By Nathalie Delpeyrat. Photos by Florence Sauve.
This was an epic Indonesian liveaboard adventure, cruising from Maumere to Alor in the East and back around Flores to Komodo in the West. A long way away from our home in France, but it was worth every nautical mile of it. The nights sometimes bumpy on some of our open water crossings, but the Seven Seas is a comfortable vessel, well designed, and probably often refurbished. The cabins are nice with the white washed wood from the original hull and the marble in the bathrooms. Fresh cabin towels come out regularly, dry deck towels are provided after the dives.
No rush, very good food, and such a pleasure to have dinner on the upper deck, like on a floating restaurant, under the stars, except when we have to cruise all night long. For breakfast the best French toast this side of Paris and on some evenings when we stayed at anchor, we had “apéritif” on tiny islands at sunset. Every day life is easy onboard, with plenty of time between the dives. Much appreciated, when you have some gear to fix, because diving vacations are often a succession of small dramas, like drowned strobes for example…
In Alor we had great fun visiting the mountain tribe not far from the main town. This is a “museum village” showcasing traditional life, where we were welcomed with song and dance. On the way to the village we came across women with baskets, going to local markets, and selling what their husbands have collected from the sea. Local fishermen use only very small boats and have started using engines only recently. Later on we visited a village where people keep precious antique elephant tusks. Real treasures, sometimes used as gifts for wedding ceremonies.
But what about the dives? Rich and productive they were, with highly diverse marine life all around. Rhinopias, heaps of frogfishes, hairy squat lobsters, sand divers, batfishes, nudibranchs, scorpion leaf fishes, some sharks, cuttlefish, and so much more… Our guides Irwan and Jeffry quickly understood we were keen on critters, (even crazy about them!) and there was a challenge between tender boats 1, 2, and 3 to take the most original pictures. Thanks much also to Karl, the very cool and competent cruise director, thanks to Fritri, Little John and the chef. And of course, thanks to all the members of the crew, helpful and efficient at all times. And thanks to Captain Wayu, who steered us around safely till the end !