In under a week we’ll be off on our amazing trip to Indonesia for a 7 day live-aboard in the Derawan Islands and not having done anything like this we went with one of the big names, Aggressor Adventures. The Derawan’s look fascinating on their own, with this from the Aggressor page (and more on Wikipedia).
The Derawan Islands (Kepulauan Derawan) are located off the eastern coast of Borneo (East Kalimantan Province) in Indonesia, in the famous Celebes Sea. Derawan is an archipelago with the main islands being Derawan, Maratua, Kakaban and Sangalaki, forming small and remote atolls with sandy banks. This special place is considered the second most biodiverse place in the world.
Derawan Islands are part of the Coral Triangle, which features 872 species of reef fish, 507 species of coral, and invertebrates, including protected species (5 giants clam species, 2 sea turtles, coconut crab, etc.).
The diving offers abundant marine life with a huge variety of coral reef dives, caves, walls, and lagoons, including a jellyfish lake visit. Guests will see sharks, schooling barracudas, mantas, whalesharks and macro life. Derawan also contains the largest green turtle nesting site in Indonesia, making dives with turtles quite common.
Will be taking a bunch of equipment, so packing for this trip is going to get real interesting! Along with the usual regulators, fins, masks, and so on, we now have the camera setup to figure out as well as both having new computers.
This weekend was the annual Underwater Sports Diver’s Fair, which we ended up spending good money at. I am going to replace my Atomic Aquatics Cobalt II with a new Shearwater Nerd 2 which I am thinking is a great hands-free option now I have a two-handed camera rig to concentrate on. Sandi bought a Scubapro Galileo G2 wrist mounted computer, again replacing a Cobalt II. She also upgraded her primary light from a Light & Motion GoBe 700 to a Sola Dive 800.
Having flown from Seattle, to Chicago, to Taipei, to Jakarta, we are taking a few days on Java to unwind, deal with at least some of the jet-lag before flying on to the Derawan’s (Jakarta to Balikpapan, and then to Berau). During this relaxing break we are taking a day trip across Java to Yogyakarta , the closest city to the Borobudur Temple Compounds, one of my bucket list items and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On the way back from the dive trip we’ll stop again for a brief side-trip to the South-West of Borneo for a stay at the Orangutan Foundation International (OFI)’s Camp Leaky. We aren’t entirely sure what to expect and chosen not to spend time trying to find out as it seems like it would be a great experience whatever the encounters are! As a great Terry Prachett fan I will be careful not to call any Orangutan a monkey.