By Mark Heighes
Greetings from all the Seven Seas team.
Just thought we should let you know that all is well on board the Seven Seas. She has just completed her annual dry dock and looking better than ever as she makes her way back from Surabaya to our home port of Labuan Bajo in Flores with just 10 crew members on board. The rest of the crew are at home, spending time with their families and waiting patiently for things to get back to normal so we can all be together on board again.
Captain Pai and Wahyu just reported the weather is fine with a 10-15 knot trade wind blowing from the South East. Big John and Bado are busy servicing the kayaks on the top deck. Nico is preparing lunch for the crew. The Seven Seas’ position now is just off the north coast of Sumbawa Island, passing the famous volcano of Tambora. Tambora was responsible for the biggest explosion ever recorded when it erupted in 1815 and is an impressive sight from Sea.
Eta for Seven Seas in Labuan Bajo is 1 am tomorrow morning where we plan to stay and wait ready to go back to work as soon as possible.
Here is how I see it right now. Our first trip that could realistically depart is set for September. We may be able to get an expat group from Bali out before that but it’s a long shot as most people want to sit tight in Bali. As long as Raja Ampat opens up in October as projected by the government, we will be crossing the Banda Sea with or without guests in November to meet our commitments in Raja Ampat late 2020 and into 2021.
The current travel situation in Indonesia is like this: All domestic travellers must be tested before travelling from one port to another. Bali requires a Swab test with a negative result before entry is permitted by air. By sea a negative rapid test result is required. All other ports in Indonesia require rapid test results for both air and sea travel. Rapid test results take 4 hrs.
Komodo National Park is slowly opening up allowing limited numbers of guests first, to test their newly introduced Covid safe protocol. Tourism operators have to prove that they also have adopted Covid safe protocol before being granted port clearance.
Raja Ampat is still closed to tourism and the projected opening date is in October.
Bali has plans to reintroduce international travel for tourists in September.
I wish I could give you more information right now but everything we receive from the Indonesian authorities is changing from week to week, so it is very difficult to give you any solid information, be accurate, and predict exactly when things will be back to normal.
We hope this finds you safe and well. The whole team look forward to the day we can sail the Seven Seas together again.
20 June 2020