We have just finished our cruise thru the Forgotten Islands, which carried their name beautifully: not another boat on the horizon, no smoke rising from distant villages, no lights, and all of this for 8 days of the cruise.
We saw magnificent landscapes, amazing dense vegetation and volcanic rocks and islands rising from the sea.
Underwater we experienced an unequalled density and diversity of life, even for Indonesia, which really is saying something. For fish life we encountered large schools of fish such as barracuda, batfish, hump head parrot fish, eagle rays and a few hammerheads and potato cod of impressive sizes. All this without forgetting the clouds of fusiliers, blue surgeon fish, anthias and glass fish.
In the sky surrounding Gunung Api we encountered flocks of frigates and boobies circling above. So many were there it was almost possible, for a moment, to forget the profuse marine life below us, notably sea snakes concentrated in the hundreds.
On the final days we arrived in the Alor region for some magical macro diving, and amongst others, in the search of rare rhinopias and nudibranchs. The ocean is full of surprises and we were graced by 4 whales passing between the islands. We also saw a marlin just off the bow of the ship, which some divers were then fortunate enough to see chasing underwater on the following dive.
Our passengers were amazed by this itinerary out of the ordinary, but also very satisfied by the kindness of the crew, the comfort of WAOW, and the service that the ship has become renowned for.
Some of customers left some really nice comments, and in their enthusiasm didn't leave anyone out.
Sitting on the foredeck of WAOW, I reflect on this extraordinary voyage currently taking us to the Komba volcano, while listening to Rama play guitar.
This voyage has provided me more than 100 different experiences in only 10 days: from miniscule creatures to hammerhead sharks, I have seen more marine species in 10 days than I have seen in more than 10 years of diving around the world. These waters are so rich in life, and the visited reefs so preserved, that the cameraman Steffan didn't not know which way to point his camera.
Thanks also to Michel Deville, who achieved his dream that is today the WAOW. He admitted that it was his most ridiculous idea, yet also one of his best ones. He followed his instincts and trusted the Indonesian artisans to obtain his masterpiece of both technique and beauty.
All of this wouldn't be possible however without the extraordinary team at WAOW. Gerard for untiring enthusiasm and Reto for his love and knowledge of Indonesia, which brings so much to the cruise.
Moving on to the dive guides, we have Stonner with his hawk eyes and the ability to find any creature, Refly with his love of life, Rama with his collection of wetsuits and Hawe for his eternal sense of humour. Thanks to all of you for being fantastic.
Rudy for his permanent smile. The girls, Aulia, Angel and Fitri who saved my cruise thanks to their soothing massages. Wahyu for making sure we were never thirsty. To the chefs Ardi, Wisnu and Rayanna, thanks for the beautiful food.
To the rest of the team, Alirman, Harri, Hendra, Udin, Zakir, Aji, Agustian, Rudsam, Adi and of course Captain Alan. Thanks to all of you. You were really professional and cared for the smallest of details.
I will never forget this voyage because it was so unique in many aspects. Viva WAOW and Viva Indonesia."
Yazan N. - Holland