Published: January 28th 2011February 2nd 2011
I've had lots of requests to see photos of the beaches and under the sea around the Bandas, so at last I've updated the blog and added photos., there's lots so keep scrolling down if you don't want to miss any!
February 2nd 2011
We have now been on the Banda Islands for almost three weeks.
The main reason we came here was tales of how outstandingly beautiful the undersea world wasl, miles and miles of pristine coral reefs and drop offs teeming with fish.
We were not dissapointed, we did a snorkel trip almost every day and were increasingly amazed at the site that met our eyes each time we jumped in, our trusty boatman took us to numerous sites bordering several of the Banda Islands. We tended to do a couple of stops for snorkelling before landing on some deserted beach to eat our packed lunch and explore the island or just laze under a shady tree for a while before heading back to Bandaniera but not before more drop offs for snorkelling. We never seemed to get tired it.
Our 'captain' was a great help he would drop us all off indicating
Strange shaped rock on the beach
which way the current was going and we would just drift with the current. Each time we looked up he would be following us or a little way in front waiting to pick us up. The trouble was there was often as many as ten people and he couldn't see us all dotted around in the water. I made it my mission never to lose sight of him and the boat but there was one occasion when we were dropped of at a tiny island and everyone set off to swim around it, or at least that's what I thought. After a few minutes I looked up and couldn't see anyone else or the boat so thought they must have all swam off faster than me and got round to the other side of the island, I decided to head right round the island myself and get back to the boat but once round the other side after a what seemed ages the sea became very rough and I was getting pumelled by waves and still couldn't see anyone else or the boat. After several minutes of trying not to panic I looked up and there far away I spotted
the boat. I waved hard and he eventually spotted me and headed over. Once safely on the boat I realised all the rest had swum to the drop off a short way from where the boat had been drifting about and were still there enjoying watching shark and other big fish. How could I have got it so wrong!? From then on I made poor Stan stay within a few feet of me!
There were a few other hairy moments when the boat followed one small group and we were left behind thinking 'he'll turn round and come back in a minute' but then we realised the boat was still actually heading away from us, just at this moment we noticed a Giant Trevelly circling us time and time again, and moments later Stefan, the German Guy, joined us and asked us where the boat was. Between us we waved hard until we caught the captain's attention and saw the boat turn around and head back. Looking back under the water we could see the Giant Trevelly was still swimming around us watching us curiously, we were fascinated to watch it at such close quarters but cursed the fact
that none of us had a camera. Once back on the boat we did a quick head count and realised one was missing, it was the Belgian lady who was on her own, she had a life jacket on as she was a bit insecure in the water, we all started worriedly scanning the surface of the water but she was nowhere to be seen, the boatman headed back to the point he'd dropped us off at and there she was. It was near a rock in the sea so she figured if she stayed near it we'd find her eventually! Alls well that ends well.
On days when we felt a tad lazy we would opt for the shorter trip to where the lava flowed into the sea, this area was just accross the bay from Vita so could be reached in a few minutes, the coral and marine life was, again, spectacular and it was strange to swim here as you'd suddenly go through currents of very warm water and the visibility took on a strange shimmering effect, almost like swimming in a kettle that was warming up! There's obviously still plenty of activity going on in
Well it's almost time to leave the Bandas We have managed to get a ferry schedue from Pelni ( yes Sharon we actually got one!!) so we are heading off on the next one to the Kei Islands. A collection of islands between here and Papua New Guinea.
That's on 5th February. From there it should be easy to get back to Civilisation as they have flights daily to Ambon and Makassar. Fingers crossed!
There are more photos below