Discover Alor, Raja Ampat and Triton Bay on an 11 or 13 night Special Photo Cruise with Mark Strickland
- - Alor 11N Cruise: Embark MAUMERE, 22 April 2014 - Disembark MAUMERE, 3 May 2014
- - Raja Ampat & Triton Bay 13N Cruise: Embark SORONG, 18 March 2015 - Disembark SORONG, 31 March 2015
On these trips, learn from professional underwater photographer Mark Strickland as we take you (and your camera) to visit some of the most photogenic dive sites in the world and meet some of the most unusual creatures in the ocean.
Mark Strickland biography
Mark's life-long interest in the sea has included over 10,000 dives and careers as lifeguard, boat captain and scuba instructor.
His passion for underwater photography has led him to many top dive locales, including Thailand, where he spent 17 years as Cruise Director on a series of liveaboards. An avid marine naturalist, Mark has discovered several nudibranch species.
He is co-author and principle photographer for Lonely Planet's award-winning book, "Diving and Snorkeling Thailand", and his work appears in many magazines, books and displays around the world. Currently, Mark leads several dive trips each year to his favorite destinations, while working on a career-spanning large-format pictorial book.>
Dive ALOR with Mark Strickland
22 April 2014~3 May 2014
Set sail from the port of Maumere, on the eastern side of Flores island, for a 12-day/11-night cruise, to explore all the famous dive sites of Alor and Flores, ending back at Maumere. Discover the magic of Alor - one of the best kept secrets for diving in paradise.
Alor and Flores offer widespread muck diving, sharks and large schools of fish, WWII wreck dives, untouched reefs and unexplored coral gardens, magnificent soft corals and stunning hard coral formations. Visit all the incredible dive sites of this area, such as Kawula, Lamlera, Pantair Strait, Palau Komba and more. Diving east of Flores, find yourself in the home of the ‘holy grail’ of fish, the beautiful and rare rhinopia (we have found the weedy and paddle-flap scorpion fish here).
As well as great diving, the topside scenery is also stunning; look out for the famous Pura Island villagers splashing out of their wooden dugout canoes and diving underwater with home-made goggles fashioned from wood and glass bottles, plus Palau Komba (the volcano known locally as the fire-breathing monster living in the middle of the ocean) erupts every 5-20 minutes which means that you are sure to see the awe-inspiring sight of molten lava creeping down the mountainside and flowing into the sea.
In terms of water temperature and recommendations for wetsuits, for most dive sites you can expect 25-30C+ (80-86F+) so a 3mm wetsuit or even a skinsuit is usually fine, but for night dives or sites with colder currents it can drop down to 20-25C (70-75F) so some guests prefer a 5mm with hood.
SAMPLE CRUISE ITINERARY "ALOR FOCUS"
12 Day/11 Night Maumere-Maumere Cruise
Day 1 Embarkation in Maumere
Day 2 Serbete Reef / Adonara IslandSerbete Reef
In the morning we visit the waters east of Tanjung Gedong, where we dive Serbete Reef - a site with shallow reefs and sandbars. The island itself can be distinguished by its small lighthouse. In addition to the exquisite coral gardens in the shallower areas, there are also fantastic walls which make for some nice, varied diving.Adonara Island
The afternoon dives are on the south-west corner of Adonara Island, east of Flores. There is a very healthy reef in the shallows, where juvenile harlequin sweetlips and barramundi wiggle in between the hard corals. Ribbon eels and numerous nudibranchs can be found between the reef and the slope, which slowly drops down to around 25 metres/75 feet. At the far west end of the dive site there are ledges extending along the sea floor, with blue spotted stingrays, white tip reef sharks and sweetlips sheltering underneath. The eastern part is home to the 'holy grail' of fish, the rhinopias. We've been able to find both the weedy and the paddle-flap scorpionfish here.