By Alex del Olmo.
I was very excited to start my first trip as a Cruise Director on the Seven Seas. I was already on board two times as a guest, then for two months supported Karl, and then cruised 15 days with Mark, learning from them all the time. Of course this is a job with a long learning curve. Learning a new language, the boat management, hundreds of dive sites, villages, hikes, boat and land tours, around Komodo, Banda Sea, Forgotten Islands, Raja Ampat. Filling those big empty shoes that Karl left on board is something that will take time and dedication. But there is something else we can only predict, but will never be able to control, and that is the weather.
All the weather reports were fine before departure and during our most recent trip, from the Forgotten Islands, through the Banda Sea, and up to Raja Ampat. But of course we can and will always expect the unexpected when it comes to the weather. All was great while cruising through the Forgotten Islands, and up to the Island of Manuk, the fabled island of the sea snakes. But after our second dive in Manuk (the snake island) the wind started to pick up a little and we still had an open water crossing ahead of us to the Banda Islands. So we decided to leave after our second dive, trying to outrun the weather.
But it wasn’t enough. The wind picked up some more and at one point we had a storm with at least 20 knots of wind during our crossing, while the weather forecast had only shown 15! Even though conditions were perfectly safe, it was a situation that made our crossing uncomfortable, especially for the guests who are not used to this. But as we say in Spain: “Despues de la tempestad viene la calma”, or: “After the storm comes the calm”. So I tried my best to make the guests feel safe, and as comfortable as possible, given the conditions during our the crossing, knowing we would soon be at anchor in a sheltered bay in the Banda Islands. And fortunately the calm indeed returned, with a beautiful Blue Sky in Koon and from there onwards nice weather in Raja Ampat as well.
And so had my first adventure as a Cruise Director on the Seven Seas! Many more to come, and hopefully with more of that blue sky and calm weather all the way!