Day 1: Arrival and boarding Indo Aggressor
Guests are welcomed at Maumere Airport for the short trip down to the quaint local harbor to meet with the Indo Aggressor. The airport is only a few minutes drive from the harbour and there is also a small supermarket on the way if you need to stock up on any supplies before boarding the yacht.
Once everyone is safely onboard, there is a check out dive in the expansive Maumere Bay.
Day 2: Sizzling Critters & Giant Bats
Lewoleba & Ipet Island
The town of Lewoleba is located on the island of Lembata and close by a few miles outside of the town is a remarkable collection of great dive sites that feature the finest critter experiences in the area. Just a little further north is the island of Ipet, this too features some nice dives, scenic sand bars and the sight of thousands of giant fruitbats hanging in the mangroves of the island.
Day 3: Dramatic Walls and Thundering Fireworks
Teluk Waihinga & Komba Volcano
We awake after spending the night in the calm north Lembata’s Bays for an action packed day. The morning will be spent exploring the exciting and diverse dive sites of Lewotolo and Waihinga. One of them, deep inside the bay is a dome like sea mount nearly breaks the surface and this is a great place to observe schooling surgeonfish and snappers as well as pygmy seahorses and pink hairy squat lobsters, it even has its own tiny wooden shipwreck. After the second dive the yacht travels 25 nautical miles due north to visit one of the most remarkable places in the whole of the Indonesian archipelago, Komba island volcano. When approaching the 600 metre high sulphurous mountain your heart jumps into your mouth for every 10 to 15 minutes this beast belches clouds of volcanic dust, ash and fiery rock high into the sky with a resounding bang.
The afternoon will be spent diving here over the black sand reef and wall of the Komba Korner dive site, a little reminiscent of the Sangeang volcano sites close to the Komodo National Park. This is just a foretaste of the island before the evening’s firework display. As darkness falls we move the Indo Aggressor around to face Komba’s eastern shores, here the mountain side has been completely blasted away forming a smooth slope of volcanic debris at the top of which is the “blowhole”. Eruptions are generally preceded by a deafening boom before the dust and ash explode out from the mountain top spraying superheated rocks down the sides before fizzing into the sea below. This is about as close as you can get, while having dinner, to an erupting volcano anywhere in the world, a truly awe-inspiring experience.
Day 4: Mythical Alor
The Alor Strait
After the first two days of underwater and topside excitement the yacht arrives at the top end of the strait which separates the islands of Pantar and Alor. This waterway, like the Linta Strait in Komodo, is a channel that endures the full force of the water movement between two much larger bodies of water, the Banda and Savu seas. Again, like Komodo, these huge water movements scatter nutrients over the reefs and walls of this remarkable area. There are several islands in the waterway creating obstacles to the heavy currents and this further disrupts the currents flow making for even more interesting marine environments. We start todays diving at one of these, the island of Buaya, on the site called Cave Point. The flat shallow reefs extends from the island for a short distance before plunging down into the channel forming cracks, ledges and swim throughs for us to explore.
Next the yacht travels down to Ternate to dive Babylon, yet another of Alor’s premier sites before moving into the Kalabahi Sound, a deep water inlet that bites into the west side of the island and our anchorage for the night. The Kalabahi Sound is rapidly gaining credence as one of Indonesia’s finest critter diving locations with a many great sites up and down this highly populated body of water.
Day 5: A Submarine Wonderland
After an overnight relocation the yacht starts the next phase of the cruise at the northwest section of the island of Wetar, the last major landmass of the Nusa Tenggara archipelago. The Wetar Strait runs between Alor and Wetar and is extremely deep and is rumored to be of great strategic importance as nuclear powered submarines can cross between the Pacific and Indian oceans unnoticed through this marine thoroughfare.
This part of the island is littered with some fine white sand beaches and bays with a stunning green forest backdrop and fringing coral reefs. There is plenty to do and see along this rugged coastline that sees very few tourists. One particular place of interest is the village of Napar on the north side of the headland. It is rumoured that a local chap is known as the “crocodile whisperer” and has the ability to communicate with these fearsome beasts that inhabit the mangrove creeks. There are a variety of diving opportunities on this part of the island. The offshore islet of Reong features impressive wall dives and further down the coast there is the chance to come across majestic manta and mobular rays feeding and cleaning in the current. Reong Wall is located on the north side of the small island and the site features an impressive and pretty coral wall dive with the chance of spotting sharks, barracuda and schools of large pelagic fish.
Day 6: Hard Coral Ridges
As the yacht continues east, the islands get smaller as we approach the Romang group that includes Njata, Mitan, Tellang and Maopora as well as the main island of Romang. Some 23 nautical miles from west to east the group features some fantastic white sand beaches, particularly on Romang’s north-western shore and an inlet on the north side that houses a small village could be nice for water-sport excursions.
At Romang and Nyata there are gentle terraced slopes which slip down into the deep blue of the Banda Sea. A big feature of diving on this western side of the island are the collections of large barrel sponges and huge vividly coloured gorgonian sea fans. Fans of bigger animals can see Napoleon wrasses, reef sharks, rays, tunas and other pelagic fish patrolling the reefs and walls.
Day 7: Along The Circle of Fire
Traveling further east to the volcanic island of Damar, guests will explore the southwest side. Damar is some 17 kilometres from north to south and 19 kilometres from west to east. There are settlements dotted all around the eastern half of the island, the largest of which is the village of Kenili located inside and inlet on the eastern shore. The best beach is close by the known anchorage and features a long (900 metre) strip of dazzling white sand bordered by lush green forest and fringed by shallow coral reef, a great place for a swim or snorkel. The major dive sites are not actually on Damar Island itself but rather on and around the smaller islands of Nusa Leur and Terbang Utara (North) and Selatan (South). These sites feature an explosion of different colours and forms and seem to be in constant motion with the schooling fish and busy reef action with animals that are unused to seeing scuba divers.
Day 8: Reefs Of Discovery
The Leti Islands
The Leti Islands are at the start of the southern arc of islands that border the Banda Sea and are comprised of three separate landmasses; Tombra, Moa and Lakor. Lying to the east of the world’s newest country, East Timor, all three islands are ripe for exploration diving. Undived coral reefs, and walls surround all three of these sparsely populated islands. They all feature some fabulous beaches and the channels between the islands could produce some thrilling current fuelled underwater adventures.
Day 9: Picture Perfect Atolls
The Sermata Reef Complex
Nothing conjures up the image of a perfect south sea island seascape better than a coral atoll, and the Sermata group can certainly do that. The Sermata group begins only 12 nautical miles to the east of the Leti Islands at the Amortaun reef/atoll complex. There are only three or four surface breaking islands at Amortaun, the rest of the area is taken over by coral reef that extends to deep walls and interesting reef points that are calling for the attention of inquisitive undersea explorers. The next point along the line is the huge reef that extends westward from the island of Sermata itself. Again this will provide plenty of scope for exploration, particularly on the sites in the channel that separates the reef system from Sermata island.
Day 10: More Islands To Explore
The Babar island group, around 40 nautical miles to the northeast of Sermata, comprises the main island of Babar as well as it’s five satellite islands; Dai on the north side, Dawera and Dawalor to the east, Mesela south and on the west coast of Barbar and much closer than the rest is Wetan.
While the whole island group is open to exploration the known dive sites are around the small island of Dai in the north. There are several known sites on the south side of the island in the channels that divide Babar from Wetan and Dawera and Dawalor.
Day 11: The Tanimbar Islands
Yamdena is the largest of The Tanimbar Islands and the last day of diving. Guests will explore the islands on the northwest side on a known site or an exploratory site. After the last dive, the yacht travels to the port town of Saumlaki.
Day 12: Disembarkation
After 11 days of diving and immersing in the sights of The Forgotten Islands, it is time to head home.
Please note: This itinerary is only an example and may at times vary and visit different areas than the above. All is dependant on weather, sea conditions and marine life expectations.