Christmas day in Raja Ampat
Our final dive safari of the year was to be in Raja Ampat with a very international bunch from Germany, France, Japan, South Africa, Italy, Switzerland and Brazil… with several guests having sailed with the Siren Fleet on previous occasions! A group that enjoyed a party or two over Christmas and the new years! We were hoping for a less eventful trip this time around however thanks to our friends at Lion Air we had a delay in leaving Sorong as they had managed to leave 4 pieces of luggage in Manado. After driving around the many liveaboards in Sorong Harbor it turned out that most of them were heading north first and so couldn’t help in delivering the bags to us down in Misool…No problem as Misool Resort had a supply boat heading south in a couple of days… or did they – that was cancelled too! After trying many different options to get the luggage back to their rightful owners, Thomas and Kristina, who have proven that actually you don’t need to bring many clothes when holidaying on a liveaboard! We had to wait until returning to Sorong to receive them. Surviving on just a couple of T-shirts acquired from the Indo Siren boutique and delivered by Santa Claus, and swimwear purchased in the very special Saga shopping mall in Sorong they survived the 11 day trip with no major problems. So all those of you coming to visit us soon – pack light ;0) and always pack the essentials in your hand luggage ….
Indo Siren diving Raja Ampat
Eventful is an understatement with a very multicultural boat load and only a slight delay from Lion Air, our second to last trip of the year was on its way heading south for some muck diving in Batanta followed by the extravaganza that is Misool. On 10th December we celebrated Philips birthday under the waves, presenting him with a board wishing him a very Happy Birthday from all of the Indo Siren. That evening the celebrations continued after dinner with a surprise appearance from the crew dressed up in their finest nitrox hats, runner beans and chilies banging on pots and pans and singing very harmoniously Happy Birthday in both English and Indonesian, and presented Philip with a birthday cake. As exhausted as he was (at his age – just kidding Philip), after completing 4 dives, he stayed up to party for a while before everyone called it a night.
Liveaboard Diving from Ambon to Sorong
Thirsting for adventure our guests boarded the SY Mandarin Siren, their home for the next 14 nights. They met their adoptive family, the friendly and attentive boat and dive crew, and made themselves comfortable. We started our journey sifting through the mucky slopes of Ambon Bay looking for weird and wonderful critters. Right off the bat we were able to knock an item off of Phyllis and Ken’s wishlist: the elusive and coveted Ambon scorpion fish. We discovered not one but 3 of these petite hairy monsters.
Liveaboard Diving from Komodo to Flores
I guess the crew didn’t know what was going on when nine Vikings from Sweden, two guests from Germany one person each from England, Norway, Spain and Japan boarded the Indo Siren in Bima, Indonesia. A very European culture meets an Indonesian culture on a traditional Indonesian yacht. Everyone’s expectations were succeeded when they got introduced to their cabins and to the whole ship in the first briefing on the luxury dining area and the saloon, which has a very good library and a state of the art entertainment system incl. a huge flat TV, surround system and a linux file server system with tons of music and movies on board. Of course some of the people were watching a lot of videos between the dives – is this European or even international culture – unfortunately I cannot answer this particular question.
Komodo Liveaboard Indo Siren
The manta diving trip of the season!
Trip fourteen and we are almost finished with the season in Komodo, Banda Sea and Raja Ampat soon to come! Once on board some of our guests from the Netherlands and the UK tell me how the Indo Siren -our newest liveaboard in Indonesia- is exceeding their expectations… “The boat looks great!” and all this before they have even seen the cabins! With briefings done and a chance to settle in, equipment was prepared, so let’s go dive! The visibility was not bad at the Unusual Suspects, our five star muck dive we were looking for all the tiny creatures and were not disappointed with Thorny seahorses, sea moths and so many other critters that were waiting for us. The morning after we made three dives at Sangeang Island. Techno Reef, The Estuary & Hot Rocks! Our divers saw ornate ghost pipe fish, saw blade shrimps, pink squat lobsters and the colorful bushes of black coral – great for camera practice and for videographer Jan. Gun and Agus, our chefs, prepared some tasty snacks to be strong enough to do our formal night dive on Gili Banta, The Circus. Again during the dive the hunting lion fishes appeared with sea snakes and stargazers completing a perfect dive. Diane and Ane provide nice hot towels again – so wonderful!
Liveaboard Diving in Komodo : Mantas, Macro and Mermaids
Here we are at Bima Bay the day before Ramadan finished, our sixteen divers from United Kingdom, Germany, United States and Netherlands already are on board the S/Y Indo Siren. After the welcome cocktail and the paperwork I explained to them how our Komodo five stars liveaboard works and introduced them their new family for the next eleven days: our fabulous crew. Hurry hurry!, let’s have a light meal, set gear and get ready for our first dive: THE UNUSUAL SUSPECTS! After the dive everybody comments about what they have seen: Yes! Now I know why you call the dive site this name! Those of our guests that had not experienced “muck diving” before told us that they never seen so many different and unusual species as this dive site has to offer. Second day of the trip, Captain Daeng drove our nice Pinisi to Sangeang Island, close to 2000 meter high, this volcanic island is a good start for the day . Techno Reef and The Estuary both have black sandy bottoms and lots of colorful corals, sponges, school of fishes & critters then add the bubbles coming out on Hot Rocks, with sea fans and brightly coloured anemones and you’ve got 3 fantastic dive sites. Also a greedy octopus tried to seal the weight from one of the divers’ SBM, hahaha! The night dive in Gili Banta, The Circus, made a good end for our first complete diving day.
Diving Komodo – August 2011
Everything runs perfect this trip! The flight arrives in time, no luggage is missing and here we are! Our new guests, fourteen Chinese and two Americans are already on the S/Y Indo Siren. After the welcome cocktail, fresh fruit and cakes we do a short briefing about how to enjoy any part of the boat. Also I introduce our fantastic crew, our family. Time for set up the gear, a light meal and let’s go diving! Our first dive, The Unusual Suspects, is today quite clear. The visibility, around 10 meters/ 30ft, allow us to explore the reef in depth. After one hour dive, everybody agree with how nice muck diving is but it’s time to return to the Indo Siren for a warm towel and a relaxing evening.
Liveaboard Diving in Komodo, Indonesia – macro & mantas
This time our trip starts two days later according with the schedule because flight cancelations but thankfully we we didn’t skip any of the best dive sites. In the end, our sixteen costumers from Austria, Denmark and Germany were on board! Thank you Wirodive! With just a short time to introduce the crew, get to know the Indo Siren & for a light meal and then it was time to go diving! Our first dive in The Unusual Suspects was especially murky and so full of live as we expect! Lots of critters to start off the trip. The day after, the black sands of Sangeang Island were waiting for us. Three dives in Techno Reef, The Estuary and Hot Rocks where Dince and I found a lot of small life. We saw many soft corals, gorgonians, rays, schools of colorful reef fishes, bent stick pipe fishes, many kinds of shrimps: saw blade, periclemens, boxing banded, Durban dancers, cleaners… scorpion fish, morays, leaf fishes, big schools of banner fish and surgeons… The contrast of the colorful life with the volcanic sand is spectacular. Our therapist Diane and Ane had hard work with many costumers taking a relaxing massage this afternoon. On the night dive on The Circus we found three snake eels “king size”, a ball of cat fishes and a long list of other creatures. Yadi, the waiter was waiting for us with a nice hot chocolate and teas, and Diane and Ane provided hot towels after the dive – what a welcome back on board!
Diving Komodo, Mantas, Grey reef sharks, Komodo Dragon and more…
After our fourteen American and Australian guests enjoyed the ‘welcome cocktail’ and took a first look around the yacht, we proceeded to the general briefing and introduction of our fantastic Indonesian crew. Keen to get into the water, everybody chose to skip lunch and go directly for the first dive of the trip at the Unusual Suspects. This awesome muck dive has some of the best critters around Indonesia: seahorses, ornate pipefish, nudibranchs, sea mouth, inachus crabs, anemone and coral shrimps, mysids and crabs on soft coral, lots of razor fishes Hot chocolate and towels were waiting with Dianne and Anne our hostess on board, when we made our return.
Diving Komodo, July 2011
The start of another trip and all the customers arrived on time, thanks Merpati. After settling into their cabins and a spot of lunch it was time to set up their equipment and make our first dive at The Unusual Suspects in Bima bay. This was a very enjoyable muck dive with ornate ghost pipe fish, frog fish, octopus, crocodile fish and nudbrancgs everywhere. We all watched the sun slowly drop into the sea from our very spacious sun deck and then it was time for dinner. With full stomachs and heavy eyes all the guests opted for an early night. We lifted the anchor early in the morning and arrived at Sangeang Island ready for our first dive on Techno Reef. This was a fantastic start to the day with black corals hiding ghost pipe fish and sawblade shrimp as well as finding stonefish, spearing mantis and many different rays sleeping in the black sand that this island is so well known for. We spent the rest of the day diving along the coast line of this still active volcano enjoying the brightly colored soft corals and bubbles coming out of the ocean floor. For our night dive we moved to the island of Gilli Banta and made a visit to The Circus where we were joined by lionfish using our torches to hunt by, sepia, many different varieties of moray eels and a giant black frog fish trying to hide behind a very small piece of coral. After all the divers were back on the boat we cruised on to Batu Moncho where we spent the night ready for our first dive in the morning at coral garden.