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Wetpixel Ultimate Indonesia 2012 Trip Report and Slideshow

indonesia expeditions

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#41 buck

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

Dear all,
What can I say. It was the ultimate Indonesia trip. The Damai Dua is more like a fine piece of hand crafted furniture than a boat. What's more the crew, their service, the ridiculously spacious quarters, attention to detail and fine food are hard to praise adequately before you even get to a discussion of the diving. It's clear from the posts above that the diving and photographic opportunities were amazing. Our fellow guests were the icing on the cake. This is my first attempt at posting on the wetpixel site so please bear with me. Many thanks to all!

2012-12-10_IMG_1498_©mikebuckmaster.jpg 2012-12-08_IMG_0401_©mikebuckmaster.jpg 2012-12-16_IMG_5222_©mikebuckmaster.jpg

Canon 7D in Nauticam housing with twin Inon Z240
8-15 f4L fisheye zoom or 100 f2.8L IS macro
Michael J. Buckmaster, M.D.

#42 buck

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:52 PM

Here is a typical day aboard the Damai - feast your eyes!

Sunrise:

2012-12-11_L1002380_©mikebuckmaster.jpg

Mid day:

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Sundown:

2012-12-16_L1002758_©mikebuckmaster.jpg

What a view, what a boat!

2012-12-13 at 12-17-26.jpg
Michael J. Buckmaster, M.D.

#43 buck

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:55 PM

There were plenty of neat creatures to photograph:

2012-12-14_IMG_3563_©mikebuckmaster.jpg

2012-12-14_IMG_3647_©mikebuckmaster.jpg

2012-12-14_IMG_3462_©mikebuckmaster.jpg
Michael J. Buckmaster, M.D.

#44 buck

buck

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 06:05 PM

Including humans:

We agree with Emily and Simon - dangit he's cute!

2012-12-13 at 12-17-58.jpg

A little reef hook chain gang:

2012-12-17_IMG_5997_©mikebuckmaster.jpg

Simon you rock above and below the sea:

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And many thanks to our dive masters and the boat drivers that made it all happen:

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An unforgettable experience deficient only in superlatives for description.

All my best,
Mike
Michael J. Buckmaster, M.D.

#45 Jay Moony

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:12 AM

Dear Starfish,
In 15 years on liveaboards around most parts of Southeast Asia, this is the very first time I have read something like this and I am shocked about the way you describe the event, the exaggerations and the twisting of the truth you have published on this Forum. Not only are you creating a bad image for WAOW but you are also attacking me personally, accusing me publicly of things I have not done and all that, without knowing me or let alone even having ever talked to me. As we all know, there are always 2 sides to a story and I do take the opportunity to just put it down here as you are the one who has initiated this, for reasons unknown to me.
1. "Simon and the dive guides returned from the WAOW and told us we would wait another half hour to go in".
==> When Damai came to the site we already were anchored close by all morning, they were clearly told by WAOW's dive crew, that we would go diving in 30 minutes! Damai has not respected this by launching at the exact same time as our crew had told them we would! If Damai can not wait any longer for whatever reasons, then Damai can chose about 10 different dive sites in close proximity and go and dive there at their desired time.
2. "WAOW's tenders roared up to us and their dive director, began screaming at all of us and using tremendous but not very creative profanity."
==> Roaring over in a fully loaded chase boat? Not possible mate. I shouted over - as we are on the sea and not in a closed room, so it is better to talk in a loud voice - and asked whether the Cruise Director had gone in or not and whether he would know the rules and regulations of proper dive operator conduct around Raja Ampat.
3. "This terrible dive guide (identifiable by his large pony bottle strapped to his tank and his board shorts) comes by and intentionally gets between our divers and the mantas and violently exhales to spook the mantas…
==> There are 3 of us diving with Pony's and 2 of those 3 sometimes wear board shorts. Also we do actually have videographic evidence, that this statement is simply a lie and put up here for the sole purpose of giving WAOW and myself a bad name! Besides that, it was not "Mantas" but just one Manta and that one being way too far away to have been spooked by any form of bubbles whatsoever, no matter how violently one would exhale through his regulator.. And lastly, why should I who loves creatures such as Manta Rays, possibly do such a thing??? I do supply Misool Eco Resort as well as "Manta Matcher" with "fingerprint" images of Manta Rays to do my part in identifying and knowing more about these magnificent animals...


And to put an end to this my dear Mr. Starfish, I actually called Damai Dua's interim Cruise Director over the radio and asked him what this was all about? I was simply told, in a very arrogant tone, that he needed to go diving and that he could not wait because he needed to head back to Sorong because his guests would fly out the next day. Well... So did ours!
My questions to you Mr. Starfish are rather simple: Are we still in the Kindergarten or are we adults? What’s the point in making a big fuss out of it on an open forum? What's in it for you?

#46 buck

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:46 AM

Regarding the posts between Yellowmon & Mr. Moony:
In all my travels, I've never seen divers intentionally disrupt another groups dive in progress.
Perhaps a bit more grace would be in order. Or maybe a career change?
Michael J. Buckmaster, M.D.

#47 echeng

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 01:38 PM

Jay, thanks for coming and posting your side of the story. There are, of course, always two sides to any story, and since none of the rest of us were there, we'll really know what happened. It's clear that people were upset on both sides, though, which is unfortunate, given the fact that you were all there to see something so beautiful. I hope you and Douglas can come to an understanding privately.
eric cheng
publisher/editor, wetpixel
www | journal | photos


#48 AllisonFinch

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 06:29 PM

I certainly know no more than what was posted here. BUT, Mr Moony, your post was one of the hottest and most unprefessional ones I have read. I am sure you could have stated your side of the story without coming off as the hothead I now believe you must be. While I may not have avoided your boat based on the one story, your hotheaded response will definitely make me think twice before booking with your operation. And, I spend at least one month every year in the region.



#49 RWP0515

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:54 PM

and asked whether the Cruise Director had gone in or not and whether he would know the rules and regulations of proper dive operator conduct around Raja Ampat.

 

 

 

 

 

Actually if the WAOW had been anchored close to Blue Magic all morning then it is the WAOW that is breaking Raja Ampat Code of Conduct. Boats should only be at a dive site for a maximum of 2 hours and then move on.

 

But as a manager at a land based resort in the Dampier Straight for 2.5 years I can confidentley say that most of the boats do not adhere to this rule, much to our frustration and dissapointment.



Great photos Buck! I especially love the Damsel, great colours from the fish and the acropora polyps.



#50 Jay Moony

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 05:59 AM

and asked whether the Cruise Director had gone in or not and whether he would know the rules and regulations of proper dive operator conduct around Raja Ampat.

 

 

 

 

 

Actually if the WAOW had been anchored close to Blue Magic all morning then it is the WAOW that is breaking Raja Ampat Code of Conduct. Boats should only be at a dive site for a maximum of 2 hours and then move on.

 

But as a manager at a land based resort in the Dampier Straight for 2.5 years I can confidentley say that most of the boats do not adhere to this rule, much to our frustration and dissapointment.



Great photos Buck! I especially love the Damsel, great colours from the fish and the acropora polyps.

Hi Ross,

 

Getting the facts right is the key to some good argumentation mate...

Therefore here are some distances for you to consider before making such a statement.

- Anchorage to Blue Magic: 1.4 n. m. 

- Anchorage to Mioskon 0.9 n. m.

- Anchorage to Sardine Reef: 1.9 n. m.

- Anchorage to Mike's Point 2.5 n. m.

All distances are within easy reach of our 3 tenders, without needing to rise and drop anchor on multiple occasions or to unnecessarily waste Diesel whilst standing by closer to the dive sites just so that I did not stay "immobile" for more than 2 hours...

By the way, all our outboards are environmentally friendly 4-stroke engines and pollution is therefore much less than with 2-stroke engines.

I also have 2 times 200 meters of chain on my anchors so I really do not need to get close to the dive sites and always anchor in deep water.

Now as you can see, I can confidently say that the distances we anchor away from the closest dive site or from any reef is much further away than any regulations require and if I would like to anchor there for 6 hours, 8 or 10 hours, then I think that I can do so without disturbing anyone, don't you think?

 

Cheers and see you next season,

Jay



#51 DamonA

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 05:18 AM

What a beautiful little wrasse! Great colours



#52 sweetlips

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 11:32 AM

Sorry to not seem too surprised by Starfish's comments about the WAOW's cruise director. I did actually get to know him on board and have to agree with AllisonFinch, he has quite a character and an ego, the hotheadedness was definitely an issue during our trip!