Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hatta

Another highlight of the Banda islands of Indonesia is the world class diving. We were told not to miss the small island of Hatta a couple hours to the east. So we threw off the dock lines and spent a day over there. When we approached, guess who! It was Joel and Anna, our friends watching us from the beach as we tried to anchor. They had hired a local boat to take them there for the day.

Jordan, Judy, Anna, Joel

Anchoring was next to impossible as the reef is shallow right up to the "wall", then it drops off to oblivion. Either too shallow or too deep, not to mention scarring this pristine underwater coral. treasure. We were directed further along till finally we found a marginally tenable spot after 2 tries. Jordan dove to ensure a secure anchor and adequate clearance under the keel.

We met up with Joel and Anna for what was the best snorkelling we have had in all our travels to date! Visibility was an incredible 30 m (100 feet). There was the most amazing and prodigious array of both soft and hard coral that blanketed the bottom and the abundance of fish and variety was unmatched. The scene was the best as we drifted along the reef's edge. It was a dramatic feeling of floating or flying out over the edge while we looked down along the wall into the disappearing ominous deep. As our luck with underwater cameras would have it, ours was kaput. But no worries, the scene is saved to mental memory forever!

Our snorkelling ended up back at Sea Turtle to excitedly reflect on what we just experienced over cold, refreshing drinks with Joel and Anna.

For the return to Banda Naira, we found an elusive breeze that took us most of the way.

Small passenger boat in the distance

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