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Tonym

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  1. I want to be unsubscribed from all of Wetpixel. TonyM
  2. DebF has just posted a new thread with facts about the Crocodile attack at the Blue Mangroves in the Misool area. She would have made this post but the Orchid lounge was closing and the internet connection at the Meridien Hotel was not working so I posted it for her. "I realize this is an ongoing thread in this forum concerning the recent crocodile attack, but chose to start a new thread rather than tack on a 3rd (or perhaps 4th or 5th by now) page on top of the speculations." The facts about the Crocodile attack from the Cruise Director and one of the divemasters. [EDIT BY MODERATOR (AM)] - Apologies to Tony for merging the threads - this post was in the original thread directing readers to the new thread (which in now merged into this discussion). Ihave updated the link so it still takes you to Deb's comments (above in this thread).
  3. Hi Lauren, How big was the Croc in your profile photo?
  4. DebF here on Tonym ID.. as I can't seem to resurrect my ID unused since '04... RickM.. Thanks for the compliment. I LOVE swimming with the silversides (or any good sized school of fish) and days like the one in the "Silversides" video are my favorites. Fortunately I get the chance to do it regularly as we do several trips in Raja Ampat every year for the last 9-10. Since it is so shallow and we are doing "open deck" where we can practically stay in the water all day, I've got lots of footage (I even skip meals) ... can practically keep the video shooting an entire dive. I've got some tapes that I've shown on a friend's HDTV and those watching said I could just put them to music with no editing. I think they would be an excellent way to put one to sleep! But when you are there it is really more exciting that just watching - what with the jacks and other fish attacking the balls, funnels and streams of formations of silversides. Sometimes even schools of Mobula Rays are going after them, but I've only got the rays on still photos so far. DebF
  5. Victor, Please wear your best looking wetsuit and mask so that you can model and look good like David Bearden and Bruce Magun did in the Silversides on the Reef Video.
  6. DebF here on Tonym ID.. as I can't seem to resurrect my ID unused since '04... Thanks! Yep.. I installed Edius Neo during a surface interval on the 12.1" laptop I carry on trips to do email and accounting. Still doing my editing on it in the office. I made one quick DVD to play at the Long Beach Show, just dragged in some 5-10 min. clips. These are my next two attempts at editing. The actual editing seems really easy (maybe because I'm not using an Adobe product?). Getting these two, with all the busy scenes, dark scenes, and high movement into Flash and looking good - not so easy. Maybe impossible??? The idea of creating each video from only 1 day's dives makes it easier as I don't allow myself to worry about going after better stuff from other days. Hard to limit to 5 min. even doing that. DebF
  7. DebF here on Tonym ID.. as I can't seem to resurrect my ID unused since '04... Mangroves: Vis varied throughout the day. Very clear early morning and until after noon. Then tide changed and crud floated in from the mangroves. Much of the stuff in the water late afternoon is tiny jellyfish (too small to make out in the online version but very cool to watch with the sun rays on a big monitor or TV). V clear again at night. Silversides: Very clear .. maybe 100ft vis. That one made before I had the WB control so the deep stuff is kinda weird colors.. lionfish, clown trigger at 80-90ft ... Vis can change wildly in a matter of hours. DebF
  8. George, when you get your email fixed go to Cityseahorse.com, there is a newsletter sign up button there, along with various other links for info about Raja Ampat.
  9. Hey George, I thought that you would have seen it before now, aren't you on the mailing list? It will be hard to replace you as a photographer not so sure about as a model.
  10. Deb Fugitt has been shooting video for 2 years on our trips in Raja Ampat. She has finally started editing and is creating a series of short videos, each made from one day's dives There are two new videos filmed in Raja Ampat by Deb that have just been put online. One of them is Deep Water Mangroves, and the other is Silversides on the Reef, two great areas in Raja Ampat with colorful inhabitants Raja Ampat Videos
  11. Dental floss is the best thread for making repairs to clothing, wetsuits etc, it is extremely strong. If you need some sutures in the field it can also be used for that, not self dissolving though.
  12. Hi Phil, DebF says that she will have her antique hair dryer on the May 2009 Halmahera trip in case it is needed to reduce the moisture on or in a piece of camera or housing equipment. This hair dryer has been traveling with us for the last 10 years and has never been used on hair but has been used on many pieces of photographic equipment by many people.
  13. Damn Mike, We advertise you as the one that can resurrect strobe functions on an Ike housing that was flooded and the TTL gizmo in it is too soggy to work. You worked a miracle for Mitch 2 years ago with your soldering iron, rewiring his Ikelite housing for manual strobe function saved his cookies for the week of diving in Lembeh after our Charter on Ondina . CitySeahorse or DebF will pay the overweight luggage charge for your soldering iron if you continue to bring it with you on our trips.
  14. Raja Ampat - Halmahera - Lembeh Strait - May 8-20, 2009, 12nts. Our Newest Trip Sorong - Halmahera - Bitung I scheduled this route for May 2008 and ran a "by invitation only" trip with a few selected divers who had been on multiple trips with me previously. Frankly, after hearing reports from others who had done this route, I was apprehensive, but this dive trip turned out to be one of our best trips ever. Consensus is that this Raja Ampat to Lembeh Strait trip produced some of the best images and was one of the most exciting trips we've made. We were all very pleased with the route and I'm looking forward to repeating it in 2009 with an open invitation to any diver who is qualified. Just hearing about the trip made Norb, our previous cruise director, jealous! The Raja Ampat - Halmahera - Lembeh Strait trip will spend several days in Raja Ampat, including Dampier Strait, with all the now-famous dive sites and including sites around Misool. Divers who have been to Raja Ampat already will get their "fix" of the best sites there before we move on. Fishy reefs and mangroves, rock islands, manta, piers with soft corals, walking sharks.... and then.... ... working our way west, we'll visit remote, seldom dived islands with remarkable and pristine (really) coral reefs, tiny islands and rocks that are covered in beautiful corals, overflowing with fishes.. and crawling with tiny critters.. especially great for night dives. Expect some unusual colors with corals abundant in shades of yellow and purple/red. And great underwater structures for wide-angle photography.. or even better.. video ! See more underwater creatures at Deb's Sample Gallery ...continuing on we'll zip up the western side of Halmahera stopping to dive sites in the strait between Halmahera and Pulau Bakan, including an amazing site where sharks cruised close by to check us out and odd sky-blue sea fans made a nice background for Blue Ribbon Eels on a pinnacle covered with huge sponges, a wide diversity of brilliantly colored soft corals and heaps of fish. In May 2008 a muck-critter night dive near our anchorage produced scores of nudibranchs, shrimps, gastropold molluscs, coral pipefish, etc..... ...after a day or so there, we arrive in the Gorachi Islands where the volcano islands of Tidore, Ternate and Makian rise out of the sea in the distance. Diving on rocks that just peek out of the sea, we'll be sure to repeat one where, when the current was running, was a maze of boulders covered with a rainbow of soft corals with 100's of yellow sweetlips resting in the valleys. Near the end of the trip we dive an extremely remote, small island where dive sites are few... fish are many. Especially barracuda. A school of over 1000 barracuda hang around the site in a school so gigantic you can't see all of it.. it fades off into the distance.. even in relative good visibility. Cruising jacks, midnight snappers... giant Napoleon Wrasse, fusiliers that buzz around us distracting us from the photography... ... and then we move on to end the trip in one of the best places for muck macro photograpy in the world, Lembeh Strait. We'll end the trip with some muck diving and for those who have time to extend drop them, their cameras & dive gear still wet from the previous day's diving at a Lembeh resort to continue a few extra days of muck. Nudibranchs with shrimp, hairy frogfish, Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Mimic Octopus.. the critters are legendary. For my dive/photo groups I bring in freelance divemasters and guides to insure we have a great crew, above and beyond the liveaboard's regular crew. I have even been selecting the cruise director for the one I believe will do the best job for specific trips. (I'm in the process now of arranging freelance guides for our Nov 2008 and Apr/May 2009 trips.) Participation is limited to 12 guests. By limiting the number of divers, more diving is possible and the dive deck is less crowded. All divers enjoy unlimited dive time. You will have the freedom to enjoy your trip to the fullest as we never impose arbitrary time or dive limitations on many days we have an open deck so you can dive when you want. On our trips you will get more diving than any other trip to the same areas, plus extra dive guides and experienced tour organizers / trip leaders who will also help you organize your travel plans and look out for your best interest. As a guest photographer you will have the prime photo opportunities. We have chartered the ship SMY Ondina for our last 13 dive/photo trips and work together each trip to improve over the previous one. Our 2008 and 2009 trips are on SMY Ondina again! We love this ship, 2009 will be the 6th year in a row that we have chartered her because most of our guests tell us that they prefer SMY Ondina to any other liveaboard they have been on. Its not high luxury, but a comfortable ship laid out extremely well for diving. The winners of the 2004-2007 SMY Ondina Photo contest (free cruise!) have been guests on one of our charters. Deb has a Raja Ampat gallery including a short video clip from one of our May 2008 trips (just a sample really) and details of the trips here: Raja Ampat - Halmahera - Lembeh Strait Trip Information All 2009 Trip dates: Raja Ampat: Apr. 22- May 4, 2009, 12nts. $4095 Raja Ampat - Halmahera - Lembeh: May 8 - 20, 2009, 12 nts. $4095 Raja Ampat Nov. 12- Nov 23, 2009, 11 nts. $3895 Raja Ampat Nov. 26- Dec 07, 2009, 11 nts. $3755 Wholesale air flights, assistance with travel plans available for divers from the USA. Complete packages available including add-on diving in Bali, Lembeh, Ambon, etc. Contact Deb or Tony in Texas at 817.626.0636 or via email tours@cityseahorse.com by DebF for TonyM
  15. 2008 trips are all full Raja Ampat: Apr. 22- May 4, 2009, 12nts. $4095 Our Best Trips, Sorong - Sorong All divers enjoy unlimited dive time. You will have the freedom to enjoy your trip to the fullest as we never impose arbitrary time or dive limitations. On our trips you will get more diving than any other trip to the same areas, extra dive guides and experienced group leaders who will also help you organize your travel plans. As a guest photographer you will have the prime photo opportunities. Participation is limited to 12 guests. By limiting the number of divers, more diving is possible (4-7 dives per day). The itinerary for each trip is designed around the direction of the current, current strength, phase of moon and time of day to put photographers on the best dive sites at the best time to get good photos. We do not run a fixed itinerary every week, however each trip will visit all the good sites. All our trips are special liveaboard charters organized so that you can dive as much and as long as you like and target your diving at the best sites for photography and for observing marine life. See more underwater creatures at Deb's Sample Raja Ampat Gallery We had two excellent trips in Raja Ampat this spring. We hit the diving nearly perfect. Loads of fish, especially big schools of barracuda, massive block-out-the-sun schools of silversides being chased by gigantic schools of jacks and mobula rays. The usual hundreds of sweetlips, big schools of snappers, fusiliers, banner fish etc. Plus Coleman shrimp, blue-ring octopus, nudibranchs, shrimp gobies, mantis shrimp, wobbegong sharks, giant clams... etc. etc. I keep hearing from divers who didn't have good trips in Raja Ampat so want to emphasize that it is critical to dive there with someone who knows the dive sites and makes the effort to schedule the dives around the current directions and strength, phase of moon and time of day. As far as I know, these trips are the only ones organized that way. On the same dive site it will make the difference between a mind-blowing, action, fish-filled colorful dive or a boring nothing-but-rocks and reef fish dive. We have chartered the ship SMY Ondina for our last 13 dive/photo trips and work together each trip to improve over the previous one. Our 2008 and 2009 trips are on SMY Ondina again! We love this ship, 2009 will be the 6th year in a row that we have chartered her because our guests tell us that they prefer SMY Ondina to any other liveaboard they have been on. The winners of the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 SMY Ondina Photo contest have been guests on one of our charters. We know the dive sites and where the best photographic opportunities are. Deb has a Raja Ampat gallery including a short video clip from one of our May 2008 trips (just a sample really) and details of the trips here: Raja Ampat Trip Information All 2009 Trip dates: Raja Ampat: Apr. 22- May 4, 2009, 12nts. $4095 Raja Ampat - Halmahera - Lembeh: May 8 - 20, 2009, 12 nts. $4095 Raja Ampat Nov. 12- Nov 23, 2009, 11 nts. $3895 Raja Ampat Nov. 26- Dec 07, 2009, 11 nts. $3755 Wholesale air flights, assistance with travel plans available for divers from the USA. Complete packages available including add-on diving in Bali, Lembeh, Ambon, etc. Contact Deb or Tony in Texas at 817.626.0636 or via email tours@cityseahorse.com
  16. 2008 trips are all full Raja Ampat Nov. 12- Nov 23, 2009, 11 nts. $3895 Raja Ampat Nov. 26- Dec 07, 2009, 11 nts. $3755 Our Best Trips, Sorong - Sorong All divers enjoy unlimited dive time. You will have the freedom to enjoy your trip to the fullest as we never impose arbitrary time or dive limitations. On our trips you will get more diving than any other trip to the same areas, extra dive guides and experienced group leaders who will also help you organize your travel plans. As a guest photographer you will have the prime photo opportunities. Participation is limited to 12 guests. By limiting the number of divers, more diving is possible (4-7 dives per day). The itinerary for each trip is designed around the direction of the current, current strength, phase of moon and time of day to put photographers on the best dive sites at the best time to get good photos. We do not run a fixed itinerary every week, however each trip will visit all the good sites. All our trips are special liveaboard charters organized so that you can dive as much and as long as you like and target your diving at the best sites for photography and for observing marine life. See more underwater creatures at Deb's Sample Raja Ampat Gallery We had two excellent trips in Raja Ampat this spring. We hit the diving nearly perfect. Loads of fish, especially big schools of barracuda, massive block-out-the-sun schools of silversides being chased by gigantic schools of jacks and mobula rays. The usual hundreds of sweetlips, big schools of snappers, fusiliers, banner fish etc. Plus Coleman shrimp, blue-ring octopus, nudibranchs, shrimp gobies, mantis shrimp, wobbegong sharks, giant clams... etc. etc. I keep hearing from divers who didn't have good trips in Raja Ampat so want to emphasize that it is critical to dive there with someone who knows the dive sites and makes the effort to schedule the dives around the current directions and strength, phase of moon and time of day. As far as I know, these trips are the only ones organized that way. On the same dive site it will make the difference between a mind-blowing, action, fish-filled colorful dive or a boring nothing-but-rocks and reef fish dive. We have chartered the ship SMY Ondina for our last 13 dive/photo trips and work together each trip to improve over the previous one. Our 2008 and 2009 trips are on SMY Ondina again! We love this ship, 2009 will be the 6th year in a row that we have chartered her because our guests tell us that they prefer SMY Ondina to any other liveaboard they have been on. The winners of the 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 SMY Ondina Photo contest have been guests on one of our charters. We know the dive sites and where the best photographic opportunities are. Deb has a Raja Ampat gallery including a short video clip from one of our May 2008 trips (just a sample really) and details of the trips here: Raja Ampat Trip Information All 2009 Trip dates: Raja Ampat: Apr. 22- May 4, 2009, 12nts. $4095 Raja Ampat - Halmahera - Lembeh: May 8 - 20, 2009, 12 nts. $4095 Raja Ampat Nov. 12- Nov 23, 2009, 11 nts. $3895 Raja Ampat Nov. 26- Dec 07, 2009, 11 nts. $3755 Wholesale air flights, assistance with travel plans available for divers from the USA. Complete packages available including add-on diving in Bali, Lembeh, Ambon, etc. Contact Deb or Tony in Texas at 817.626.0636 or via email tours@cityseahorse.com
  17. Most U.S. Visa and Mastercard issuers now charge you 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of the charge for any charges made outside the U.S. As Mike pointed out your U.S. bank may well slap a surcharge on you for an ATM withdrawl outside of the U.S. However some banks and brokerage houses waive the fees for ATM usage in foreign countries. I know that Charles Schwab credits you for any fees for using their Debit card in any ATM worldwide. If you use a Bank of America Debit card in an ATM outside the U.S. they will slap a surcharge on you. I believe it is a % of the U.S. dollar amount plus a small flat fee per usage. Since I discovered that Schwab doesn't hit you with a surcharge that is the only card I use in ATMs outside the U.S. Bank of America, Chase Bank and Charles Schwab have a daily withdrawal limit of $1000 on ATMs outside the U.S. Even with the limitations of 1.5 million $RP at some ATMs you can usually run your card 2 or 3 times and end up with the equivalent of $330 or almost $500 U.S. for 5 minutes at the ATM. USD$500 will go a long way in Indonesia and the ATMs are all over the place. Occasionally we find one out of service or out of money but there are usually others around fairly close by. There are one or two ATMs in Ubud where you can get $RP 2 million 2 or 3 times each time you run your card through the machine. I have found that ATMs are much more convenient and easier than the hassle with exchanging money at a money changer where first of all you have to find one that is open, secondly he must have Rupiah at the time you are there, and finally you have to count it 2 or 3 times before you leave the counter to make sure that you weren't short changed.
  18. Bill we have done 4-6 dive trips in Raja Ampat every year since 1999 and found that it is much easier to use ATMs to get Rupiah than trying to exchange USD. With the widespread installations of ATMs in Indonesia there is no reason to have to exchange USD for Rupiah, we were very glad when the ATMs started to pop up all over Indonesia because it eliminated the hassle of the money changer or the time spent in a bank to change to Rupiah We advise our liveaboard guests that ATMs are the easiest and most hassle free method of obtaining Rupiah. All of the International airports, DPS, MDC, JKT, UPG have ATMs that are conveniently located. There are ATMs through out Bali, Manado, and also in Sorong in Raja Ampat. Most of the large Indonesian banks have an ATM just outside the entrance to the bank. The hassle with trying to get pristine USD$100 bills here in TX is very time consuming. We accumulate some so that we have a ready supply if needed for emergencies but always use ATMs for Rupiah to spend whilst we are in Indonesia. Since when did Indonesia stop taking USD$100 bills printed prior to 2006? We were in Manado in May-June of this year and there was no problem changing bills that were printed after 1999.
  19. One of the divers on our April 30 - May 12, 2008 liveaboard trip injured his leg badly on Saturday. He cannot dive for at least 6 weeks. We have one space available on this dive/photo trip. 12 nights in Raja Ampat aboard SMY Ondina which we have chartered fo 10 trips since 2004. Can be a guaranteed single cabin or a share, We can get wholesale air flights from the USA to Indonesia for this. This is the only space we have available on any of our trips until April 2009. Email or call us immediately if you are interested in this trip. Tours@cityseahorse.com Call Tony or Deb at 817.626.0636
  20. We have been traveling LAX to SIN 2 or 3 times a year on Singapore Airlines since 1999, and this May we made the mistake of sitting in the front of the boarding area because DebF had knee surgery about 3 weeks before the flight and we needed to have early boarding so she would be able to board without problems or getting run over by small women in a hurry to board. BIG MISTAKE, they nabbed my roll-a-board because it was a tad heavy at about 19 kilos. I unloaded it into my backpack and her 2nd carry on and gave them an empty roll-a-board which they supposedly gate checked 1 hour prior to departure. IT was not on the flight with us to SIN and then on to Bali. The gate Nazis also hassled 2 elderly women in wheel chairs and took their carry ons away from them at that time. One of them was traveling by herself and she was in tears. There was absolutely no need for her to get hassled. I watched as the 350 or so passengers got on after we did and there were many with back packs almost as large as my 2 checked bags that had to weigh 25-30 kilos each, some folks had 4 carry ons, many of them larger than the one they made me give up and they had absolutely no problems whatsoever. This is the first time either of us has been hassled about the number of, or the weight of our carry ons. We did get my carryon delivered to our hotel in Ubud one day after we arrived in Bali thanks to the lost baggage service in the DPS aiport. It is 1000% better than American Airlines (AA) at finding missing luggage and forwarding it in a timely manner. IF your luggage goes missing on AA the best thing you can do is search all the luggage areas at all of the AA gates, you will probably find it there, AA will never will. So to summarize: Stay in the middle or back of the boarding areas for Singapore airlines, don't look at the agents, just be cool and you should be good to go with 2 carryons, possibly 3.
  21. Mark, We get 90% of our info about Aquamarine Diving via their newsletter which is published every 2 months. As Drew stated I do have a relationship with AMD's WEBMs but the newsletter is our source for most information, I found out about their boats in the newsletter not from some back channel. We certainly aren't able to just pop down to AMD's office and query Annabel about what is going on with AMD as we live in Fort Worth, TX. We do get to Indonesia 2 or 3 times a year but not always to Bali. For those who would like to be kept abreast of information about AMD drop them an email at news@AquaMarineDiving.com and asked to be put on their newsletter subscription list, Annabel will be quite happy to see that you are added to the list.
  22. A few more facts, for the uninformed about Aquamarine Diving, which were provided by an "insider". AquaMarine 1, their first boat, was launched at the end of 2006 over 8 months ago. Aquamarine 2 was launched in July 2007. AquaMarine Diving Bali owns two boats - moored in Pandangbai rather than Sanur (like BIDP and Ena who both only own 1 boat each). Why moored in Padangbai? So AquaMarine can also offer diving at Tepekong, Mimpang, Biaha and Selang unlike dive operators who moor their boats in Sanur (it's too far to travel). Also Sanur suffers terribly from those low, low tides meaning guests have long treks up and down the beach and then wading through water to get into boats ... and of course all the gear and tanks have to be carried/transported to the boats too. Both AquaMarine boats have toilets and "excellent guides who understand photographers". . AquaMarine only employs local dive staff and has certified five local Divemasters and so far has paid for three local dive staff to become instructors with the fourth starting his IDC/IE on 07 Sept 2007. Aquamarine has the first Balinese Instructor to take his IDC/IE on Bali and he was a Divemaster for Aquamarine when he did his IDC/IE. I have dived with several of AquaMarine's guides and they are excellent critter spotters, know how to handle a camera and are clued in on good eats spots.
  23. Divers Lodge Lembeh Lembeh Strait Indonesia Dive/Photography Group You don't have to be on the May 28-June 4, SMY Ondina Raja Ampat trip to book this trip at Diver's Lodge. May 28-June 4, 2008 (1 space available) This is a very small resort and we can only take 9 divers for the week there. We depart April 30 aboard the liveaboard SMY Ondina for our dive/photo cruise from Lembeh Strait to Halmahera and Raja Ampat. The ship will pick up guests for that trip at the resort, so no drying or packing required! I chose this resort for 4 reasons.. the size (we can have the whole place)... the ratio of boats/divers.. the ratio of guides/divers.. plus the unlimited diving (and free Nitrox). It didn't hurt that people I've sent there came back with rave reviews and extended their stay as long as possible. Divers Lodge Lembeh Strait, resort from the bay The package includes: * 7 nights, 6 days UNLIMTED NITROX diving * all meals and snacks * 1 dive guide/2 divers * 5 boats to use as we please * airport transfers * free laundry service * tax & service The trip will be geared toward best photography experiences. If you've been on one of our trips before, you know that our guests are the best! There is room for only 11 guests total (including Tony and I) at this tiny resort. The resort has 6 cottages, 5 boats and 6 dive guides.. lots of personal attention. Divers Lodge Lembeh Dive Boat The Divers Lodge boats are comfortable. All are similar to the photo, but different sizes. All are shaded and with a toilet and shower, rinse tanks for cameras and a work space. I understand you can even charge batteries aboard some of them. Lunch is served on board, between dives. Soft drinks, tea, coffee, biscuits and fruit are available at any time. This Lembeh Strait trip should be a lot of fun. I see us splitting up different ways every day depending on what people what to do. The resort is at the end of Lembeh Island, right across from Bitung. So, you can choose to go muck diving in the Strait, or go the other way (weather permitting) and do some reef diving. Also they have some Mandarianfish right outside the resort (and no surcharge!! for the Mandarianfish dive). Divers Lodge Lembeh view from Bungalow All the comfortable and very private, but not luxurious, bungalows face seaward and have great views over the southeast end of the island.. which they own, so it is pretty hills and a nice bay. Divers Lodge Lembeh view from Bungalow 1 or 2 bungalows have views in both directions (toward N. Sulawesi and the volcanos). The staff will carry your cameras to and from the boat for you. Tarsiers live on the property. We saw them when we were there in May! They claim to have more birds there than in Tangkoko.. but I'll never be able to verify that! Divers Lodge Lembeh Dining Table The food is good. Not fancy but very tasty and served at one long table in the dining/lounge building. Downside? The "pool" is only the inflatable one used for the kids. Prices for this trip are: * 856 euro (about US$1155) per person double occupancy * 1076 euro (US$1455) per person for a single cottage (only 1 available). These rates are based in euros. The price in your home currency (if not euros) will vary until paid in full. 25% deposit required to confirm a booking on this trip. Priority for this trip goes to divers scheduled on the April 30-May 12 Halmahere - Raja Ampat Charter, however I should have some space available for others. email us about the Sorong - Sorong Raja Ampat dive trip or call Deb Fugitt, City Seahorse, Inc., in Texas, 817-626-0636
  24. Raja Ampat Apr 30 - May. 12, 2008 Our Best Trips, Sorong - Sorong All divers enjoy unlimited dive time. You will have the freedom to enjoy your trip to the fullest as we never impose arbitrary time or dive limitations. On our trips you will get more diving than any other trip to the same areas, extra dive guides and experienced group leaders who will also help you organize your travel plans. As a guest photographer you will have the prime photo opportunities. Participation is limited to 12 guests. By limiting the number of divers, more diving is possible (4-7 dives per day). The itinerary for each trip is designed around the direction of the current, current strength, phase of moon and time of day to put photographers on the best dive sites at the best time to get good photos. We do not run a fixed itinerary every week, however each trip will visit all the good sites. All our trips are special liveaboard charters organized so that you can dive as much and as long as you like and target your diving at the best sites for photography and for observing marine life. Sample Raja Ampat Gallery We had two excellent trips in Raja Ampat last fall. We hit the diving nearly perfect. Loads of fish, especially big schools of barracuda, massive block-out-the-sun schools of silversides being chased by gigantic schools of jacks and mobula rays. The usual hundreds of sweetlips, big schools of snappers, fusiliers, banner fish etc. Plus Coleman shrimp, blue-ring octopus, nudibranchs, shrimp gobies, mantis shrimp, wobbegong sharks, giant clams... etc. etc. I keep hearing from divers who didn't have good trips in Raja Ampat so want to emphasize that it is critical to dive there with someone who knows the dive sites and makes the effort to schedule the dives around the current directions and strength, phase of moon and time of day. As far as I know, these trips are the only ones organized that way. On the same dive site it will make the difference between a mind-blowing, action, fish-filled colorful dive or a boring nothing-but-rocks and reef fish dive. We have chartered the ship SMY Ondina for our last 8 dive/photo trips and work together each trip to improve over the previous one. Our 2007 and 2008 trips are on SMY Ondina again! We love this ship, 2008 will be the 5th year in a row that we have chartered her because our guests tell us that they prefer SMY Ondina to any other liveaboard they have been on. The winners of the 2004, 2005, 2006 SMY Ondina Photo contest have been guests on one of our charters. We know the dive sites and where the best photographic opportunities are. Deb has a Raja Ampat gallery (just a sample really) and details of the trips here: Raja Ampat Trip Information Wholesale air flights, assistance with travel plans available for divers from the USA. Complete packages available including add-on diving in Bali: Tulamben, Seraya, Lembeh and Ambon etc. with private uw photo guides. Contact Deb or Tony in Texas at 817.626.0636 or via email tours@cityseahorse.com
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