Newsletter November 2019
Forgotten Islands - Making them Count
By Alex del Olmo.
This last month, we were diving in the Forgotten Islands. A remote and isolated chain of volcanic islands surrounded by deep crystal waters, going from East Timor to Papua, in one of the deepest oceans on this planet. So deep and clear, the blue seems different there, some call it the Banda Blue.
Due to a short window of navigable weather, between October and November when the winds are auspicious, we can only do three trips per year in this location. And we make them count. In these deep and rarely explored waters we were hoping and expecting to make unusual encounters.
We started our first adventure in Maumere, East Flores, to end up in the faraway Saumlaki. At the beginning of this trip I was a bit surprised. After a couple of days diving around a few islands, I had the impression that there was less fish than when we were last there, a year ago, and less fish action than we used to witness. The big schools of barracudas in Dai, and the massive schooling jacks in some usual areas were missing. Although the trip was good in many senses, and the coral was its spectacular self, I was still wondering where the fish had gone.
Until we arrived in Sermata. During our second dive that day, we have been literally flooded by fish. I had never seen such an amount of fish with this incredible variety as on this mind-blowing and unforgettable experience - and I have been diving and traveling around the world since 23 years, so it says a lot. As soon as we jumped from the dinghy we found ourselves hovering over a school of hammerhead sharks. More than 50 individuals, between adults and sub adults, at a depth of 20-25 meters, not far from the reef. My heart was pounding and filled with happiness. I had been waiting for that moment for a while, and Mark was already making jokes about my "bad luck", humorously saying that I would be under the same spell with the hammerheads as he had been with the whale shark: it took Mark many many years until he could finally see his first one, during our trip to Kaimana last year (in fact they were three), sharing this fate with Lawrence Blair, who, as unbelievable as it sounds, had never seen one either until that day.
So my euphoria came as much from the sight and vicinity of these marvelous creatures, as from feeling relieved from a spell, and it was just an appetizer. The wall was boiling with fish. And not small ones. As we drifted, streams of black snappers came our way., almost immediately followed by a kind of never ending river of schooling giant trevallies. Hundreds of them, so close to us, if I lifted my arm I could touch them with my fingers. They came to check on us, and suddenly we were in the middle of a tornado of a freaking big schooling giant trevallies. I had never witnessed such phenomenon at such a scale, not even in Komodo nor Raja Ampat.
» CLICK HERE FOR ALEX'S FULL ARTICLE AND MORE PHOTOS
» Check them all here
"This amazing trip aboard the Seven Seas fulfilled my heart and soul. Stunning fish life, corals, dolphins, beaches beyond my expectations. And furthermore the incredible attention of the crew, the careful crafting of the trip, all the food. It was a dream come true."
Ilona Selke (Forgotten Islands)
Seven Seas @ the 2019 Bali Triathlon
On Sunday, Nov 10th 2019, Laura and I joined Herbalife Bali International Triathlon (HBIT) 2019. Laura is the daughter of one of the Seven Seas' owners, and I am the one asking you to fill in your booking form! :)
It's an annual Triathlon event in Bali since 2007 with 2 categories offered, Sprint Distance (500m swim, 20K bike and 5K Run) and Olympic Distance (1500 swim, 40KM bike and 10K Run). With 950 participants from all over the world, HBIT is considered as one of "Must Do" Triathlons in Indonesia.
Since I just began Triathlon this March, Sprint Distance is the perfect category for me and I compete solo. As for Laura, she competed as a swimmer in the Olympic Distance Relay together with Bambang (on bike) and Sammy (on run).
» CLICK HERE FOR GUTERI'S FULL REPORT
The Seven Seas - Pertokoan Simpang Siur (Kuta Poleng) C1 - Jl. Setiabudi
Kuta, Badung 80361 - Bali - Indonesia