Good news … North Atlantic right whale numbers up to 500 individuals! How? Why? Closing shipping lanes… More here: http://ow.ly/ycJbo
“I’m going to use my authority to protect some of our nation’s most precious marine landscapes” – Obama proposes vast expansion of Pacific Ocean sanctuaries for marine life … the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument would be expanded from almost 87,000 square miles to nearly 782,000 square miles!
Did you know: “No other country governs more of the sea than the United States, which controls more than 13 percent of the ocean area overseen by nations. And only China consumes more seafood each year”!
Story from The Washington Post): http://ow.ly/y9VT5
“Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques Cousteau, swam down to …, Aquarius, in the Florida Keys. He’ll live there for 31 days, which is a day longer than the time his grandfather’s team spent living in his undersea habitat”
Read full story here:
Volcano fans: do you want to know more about the active volcano we visit on our Alor cruises?
If so, this blog site has interesting information and even has our cruise director’s photo from a recent trip!
It’s “Foto Fun Friday” so here’s one of the classic cartoons from Shaaark (by Phil Watson)!
Make some time to flick over some of the others at Shaaark … great to get some light-relief given how worried all us divers are about shark populations!
Look out for more ‘weekday feature posts’ next week (Marco Monday, Topside Tuesday, Wide-Angle Wednesday and so on)!
It’s “Wide-Angle Wednesday” so enjoy this cute green turtle from Siaba Kecil in central KNP (Komodo)!
MORE ON KOMODO:
Komodo’s underwater world is synonymous with diversity.
This region features an extremely rich biodiversity born of a land of contrasts: from warm waters and tropical species, to cooler currents with temperate ocean life. Offering such a diverse range of dive sites and special features, it’s no surprise the Komodo National Park was awarded ‘New 7 Wonder of Nature’ status in 2011.
For divers, Komodo is a great chance to enjoy all your favourite types of diving styles. Pack your log-book with everything from exhilarating drift dives, to treasure-hunting muck dives…. shallow reefs to deep water sea mounts …. coral gardens and fantastic wall dives to pinnacles and open ocean dives. Meet creatures great and small, from manta and mola to pygmies and nudis. All this, while sailing through a stunning island landscape. Read more HERE!
Dive the best of KNP, along with the hidden gems of Alor, on our 14 Sep 2014 cruise – now down to only 2 single spaces (or join an agent’s charter on 22 July – 2 cabins open), or plan ahead to a summer 2015 Komodo itinerary (now only agents’ charters open; 15 July, 8 Aug, 21 Aug, 14 Sep).
NB: Our availability for 2014-2015 is quite crazy right now, so don’t delay and miss out … contact us ASAP to check what space we have open to join us! In summary, our direct-booking space is down to only 2 single spaces on 14 September 2014 (one share with male, one with female) or 1 single space on 24 December 2015 (share with female guest)! Next CABIN open to book direct is 8 January 2016! Or try 2014 agent charters (3 cabins 22 July, 1 cabin 30 Sep, 2 cabins 29 Oct) or across 7 charter dates next year.
* did you see yesterday’s “Topside Tuesday”? Keep following our weekday features for tomorrow’s “[Ocean]-Thought for Thursday” and “Foto Fun Friday” then next week “Macro Monday” too!
WEEKDAY FEATURE*: It’s “Topside Tuesday” … so in case you ever feel lost between dives, here’s our suggestion – relax in our beautiful restaurant and let our 2 chefs serve up some delicious local fare!
From the setting to the decor and choice of dishes, we aim to offer you a dining experience unlike any other liveaboard experience.
Our food is plentiful, fresh, and centered on local and flown-in ingredients. Our internationally trained chefs add their own touch of magic, drawing inspiration from local and international cuisine. In addition to mouth-watering buffet spreads, we also offer a-la-carte choices with daily menu changes.
Here’s a quick sample of what recent guests had to say about the food on the Arenui (read more HERE):
“Food outstanding. Best service than most 5* restaurants in USA.” 17 Feb 2014: Craig, USA
“Rarely does a trip live up to expectations set by the website destination. The Arenui website is a little hard to believe because it makes claims about the diving service and accommodation that seem impossible to achieve.Yet everything presented on the website is in fact true. I can’t imagine another dive boat that can match the Arenui. Food; variety offered meant that we never had to have the same meal twice. Everything produced by the kitchen was to high standard.” 7 Feb 2014: John, USA
“We have had a spectacular adventure with all of you on the Arenui – you have set the bar for liveboards right out of the gate: very high quality. The captain and the crew kept us on course while the chefs made us gain weight. The meals were so delicious and the presentation was ‘wow’ each and every night. Our incredible stewards Anto and Bayu remembered us from the beginning, didn’t mix up orders and made us fell like part of a family.” 16 May 2013: Kathy and Sheldon, USA
“Exceptional experience – truly a trip of a lifetime! The food; Putu and his team are geniuses! The best menu selection we have had in many years!” 26 April 2013: Ryan, USA and Eliza, Brazil
“I cannot return soon enough! The perfect blend of flexible, yet very well run and organised operation. You could tell that each and every person loved their jobs and were like a family. What a wonderful selection of people that truly made a team. The food; like dining in a five star restaurant each night!” 26 April 2013: Barbara, USA
“The food; chefs did a fabulous job: especially dealing with special requests!!” 31 March 2013: Stacy, USA
* did you see yesterday’s post for “Macro Monday”? Keep following our weekday features for tomorrow’s “Wide-Angle Wednesday” post, then later it’s “[Ocean]-Thought for Thursday” and “Foto Fun Friday”!
Anyone looking for a ‘new baby’ gift? Look no further …
Check them out HERE!
– Actually it’s a crochet PATTERN for Shark Slipper Socks (Infant and Adult sizes) rather than the ready-made socks … but we hope some of you can have a go! Let us know how you get on?
It’s “Macro Monday” and if there was ever a need for a macro lens it’s on a nudibranch close-up! Say hello to this Trapania – from Torpedo Alley, Komodo! (This species has been nicknamed ‘Takako’s Trapania‘ for famous photographer Takako Uno.)
This species of nudi is actually part of the dorid nudibranch group and you can see another example of a trapanoa as taken by Takako Uno HERE
Join us for a special NUDIBRANCH cruise in Komodo, departing 27 May 2016, with nudi expert Vanessa Knutson onboard to offer insights and photo tips! Learn more about the strange life of nudibranchs but also enjoy the usual wide variety of diving as we visit all the best dive sites in KNP!
This is a great itinerary for all kinds of muck diving, as the dive sites here are packed full of unbelievable critters such as ornate ghost pipefish, pygmy seahorses, rare clown frogfish, blue-ringed octopus, pipefish, scorpion leaf fish, coleman shrimp, boxer crabs, zebra crabs and of course the weird and wonderful nudibranchs (if lucky, the ridiculously cute Pikachu nudi)!
NB: Vanessa has been diving for 10 years for recreation and research and enjoys underwater photography. She’s also likely to be the only person baking NUDI COOKIES (as seen in the photo on our itinerary webpage below)!
Special KOMODO + NUDIBRANCHS Cruise details here: http://bit.ly/1lNqNvS
* Keep following our weekday features for tomorrow’s “Topside Tuesday”, then our “Wide-Angle Wednesday” post, then “[Ocean]-Thought for Thursday” and finally “Foto Fun Friday”!
Our new cruise started earlier this week. We set out from Sorong harbour on Wednesday (5th March) and will be diving the best of Raja Ampat (in West Papua, formerly Irian Jaya) on this 12-night charter cruise, ending back in Sorong on 17th March.
There have been a flurry of excited messages from the cruise directors on the boat, so here’s what they had to say over last 2 days:
Onboard Cruise News (yesterday – Thursday 6th): “7 pontohi seahorses at Mioskon, Dampier Strait – central Raja Ampat!”
Onboard Cruise News (this morning – Friday 7th): “Tons of fish in healthy new moon current and as a cherry on the cake GIANT MANTA!!!! (Sardine Reef, in Dampier Strait near Waigeo Island, Raja Ampat) – Love Raja, Love Falling Tide!”
Onboard Cruise News (update – Friday 7th): “Just dived with free swimming wobbegong sharks + giant mantas! Thanks ‘Blue Magic’ (central RajaAmpat)!”
Did You Know: Raja Ampat translates directly to “four kings” so it was named for the 4 main islands in the area – Batanta, Misool, Salawati and Waigeo. It’s also an area truly ‘fit for a king’ as it’s the world’s epicentre of marine biodiversity!
Specifically in Raja Ampat, Gerald Allen (world-famous ichthyologist) counted the incredible number of 376 different species of fish during a single dive (at Kofiau Island). If that wasn’t enough, 64% (505) of the entire world’s known coral species have been found in the waters at Raja Ampat and 75% of the world’s total species of scleractinian (hard) corals cover Raja Ampat sea beds! As a result, scientists believe this destination is the world’s no. 1 spot in terms of biodiversity.
In terms of geographical location, Raja is located on the northwestern tip of an area known as Bird’s Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea (so the east side of the land mass is Papua New Guinea) in the heart of the Coral Triangle … and it’s actually an archipelago comprising the main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta and Wiageo plus an additional 1,500 smaller islands and cays.
Read more about the incredible diving to be found in RAJA AMPAT: http://thearenui.com/diveRajaAmpat.html
Find out more about this 12-night Raja Ampat itinerary here: http://thearenui.com/Raja-Ampat-13D12N.html