (Kuta Poleng) C1 - Jl. Setiabudi
Kuta, Badung 80361 - Bali - Indonesia