Waow at sunset.

Waow, my new diving princess boat

  Indonesia: Banda + Raja Ampat - Oct-Nov 2015

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I came back from Indonesia three days before the terrorist carnage in Paris of the November 13, 2015. I had started to write this light, happy, carefree article on my dive cruise aboard the Waow...long before the horror of those attacks...

But how can we celebrate the beauty of the world after the horror of Bloody Friday? How can we talk about joie de vivre, travel and diving?

In the end, I decided to publish this article anyway. To be on the side of life. To put some blue in the dark. Because the motto of Paris, Fluctuat NEC mergitur, really makes sense in such a sad context...

Maluku to Raja Ampat

So there you go. I had a fabulous adventure, on distant seas, aboard a ship as beautiful as a pirate princess ship: the Waow.

Wow? It's an acronym for World Adventure Ocean Wide. That's the exclamation you let slip when you discover this three-masted, bird-like thing. "Wow!"

Waow burning

Updated February 2018. The Waow???? Unfortunately, this magnificent diving cruise ship that used to sail the waters of the Indonesian archipelago, and on which I had the chance to embark in 2015, no longer exists... ???? Unfortunately, it burned and sank in the bay of Cenderawasih, Indonesia, during the night of January 31 to February 1, 2018. I refer you to the message published on their Facebook page and on their site.

60 meters long, 11 wide and 10 high, 800 tons. It was built between 2008 and 2012, while ironwood, this rot-resistant "steel wood", modeled after the traditional Indonesian transport boats called Pinisis.

Sunset on the Waow, all sails out.
Sunset on the Waow, all sails out.

I had already mentioned this boat in my article "pratico-pratique" on Raja Ampat, more than two years ago (in the chapter on cruises and dives). I did not know then Waow than reputation: a luxury ship, specially designed for divers, making routes of madness in the Indonesian archipelago, in the heart of the "Coral Triangle". What to dream ...

The dream has come true! I'm coming of a twelve-day cruise to Indonesia on the Waow, in the seas of Banda and Seram. I put you below the map that summarizes the journey and the dives.

Secrets od Seram. Diving cruise on the Waow, from October 27 to November 8, 2015.
Itinerary of the "Secrets of Seram" diving cruise on board the Waow, from October 27 to November 8, 2015.

From Ambon to Sorong, from the Moluccas to Raja Ampat, far from the fury of the world, one can only marvel at the beauty of nature and the underwater world.

Of course, I gave myself a heart of joy...

Red Lionfish. Archipelago of Banda, Maluku, Indonesia, October 2015.
Red Lionfish. Archipelago of Banda, Maluku, Indonesia, October 2015.
Divers moving above the coral reef. Kurkap Island, Maluku, Indonesia, October 2015.
Divers moving above the coral reef. Kurkap Island, Maluku, Indonesia, October 2015.
South of Misool Island. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, November 2015.
South of Misool Island. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, November 2015.

On the road of spices

October 27, 2015. First night on board. In the darkness of my cabin, I watch for unfamiliar noises. The boat creaks and sighs as it splits the waves. There is the muffled hum of the engines in the distance and the quivering of the water nearby against the wood of the hull. I am taming the sounds around me.

But the sea is calm and the roll will remain moderate throughout the crossing. We make our way to the legendary Banda Islands, the spice islands (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove) that made the fortune of the VOC, the Dutch East India Company in the 17the and XVIIIe century. There's something exhilarating about following in the wake of the great navigators of yesteryear.

Read also → Banda, the fabulous spice islands

The archipelago of Banda is revealed in the early morning. Maluku, Indonesia, October 2015.
The archipelago of Banda is revealed in the early morning. Maluku, Indonesia, October 2015.
Waow in the Banda archipelago. Maluku, Indonesia, October 2015.
Waow in the Banda archipelago. Maluku, Indonesia, October 2015.
The Waow crew maneuvering in the Banda archipelago. Maluku, Indonesia, October 2015.
The Waow crew maneuvering in the Banda archipelago. Maluku, Indonesia, October 2015.

This first evening, as we have just left the port of Ambon, the gentle sway of Waow rocks me.

I have the impression that the boat is alive. I can almost hear him breathing with every wave he splits. A reassuring, soothing sensation that helps me slowly slip into sleep.

Under water

But I can't wait to get back below the surface. Diving gear's ready. And my camera already in its chamber, ready for the first immersion scheduled for early morning. I still don't know what I'm going to see underwater that first night...

There will be massive hammerhead sharks and the swirls of silver jacks. The swarms of blue triggerfish and yellow-backed fusiliers, the glittering waterfalls of glass fish, the multicoloured twirls of butterfly fish... And also the graceful green turtles, the enormous humpback parrot fish, the majestic napoleons. The bright yellow schools of snappers and the delicate interlacing of giant gorgonians...

Glass fish in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia, November 2015.
Glass fish in Raja Ampat. West Papua, Indonesia, November 2015.
Gorgon Giant at Misool. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, November 2015.
Gorgon Giant at Misool. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, November 2015.
Yellow snappers with blue stripes in Mioskon. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, November 2015.
Yellow snappers with blue stripes in Mioskon. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, November 2015.
Hump parrot. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, November 2015.
Hump parrot. Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, November 2015.

I brought back tons of photos, which I finally find the time to sort through, now that I'm back under the grey Breton sky. I'll be back to show you all this very soon!

😉

I was a guest of the Waow from 27 October to 8 November 2015, for this diving cruise called "Secrets of Seram". All the opinions expressed here remain 100 % mine. 

  Indonesia: Banda + Raja Ampat - Oct-Nov 2015

130 Shares
Share119
Tweet
Pine6
Share5