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WAOW Snakes and Spices 12th Oct thru 24th 2014

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WAOW Snakes and Spices 12th Oct thru 24th 2014

Post Number:#1  Postby decimal86 » Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:17 am

12th thru 24th Oct 2014

there are few things in life that leave you breathless...the girl that you dated then eventually married, your bank balance after you have visited MIDE, and a really really luxurious liveaboard. my wife and i were on Dewi Nusantara last year and we thought they were excellent...well....WAOW is luxury in a carbon-graphite case.

all the more mind-blowing when we sailed with them from Maumere to Ambon, some 900 nm of wide open ocean in the Banda seas.

first, the boat! it has Wi-Fi dude! end of report.....what else is there to say? come on! Dewi as impressive as she was did not, maybe they should ? i dont know...

WAOW will send you a pdf format of the entire route, dive log together with all the animals sighted and the dive sites lay-out! how cool is that?

the size is the same as Dewi. except the masts on Dewi are wood. this time we made an even bigger dent in our wallet by booking the junior suite on the WAOW. its right at the stern and has its own backyard to hang your wet stuff and a day bed to laze under the stars with a drink in hand.

the room is overly generous with a flat screen and a library of over 300 videos! as if the diving schedule will allow any of that. and music as well should you choose to listen to tunes while you snooze. the aircond is powerful even in the noon day heat. it has a mini fridge. the bathroom is huge and good quality toiletries are provided. enough room in the showers for romance, get the drift?

mood lighting...all wooden paneling. huge mirror. hairdryer. plenty of shelves to lay out your personal toiletries. plenty of shelves in the closet for clothes and bags. a writing desk with plenty of charging points for all your your hungry toys.

windows all round for a panoramic view.

the camera room is small. very crowded after dives. there were 12 of us and if each of us had DSLRs there would be no space to breathe. towels for the cameras are readily available. it also serves as the audio-visual control centre for the dive briefings. why do boats not do that? why do they continue to draw before every dive? when it could be on the monitor? WAOW invites all to upload their shots to their server in a folder with your name and to be shared on other cruises...it was not well taken up.

this was also the first time we were shown the heart of the beast, so to speak. the twin diesel engines, the water maker, the generators and of course, the air compressor and the O2 maker for Nitrox. Nitrox is charged on this boat.

your personal dive gear sits in a box with a number on it, and you have a towel with the same number for after diving. these are dried and readied above your box during your next dive. ample dressing area considering the huge space outside under the tarpaulin. enough space for everyone to dry their washings if you wanted to do it yourself. but i gave my laundry items to the boat boy. very reasonable rate.

meal times were a joy on board. wake up call is followed by a mini breakfast then the first dive of the day. a full breakfast is served right after. they have a coffee machine with good coffee beans. bread dough is frozen at Bali and shipped on board and it was really good. the smell of freshly baked bread does wonders for me.

dinner was a gastronomic affair, 4 course meal accompanied by wine on the house. and it was especially memorable as we dined under a live volcano !! in the daytime, it was just the plume of smoke and the loud bang every 15 mins or so. but at night it was spectacular with red hot rocks being thrown out into the sea. in fact on our night dive, we were constantly reminded that there was a live volcano as the bang was so loud underwater.

on a day when we had tailwind, the crew were called on deck to hoist the sail. and it was a job and a half coordinating the 4 different sails. it took about 30 minutes to complete this task. something you dont see in a johnny depp masterpiece. now i know why Dewi did not raise its sails. when the sails were filled, the boat listed...leaned to one side and that made it uncomfortable for some of us. another reason why some boats do not. and of course when night fell, it was another chore to keep the sail.

but to sip a beer while the sails propelled the boat forward was a step back in time to the days of yore when the sailing ship was the king of transport. even if you are leaning in your bunk writing this .

ok enough of the boat already...where did we go on the WAOW ? it was billed as snakes and spices. snakes there were a plenty, spices ....unfortunately filled with horrific accounts of the atrocities of the dutch east india company.

on Komba island and Gunung api, there were so many snakes around us, each of them not interested in us but searching for small fishes in the burrows. they last about 15 mins underwater after which they have to surface for air. kraits...as we later found out. they have their fangs very far inside their mouth so a bite from them, although 4 times more venomous than a cobra, is highly unlikely. the first few minutes in the waters with them were very uncomfortable but realising that they went about their biz not disturbing anyone calmed everyone down. these two islands had many things in common..the currents underneath were helluva strong, they had snakes, they were crowded with birds as well and had schooling hammerheads !! we saw about 30 and the other boat reported they saw about 100. we were thrilled when a thresher made an appearance ! must have got lost after Malapasqua.

the other highpoint was Mandarin fish at Banda island where the atrocities were committed. all because of nutmeg! this is all recorded in the archives in the small town. it has its own dive resort in a colonial hotel. the charm of this hotel is the house reef, just 2 meters deep you will find a big colony of mandarins. the size of the male is huge, bigger than any i have seen. certainly bigger than the colony at Bianca at Lembeh.

not so much macro on this trip. but plenty of schooling baracudas and trevally. this is truly open seas and pods of dolphins came up to the boat one evening. the soft corals were not as spectacular as R4. and no cellular coverage either. it was a good thing we had satellite enabled wi fi. to keep in touch with family and friends.

the massage service was a very popular service with the divers.

bring your reef hooks because on most dives you will need them! negative entry was the order of the day and fuss free equalization of the ears is a must.

the boat also handed out the nautilus lifeline--a personal beacon/radio to mother ship and other boats or even rescue organisations. i like...

night dives were also pretty boring. and nothing worth suiting up for. we did one dive at Alor, famed for macro but due to the advice of the cruise director, we did not do the rest but sailed on as the weather forecast said it could turn ugly if we spend any more time there. i will have to do Alor some other time. this part of the world is pretty much open ocean and so the emphasis was on pelagics. the waters were warm and visibity was good.

we did not see too many LOBs out here, only Black Manta. i understand the problem was refueling. not many places to refuel on this route.

in closing, with regards to the route itself...it was a treat for me as diving with snakes and seing schooling hammerheads was a big thrill. so was dining in the shadow of a live volcano. but then again, no macro on this trip.

ok , the boat! my bank manager is not too pleased with my bank balance but hey, i am happy to have sailed with the crew on WAOW. excellent service with a life-saving device--nautilus lifeline--for each diver. finally sailing under wind power. the WAOW is without doubt the best LOB i have ever been on and will visit again. (Cenderawasih Bay). whether watching blockbusters in your air-cond room or lazing under the tarpaulin after a dive, there is just so much space that i would not hesitate to recommend to anybody willing to shell out top dollar for best treatment diving on a LOB.

just a side note, i notice only Garuda and Sriwijaya are willing to waive excess baggage fees if its diving equipment. lion air was not willing to do the same. this is at time of writing this.
decimal86
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Re: WAOW Snakes and Spices 12th Oct thru 24th 2014

Post Number:#2  Postby Narco » Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:37 pm

Bro Decimal, pics??
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Re: WAOW Snakes and Spices 12th Oct thru 24th 2014

Post Number:#3  Postby decimal86 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:38 pm

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