Newsletter April 2018
By Mark Heighes. Photos by Tommy Schultz.
Many of our trips to date have been operated mainly as dive trips with snorkeling on the side. The diving has often taken priority, and snorkelers were taken to the most suitable spots in the vicinity of our preferred dive sites. This meant that on our combination trips snorkelers did not always get access to the very best snorkeling sites that our destinations have to offer.
Recently we have been getting quite a few guests who just want to snorkel. Last trip we had one tender totally dedicated to a family of very keen snorkelers. We had the freedom to explore and found some new fantastic locations. I also found it quite exciting to go looking for new areas specifically for snorkelling.
So I would like to turn it around for the snorkelers and offer a few trips per year, in different parts of Indonesia, specifically geared to focus on snorkeling, perhaps with diving on the side. Perhaps also offering an introduction to diving onboard for snorkelers who would like to progress to diving should there be interest to do so.
Here are our scheduled trips with focus on snorkeling so far:
- 25/09 - 06/10/2019 11 nights Komodo National Park
- 08/10 - 17/10/2019 9 nights Komodo National Park
- 20/11 - 05/12/2020 15 nights Forgotten Islands
» PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THESE TRIPS
Raja Ampat - A 'Sea Life Experience' on the Seven Seas
By Joanna Simpson.
Our stay on the Seven Seas Liveaboard was not a diving trip, nor was it a pleasure cruise: it was a 'sea life experience'. We learned to experience living at sea, and we were privileged to study and enjoy the lives of all the creatures that call the sea their natural home.
Our group of 10 people, loosely connected through mutual acquaintance, ranged in age from 34 to 71 years, and, for all of us, the visit to the archipelago islands and seas of Raja Ampat was to be our first, and possibly only, opportunity to taste the rich and unique bio-diversity of this area of growing tourism interest.
The Seven Seas herself is, quite simply, a beautiful ship. She boasts some of the most elegant and captivating lines of all the comparable ships we saw sailing to and from Sorong, our Papua departure point. Her living areas, cabins and decks are all spacious and well-considered, providing every personal comfort required of holiday accommodation, and the available equipment allows guests to indulge in a diverse range of water-based activities (in addition to diving). She is basically a compact, self-contained floating lodge – a boutique lodge of classic design and unostentatious breeding. And the crew (outnumbering us by 7 people!) are the backbone of this sea world, knowledgeable, helpful, always smiling and always available.
Our itinerary was set, but flexible. And here I must pay tribute to the professional 3-way communication between Karl, Captain Wahyu, and the overseas owner of the Seven Seas. Their constant updating and monitoring of the weather conditions, and our consequent mid-trip redirection further south than originally envisaged, ensured us a fine and seamless sailing experience. We only had one day of rain during the 12-day period of forecasted storms and heavy swells – we were prepared for the worst and blessed with the best.
Our final route took us from Sorong to the northern islands of Raja Ampat, where we zigzagged around the southern bays and points of Waigeo Island, and then south for a second week of discovery around Misool Island. We covered the long hauls at night and spent every day motoring among and exploring ever more extraordinary and remote locations.
The main focus of our 12-day trip was snorkelling (at least one, and often two, sessions per day). And the two main attractions of these daily adventures, vying constantly for top billing, were the corals and the fish.
» PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR JOANNA'S FULL TRIP REPORT
"My Indonesian Family on the magnificent Seven Seas did not fail to spoil us yet again above and under water during our extraordinary trip to Raja Ampat with my dear South Africans friends, the Barkers and Co. :)
Every dive was magical in its own special way, as there simply cannot be a bad dive in Raja Ampat. There were a few very memorable ones though... we had a few wild feeding frenzies of silversides with dense clouds of them being chased over the reef by packs of jacks, and even a hammerhead swimming by leisurely and close up, absolutely incredible. And then there was a large bottlenose dolphin chasing barracudas close to us, almost too good to be true!!!
The half moon brought mild currents, which were especially rewarding on one dive, where a dense carpet of fusiliers, mainly yellowtails, covered the reef and did not mind our presence among them, just covering us, magically. Very large schools of big eye jacks, barracuda and batfish were also plentiful, and we had what must have been the absolutely BEST manta dive anybody had EVER had, with a constant flow of VERY close up mantas at a cleaning station for the WHOLE dive, with mantas coming in and lying on other mantas to push them away from the cleaning station in order to have a go themselves, simply as good as it gets!!!
Thank you so very much Seven Seas!!! Already looking forward to our next trip!!!"
Sinoa Goggel (Raja Ampat, March 2018)
» Click here for more testimonials.
Our love of trips on The Seven Seas
By Sandy Kelly. Video by Alex del Olmo.
Our love of trips on The Seven Seas started when we were invited to join the Barkers, Skinners et al in Komodo in 2012. We persuaded John & Theresia to join us and they did a dive course. It was an easy decision of course for us when a trip to Raja Ampat was suggested for Jan 2016. So good it was that a “kyk-weer” (Afrikaans for “action replay”) was called for 2018.
All of us were so looking forward to the trip for months before. Disaster struck my – lifelong best friend and dear friend that those on our Seven Seas trips, guests and crew alike got to know and love, John Stark, suddenly passed away. The biggest loss was for Theresia and the girls who lost their husband and father. He was struck down by a heart attack at his favourite Pirates Club after the Tuesday running time trial, just one day before John and Theresa were due to leave. We, Janet and I immediately cancelled our trip as there was no way we could miss the funeral and there was no way we would have been able to have enjoyed the trip.
After having spent the days after John had passed away with Theresia and the girls, Lexi, Cath & Vicky and with their suggestion that, that was what John would have wished, we decided that, if possible, we would join the trip after the funeral.
We could also feel that there must have been a huge hole amongst the guests on the Seven Seas which maybe, partly, we may be able to fill & lift their spirits.
» CLICK HERE FOR SANDY'S FULL REPORT
Raja Ampat Poem
By Rob Barker.
We all arrived in Sorong
To dive with the Seven Seas
On the beautiful reefs of RA
Do we come again? Yes please.
It is a long, long way to come
With many long flights in jets
And the older we are all getting
The further and further it gets.
No stories, rhymes or verses
About who was good or bad
That is because this trip
Started off so very, terribly sad.
John was a buddy to us all
On every dive to the end
This is a very special memory
We will always have of our friend.
We drank many a toast to John
With Bintang, gin and waters
Our thoughts were of John and Theresia
And there very special daughters.
All out dives were fantastic
With corals, critters and fish
In warm and friendly waters
Surely that would be John's wish.
Thanks to Karl and the crew
For a trip to remember forever
We all feel very very blessed
To be able to do it together.
Thanks for the use of Nitrox
And all the delicious cakes
Not so good for the waistline
But great for the pains and aches.
We have booked another trip
And everyone's all smiles
Because, this time we are going
To Indonesia's forgotten Isles.
It is two and a half years away
That is down the drag a bit
Lets hope that all of us will be
Strong and fit enough to make it.
The Seven Seas - Pertokoan Simpang Siur (Kuta Poleng) C1 - Jl. Setiabudi
Kuta, Badung 80361 - Bali - Indonesia