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July 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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WAOW, Indonesia

fiery volcanoes, dangerous dragons and colorful diving

from the July, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Fellow Diver:

Sixty feet down on my first dive, I quietly admired a barrel sponge the size of a smart car. Tiny white sea cucumbers thrived in every nook and cranny. Then a thundering explosion ripped through the water. I quickly looked at my dive buddy. "What in the world was that?" A thousand thoughts raced through my mind, but I guessed it might just be local fishermen dynamiting. I shrugged it off. Upon returning to the surface some 60 minutes later, I had my answer. A towering mushroom cloud billowed from the lip of a nearby volcanic crater. The tiny island of Palau Palue had just erupted. "Awesome," I thought. "It doesn't get more primal than this." I climbed the ladder into the rigid tender, and the driver returned us divers to the mother craft. Fine volcanic ash rained down on us, covering chairs, tables, stairs, everything. I could not have asked for a more unusual way to begin my 12 days of diving on the luxury liveaboard WAOW.

WAOW, IndonesiaThat's an acronym for Water Adventure Ocean Wide. Just a year old, she is an impressive 197 feet long and can handle 18 divers in nine spacious, upscale cabins. When she unfurrows her three great sails, she is truly an impressive site. Her cabins are top-of-the-line: king or queen beds, cabinets and lots of storage space, full bathrooms with toilets, sinks and showers. I had a desk to set up my notebook computer to run on wireless Internet, and a large LCD TV with an enormous selection of movies and first-run TV programs (my wife and I actually watched the last season of Dexter while on board). And ours was a standard cabin! Some had private decks and large view windows.

This voyage, which began in late April, included 10 days of diving off the remote Indonesian islands between Flores and Bali, and a walkabout on the island of Komodo. Yes, Komodo dragons! There's another item I would soon check off my bucket list....

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