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Dive Review of Seven Seas in
Indonesia/Raja Ampat

Seven Seas, Apr, 2011,

by David E Reubush, VA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 48 reports with 15 Helpful votes). Report 6213 has 1 Helpful vote.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Belize, Bimini, Bonaire, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Curacao, Dominica, Dumaguete, Galapagos, Indonesia, Puerto Galera, Red Sea, Roatan, Turks & Caicos, Virgin Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 84 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 30 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The Seven Seas is a relatively small boat so it does not have a dedicated camera room. The cameras (there were a lot of photographers on this trip) lived on a large hatch cover out on deck. However, they strung a large tarp up above the cameras to protect them from the sun and most weather. Work on the cameras could be done in the dining area/lounge between meals. There were also outlets in the lounge for battery recharging. A large rinse tank was dedicated for camera rinse only.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This was my second trip to Raja Ampat. I really enjoyed my first trip in 2010, but this trip took things to another level. I have been a fan of Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock since I bought their book "Secret Sea" more than ten years ago. I finally met them a couple of years ago when they were delivering copies of their book "Diving Indonesias Raja Ampat" to the live-aboard that I had just gotten aboard in Balis Benoa harbor. At that point, after meeting them, I decided that I would endeavor to join a trip hosted by them as soon as I could. As things turned out I got an email from them earlier this year announcing that there had been a couple of cancellations for an April trip to Raja Ampat on the Seven Seas. What could be better than diving Raja Ampat with the folks who wrote the book? So, I signed up.

The trip was everything I expected and more. We visited sites with huge schools of chevron barracuda, sweet lips, batfish etc. It was like the old days before factory ships and reef dynamiting. The dive site "Manta Sandy" had 6 or 8 mantas who performed for us for about 90 minutes total on 2 dives. The mantas got so close that we often had to bend over to avoid being hit when they flew over. On some trips I have been warned that you have to stay perfectly still as movement will scare the mantas away. That was definitely not the case in this instance. Our moving around had absolutely no effect on the mantas. They actually appeared to like being tickled by the bubbles. There were also muck sites with amazing creatures, including walking sharks. I would recommend Raja Ampat to anyone, although beginners should be aware that there can be ripping currents. I would particularly recommend traveling with Burt and Maurine. They really know Raja Ampat and Indonesia and know the best sites to visit.

The Seven Seas was a great boat. It was comfortable, the crew was great, and the food was good. The only way it could be improved would be with the addition of a camera room for photographers, but I don't know where it would fit. As it was, dealing with my camera was not a major problem.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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