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November 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Dewi Nusantara, Komodo, Indonesia

luxurious living, remarkable diving

from the November, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Fellow Diver,

Andrea, the friendly English Dive/Cruise Director from Southhampton, in her low-key way, introduced us 11 divers to all the details of the beautiful Dewi (pronounced day-wee) Nusantara, as well as the planned itinerary and the dive procedures. But, there came a clinker. Since we were lucky to have two marine biologists on board, one the veteran Mark Erdmann, she said they would modify the advertised Komodo itinerary and take two days to explore a few unknown areas, primarily muck dives. "After all, you don't want to spend your whole trip just diving Komodo." What? I booked my July trip for very good money to dive Komodo, and now that I'm onboard they're changing the itinerary. I'm no muck diver. I held my tongue.

MV Dewi NusantaraMy partner and I were already a little anxious, thanks to an earlier hitch in getting picked up at our hotel for transport to the boat. With no driver 35 minutes after scheduled pickup time, I called the phone numbers Dewi had provided, but no answer. Was there a glitch in logistics? Would I become the guy who misses his dive boat and has to figure out how to hook up with it somewhere in the middle of the ocean? Then I remembered an email address that Mike Hoppe, our fine Reef and Rainforest travel consultant, had printed on our voucher. Boom ... instant response. No worries, the driver was just stuck in traffic. After picking us up, he honked his way through the scooterchaos of Bali traffic. At the harbor, we boarded a tender for the 191-foot topsail schooner Dewi Nusantara, boarding her from the outboard staircase. Welcome, welcome ... we were greeted warmly.

We left dock around dinner time, with plans to travel seven hours to our first exploratory dive site. "Seas might be wavy," Andrea advised, but the ride was smooth (as rides were throughout the trip) and I slept well in the perfectly air conditioned cabin, only to awake in the morning to another hitch. An engine had lost an oil line during passage, so we had stopped cruising and would dive unplanned locations near Gili Trawangan to wait for the hose to be boated to us. Andrea explained that the sites had been dynamite-fished so that we would be muck diving amid rocks and rubble. Afterward, most divers (other than the two marine biologists) and I were disappointed in the dives, though a few night divers enjoyed their findings. Yet, throughout the day, each of the upbeat 23-member crew handled the situation with aplomb, and at dinner we heard the good news: they had fixed the engine, and it would be 16 hours at full speed to catch up to our itinerary. ...

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