Lord Howe Island February 2019

Lord Howe Island February 2019

Lord Howe Island February 2019

A Hunt for the Elusive Endemics of Lord Howe Island

February 17-24th 2019

Join this very special trip with Richard and renowned photographers Darren Jew and Jasmine Carey in search of the unique and rare fishes of this Australian World Heritage paradise

Lord Howe Island

We will visit the remote wonderland of Lord Howe Island to hunt for the elusive endemics and pristine seas
17-24th February 2019
SPACES AVAILABLE
Calling intrepid marine enthusiasts, macro and wide-angle photographers alike – this very special one-off trip is for you!  

Have you ever wanted to enjoy exploration diving, specialist fins-on biology and photography guidance exploring unique endemic marine creatures, as well as the adrenalin buzz of exciting shark action?  You can – as very limited bookings are now open for this one-off Lord Howe Island exploration adventure!  

Following their Underwater Tour 2018 road-trip together in May this year, syngnathid specialist, marine biologist and photographer Dr Richard Smith, Canon Master and photographer Darren Jew and ocean photographer Jasmine Carey have teamed up to lead an ‘Endemic Adventure’ like no other.

Lord Howe Island is a UNESCO treasure, a home to extraordinary fauna and flora 600kms off the Australian coast of New South Wales with 500 fish species, 90 coral species and only 400 permanent (human) residents.

In the shadow of stunning basalt peaks, Mt Gower and Mt Lidgbird, diving around this extinct volcano crater dating back 7 million years, you’ll be searching for the extremely elusive Coleman’s Pygmy Seahorse (Hippocampus colemani), and will be on the look-out for endemic species in the warm waters of the lagoon and around the Admiralty Islands.  Prepare to spot the stars of the show which live on the world’s southern-most true coral reef; McCulloch’s anemone fish, Lord Howe Island butterflyfish, double header wrasse, half-banded angelfish, three stripe butterflyfish and Ballina angelfish.   Let’s not forget LHI’s population of curious, very photogenic Galapagos whaler sharks, and the chance to be the first to dive new sites within the outer volcano crater rim…  to see what’s there!  Balls Pyramid jutting 550m towards the sky is most certainly the most dramatic above and underwater landscape you’ll ever encounter.  And you’ll be sure to see some of the 200 bird species while on dry land or during your surface intervals.

With specialist marine biology lectures (and spotting) from Richard; image processing sessions and fins-on photography advice with Darren and Jasmine, the 17-24 Feb ‘Search for Endemics Island Expedition’ package starts at AU$4850 pp and includes 10 dives with Pro-Dive LHI, snorkelling sessions and accommodation for 7 nights.

AMAZING! Richard is able to make scientific talks hugely entertaining . I learnt so much, and every dive after the talks I found myself on the hunt for the new critters I had just learnt all about. Brilliant!

Madeleine

Australia

Days to departure

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

Register your interest or join the waitlist

6 + 9 =

The talks enhance the diving experience and encourage new interest outside the obviously spectacular! Friendly, approachable organisation

Martin

United Kingdom

Indonesia South to North November 2019

Indonesia South to North November 2019

Indonesia: South to North November 2019

Explore the diversity of Indonesia from South to North

Aboard the luxurious Dewi Nusantara, we’ll enjoy the range of Indonesia’s dives

Join Richard and Wendy’s ‘Our Beloved Seas‘ expeditions in the heart of the Coral Triangle

Saumlaki

Ambon

Ternate

Trip 1: Saumlaki (Forgotten Islands) to Ambon

 

24th October – 5th November 2019

SOLD OUT – CONTACT US FOR WAITLIST

Trip 2: Ambon to Ternate (Halmahera)

 

6-16th November 2019

1 x Male Share

Indonesia has a huge diversity of marine environments, and hence dive sites.  During these two trips aboard the stunning Dewi Nusantara we will sail from Saumlaki in the south, through the archipelago, to Ternate in the north.  We will enjoy a diversity of dives, from oceanic reefs, to muck dives and fringing reefs.  Each area has its own community of animals and we will be searching for fishes endemic to each area we visit.

TRIP ONE

Trip start: 24th October 2019

Trip end: 5th November

Prices start from: US$7475

Availability: SOLD OUT – CONTACT US FOR WAITLIST

Depart from: Saumlaki

Return to: Ambon

TRIP TWO

Trip start: 6th November 2019

Trip end: 16th November

Prices start from: US$6325

Availability: 1 x Male Share in a Deluxe Stateroom

Depart from: Ambon

Return to: Ternate

Trip I:

This first trip starts in Saumlaki, south eastern Indonesia.  Saumlaki belongs to the group of islands of Tanimbar, which are very rarely visited and both culturally and biologically very rich.  Several terrestrial species, such as an endemic cockatoo, skink and python are found nowhere else on earth.  Biologically, the fauna is related to that of Australia but has been isolated for thousands of years.

From here well we head northwards across the eastern Banda Sea, visiting the fabled snake island, where sea kraits can be found in huge abundances and we will dive many of the other famous sites in this difficult to reach area.  The island of Banda is packed with history, having been the centre of the global spice trade, and a neighbouring island was so globally important that it was traded between the UK and the Netherlands for Manhattan. The sites on this itinerary include extremely remote and pristine islets and atolls with fantastic visibility and bountiful fish life.  The tour ends in Ambon, a renowned muck diving mecca. 

Trip II:

Starting in Ambon in central Indonesia, we will explore another rarely visited part of Indonesia as we travel northwards.  Between Ambon and our ultimate destination of Ternate, we will explore the islands of Seram, Obi and of course Halmahera.  The latter being particularly interesting as it is the home of the newest and most western epaulette, or walking shark, species (Hemiscyllium halmahera) named in 2013.  It is also home to Wallace’s Standardwing, a type of Bird of Paradise that also represents the most westerly range of this group also.  It is thought that a land mass migrated here on tectonic plates from eastern New Guinea and many animals rafted along with it, including the shark and BOP.  This itinerary offers a range of fringing reefs, muck dives and exploratory dives in one of the last frontiers of Asian diving.

LIVING ABOARD

Living aboard Dewi Nusantara is as close to a five star experience as is possible in the faraway corners of the Indonesian archipelago.

With an overall length of 57 meters, our three masted topsail schooner moves with a grace and stability that only larger sailing vessels can offer. 2000 square meters of sail are complemented by two 500 horsepower marine engines and two desalinators that each produce 5000 liters of fresh water per day. We purposely designed the Goddess of the Archipelago to be totally independent for long periods at sea while offering unparalleled comfort. There are eight spacious air-conditioned staterooms, that can be adapted to either twin or double use, each with its own en suite bathroom. The master and commanders’ cabin aft is the size of a large hotel suite.

While you experience the romance of a bygone area you will be able to indulge in the sheer luxury of finding lots of space everywhere you go from bow to stern. There is a huge lounge and the dining facilities are those of a superb restaurant.

With her state of the art diving equipment Dewi Nusantara has become the ultimate live-aboard diving platform in Indonesia. Her discreet and attentive Indonesian crew of 18 is complemented by one cruise director and four dive-masters who all have a long experience in the area.

Trip I: Green
Trip II: Red

Inclusions:
Food & Beverages
Diving
Marine life talks by Dr Richard Smith
Airport transfers to meet Dewi

Exclusions:
Port & Harbour Fees
Long Distance Fees
Airfares, both domestic and international
Spirits and wine (one serve of wine is provided with dinner)

Trip I:

Deluxe Stateroom $7475

Trip II:

Deluxe Stateroom $6325

Register your interest or join the waitlist

2 + 11 =

The talks enhance the diving experience and encourage new interest outside the obviously spectacular! Friendly, approachable organisation

Martin

United Kingdom

Days to departure

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

AMAZING! Richard is able to make scientific talks hugely entertaining . I learnt so much, and every dive after the talks I found myself on the hunt for the new critters I had just learnt all about. Brilliant!

Madeleine

Australia

Tubbataha April 2019

Tubbataha April 2019

Tubbataha Reef April 2019

Unparalleled in Asia, Tubbataha Reef is a reef to behold

A special 8 night itinerary aboard Philippine Siren

Join Richard and Wendy’s second ‘Our Beloved Seas‘ expedition to this pristine and remote wilderness

Tubbataha Reef

A jewel in the crown of Asia’s Oceans

14-22nd April 2019
Sold Out – Contact us to join waitlist
Tubbataha is actually two atolls in the middle of the Sulu Sea.  These atolls are World Heritage Listed and the only inhabitation is a small national park range station that we shall hope to visit during our visit.  Tubbataha can only be reached for a few months a year and as such, the reefs are absolutely pristine.  The shark population is second to none in Asia.
 

TRIP ONE
Trip start: 14th April 2019
Trip end: 22nd April
Prices start from: US$ 
Availability: SOLD OUT – Contact us to join waitlist
Depart from: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Return to: Puerto Princesa, Palawan

 

 

14th April 2019
Embarkation day – arrive from Manila to Puerto Princesa
Join Philippine Siren for the journey overnight out to Tubbataha Reef, some 8 hours away.

15-21st April
Dive the various sites around Tubbataha

22nd April
Return to Puerto Princesa for flight onwards to Manila and through to International destinations.

Itinerary is subject to change without notice,

The 40 metre S/Y Philippine Siren was designed and built using the lessons learnt from our first yacht the S/Y Siren and has been modified to better suit the growing needs of our guests. The 8 cabins are all situated forward of the engine room with 2 fixed double bed cabins located at the bow and 6 twin bed cabins throughout the remaining lower deck quarters, however we offer flexibility with 2 cabins which can be converted from twin to double should guests require (cabins 5 & 6). The outdoor dining area offers a superb setting for all your meals, with comfortable bench seating set in a semi-circular shape.

Food & Beverages (non-alcoholic)
Diving
Marine life talks by Dr Richard Smith
Transfers from Puerto Princesa airport to the Philippine Siren
Prices start from $ per person

Register your interest or join the waitlist

15 + 5 =

AMAZING! Richard is able to make scientific talks hugely entertaining . I learnt so much, and every dive after the talks I found myself on the hunt for the new critters I had just learnt all about. Brilliant!

Madeleine

Australia

Days to departure

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

The talks enhance the diving experience and encourage new interest outside the obviously spectacular! Friendly, approachable organisation

Martin

United Kingdom

Anilao April 2019

Anilao April 2019

Anilao, Philippines April 2019

Visit the Philippine’s answer to Lembeh Strait

Enjoy the latest ‘Muck Magic III’ trip for 7 nights at Buceo Resort

Join Richard & Wendy’s newest Our Beloved Seas critter hunting adventure

Anilao 'Muck Magic III'

7-14th April 2019

 

Full – Contact us to waitlist

Anilao has been the Philippine’s best kept secret for many years.  Just a couple of hours drive from Manila, it is easily reached, and is fast becoming the country’s answer to Lembeh Strait.  This is true true muck diving, and so joins our hugely successful previous Muck Magic I & II trips to whet our critter hunting appetites. Anilao is particularly rich in nudibranchs, many of which you’ll probably never have even heard of before.  With the resort dedicated just to our group, it’s sure to be a fantastic trip!
ANILAO

 

Our Beloved Seas Muck Magic III – at Buceo Resort

Trip start: Meet in Manila on 6th April 2019, stay over night before transfer to resort on morning of 7th April

Trip end: 14th April 2019

Prices start from: US$ 1600

Availability: FULL 

Depart from: Manila

Return to: Manila

6th April 2019
Meet in Manila

7th April
Land transfer to Buceo Resort in Anilao

7th – 13th April
5.5 diving days (Inc. one dive on afternoon of 7th and one on morning of 13th), all other days 3 dives per day.

14th April
Morning transfer to Manila Airport, where those guests joining us in Tubbataha will go directly to check-in for flight to Puerto Princesa.

We have taken the entirety of Buceo Resort for our group.

The resort is located at the end of the peninsula at the heart of the Anilao diving.  The resort is built directly on the beach and rooms have stunning views over the ocean and enjoys spectacular sunsets.

It is the ideal place to experience the excellent service and the famous hospitality of the Filipino people. Local and European management, modern facilities, yet maintaining the country’s tropical and relaxed style. Located on a 5,000 sqm coastal property surrounded by reef full of abundant marine life, and designed to satisfy the taste of all divers, especially underwater photographers with highest expectations.

Twin share accommodation (unless otherwise specified)
Food & Beverages (non-alcoholic)
Diving & Nitrox
Marine life talks by Dr Richard Smith

Exclusions
Transfer from Manila ($55 return)
Gear hire

Prices start from $1600 per person, please contact us for more information, availability and prices.

Register your interest or join the waitlist

6 + 11 =

AMAZING! Richard is able to make scientific talks hugely entertaining . I learnt so much, and every dive after the talks I found myself on the hunt for the new critters I had just learnt all about. Brilliant!

Madeleine

Australia

Days to departure

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

The talks enhance the diving experience and encourage new interest outside the obviously spectacular! Friendly, approachable organisation

Martin

United Kingdom

Cenderawasih Bay July/August 2018

Cenderawasih Bay July/August 2018

Cenderawasih Bay July/August 2018

Explore pristine and remote Papua’s Cenderawasih Bay

Experience true frontier diving in luxury aboard Dewi Nusantara

Join one of Richard and Wendy’s two ‘Our Beloved Seas‘ expeditions in search of endemic fishes and whale sharks

Mapia Island

The first of our charters will explore the extremely remote Mapia Island

Cenderawasih Bay

Searching for whale sharks and endemic fishes in Cenderawasih Bay during trip two
North Cenderawasih Bay & Mapia Island

23rd July – 1st August 2018

SOLDOUT – Waitlist Only

Cenderawasih Bay’s whale sharks

3-13th August 2018

SOLDOUT – Waitlist Only

Wendy and I at ‘Our Beloved Seas‘ have been pushing the boundaries of the Bird’s Head Seascape for years.  Whilst many people have enjoyed trips to Raja Ampat, we have made dedicated north and south Raja Ampat trips, and charters to explore Triton Bay.  We now plan to revisit Cenderawasih Bay and the surrounding area, one of our favourite regions in the Bird’s Head.  We first visited in 2013, and at that time several of the endemic fishes, such as Maurine’s Demoiselle, hadn’t even been named.  We will be looking for these and several other fishes found nowhere else on earth during our second charter.  We will of course also spend time with Cenderawasih’s famous whale sharks that aggregate around baggans each morning.  The first trip will venture into the Pacific, 100 nautical miles north of Manokwari, to visit the very rarely dived Mapia Island.  The few divers that have explored this region have reported giant groupers, stunning reefs and bountiful fish.  Both these trips are sure to offer unique experiences, plus Richard will be giving marine life lectures during the trip, explaining the biology behind the special endemic creatures we are seeing.  Have a read of Richard’s article about the biology of Cenderawasih bay below.
TRIP ONE: Mapia Island (9 nights)

Trip start: 23rd July 2018

Trip end: 1st August

Prices from: $6050 + $305 port and park fees

Availability: Soldout – Waitlist only

Depart from: Manokwari, Papua

Return to: Manokwari

TRIP TWO: Cenderawasih Bay (10 nights)

Trip start: 3rd August 2018

Trip end: 13th August

Prices from: $6655 + $305 port and park fees

Availability: Soldout – Waitlist Only

Depart from: Manokwari

Return to: Manokwari

TRIP ONE: MAPIA ISLAND
This special expedition will take us to Mapia island, 100 nautical miles north of the Bird’s Head.  The atoll is extremely remote and rarely dived.  Few trips have explored these pristine seas and the trip is sure to be something very special.

TRIP TWO: CENDERAWASIH BAY
This trip will take us into Cenderawasih Bay where whale sharks roam and many endemic fishes can be found.  Highlights include snorkelling with whale sharks around the baggans of southern Cenderawasih and exploring the pristine and remote reefs in search of fishes found nowhere else.  These include the Cenderawasih fairy and flasher wrasses, Maurine’s and Price’s Damselfishes and Caitlin’s dottybacks.  Many deepwater fishes can also be found in shallow depths here too including ornate angelfish and randall’s anthias.

DEWI NUSANTARA
Living aboard Dewi Nusantara is as close to a five star experience as is possible in the faraway corners of the Indonesian archipelago.
With an overall length of 57 meters, the three-masted topsail schooner moves with a grace and stability that only larger sailing vessels can offer. The purposely designed the Goddess of the Archipelago is totally independent for long periods at sea while offering unparalleled comfort. There are eight spacious air-conditioned staterooms, which can be adapted to either twin or double use, each with its own en-suite bathroom. The master and commanders’ cabin aft is the size of a large hotel suite.
While you experience the romance of a bygone area you will be able to indulge in the sheer luxury of finding lots of space everywhere you go from bow to stern. There is a huge lounge and the dining facilities are those of a superb restaurant.
With her state of the art diving equipment Dewi Nusantara has become the ultimate live-aboard diving platform in Indonesia. Her discreet and attentive Indonesian crew of 18 is complemented by cruise director and four dive-masters who all have a long experience in the area.
INCLUDES
9/10 nights (trips one and two respectively) in a double occupancy cabin
3-4 dives per day including air fills, tanks and weights
All meals and beverages (non-alcoholic, local beer and one wine serving with dinner)
Transfers from Manokwari Airport
Marine life talks by Dr Richard Smith

EXCLUDES
Airfare and airport departure tax (payable in local currency)
Spirits and wine
Nitrox
Park and harbour fees (+ $305)

Prices start from $6050 per person for trip one and $6655 for trip two (+ $305 port and park fees)

Register your interest

10 + 14 =

We joined Richard’s group tour in Fiji and found the whole experience to be enjoyable and very informative. We can highly recommend any future tours.
Maurice

Australia

Richard manages to explain lots of scientific detail in an entertaining and amusing way and makes finding the endemic fishes a real achievement on a dive – even when they’re not the most exciting fish on the reef.
Kate

United Kingdom