Two-week expedition liveaboard Maumere to Ambon
2nd report – Alor to Banda
The Jaya is restocked and we’re ready to depart Alor, but first, a night dive near the entrance to Kalabahi bay. Gearing up as the sun sets behind the green hills, we’re excited to hunt for some cool critters. As we descend to the sloping reef below, our torches illuminate the night time activity. Both large and dwarf cuttlefish hunting for dinner, decorator crabs of all sizes going for a stroll, bobtail squid trying to hide in the sand, the wonders never stop. Fresh and clean, we eat dinner as the lights of Alor recede in to the night, heading out on the second leg of our journey to Banda.
Today is travel day. We’re heading towards the island of Wetar, crossing many nautical miles. Those of us up early are treated to an awe-inspiring sunrise. As the giant orb of orange crests the horizon it reveals the open ocean. Not a speck of land or other ship is to be seen, just the endless sight of water. Wetar slowly appears in the distance and we are eager to gear up and jump in. We go slow along the sloping reef looking in every nook and cranny for different marine life. Morays pop out to surprise us, nudis roam around and in the blue large tuna swim past. Afterwards we continue moving east towards the Banda Sea but the action doesn’t stop. Whales are spotted coming up for air and pods of dolphins race past the Jaya. On board we test people’s animal knowledge with a quiz and prizes for the winners.
We wake up next to the island of Romang and quickly jump in for our first dive. As the sun hits the site the light filters through the sea fans littered along the wall. In the shallows schools of striped catfish roll along the sand.
Our next two dives are equally stunning as heaps of fusiliers run along the reef in rivers, large marble rays swim past and octopus are spotted tending to their homes.
The island chain of Damar is our next stop along the way. Though we are crossing open seas we marvel at the conditions. Expecting a bit of a rough ride, we are instead treated to a glass like surface stretching into the horizon. Below the surface is equally wondrous. Crystal clear visibility extends our view along the walls as hundreds of Indian triggerfish surround us giving the true feeling of being in an aquarium.
To be continued…