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Syuru Village, The Asmat, Indonesia

One thing for certain – we are glad that we are honored guests, not enemies, and the entire village came out to greet us. The National Geographic Orion anchors just after sunrise in Flamingo Bay. Read More>

Oct 29, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Kajumera Bay, West Papua, Indonesia

Real exploration is at the heart of the Lindblad-National Geographic style of expedition travel. Many good experiences can be planned, but the best and most exciting days are those when we head into unknown territory, all plans flexible, eyes wide open, ready for anything. Today National Geographic Orion anchored in the mouth of Kajumera Bay, on the southern coast of the narrow neck of the Bird’s Head, the huge peninsula that forms the western end of New Guinea. Read More>

Oct 28, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Triton Bay, West Papua, Indonesia

Triton Bay is a small bay on the west side of the island of New Guinea, in the southern end of the peninsula known as the Bird’s Head. This area was first “discovered” by the famous explorer Sir Thomas Ritchieford sometime around 1832. It was not scientifically investigated until 2006, and what results did they find! On the first expedition of scientists, at least 14 new species of fish were discovered, and 330 species of reef fish were found on one dive site alone. That is amongst the highest in the world!  Around lunch time we entered another world. Read More>

Oct 27, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Banda Neira, The Moluccas

We entered into the flooded Banda Caldera in the early morning before breakfast, and everyone immediately noticed how lush and green the islands here are, especially compared to the Lesser Sunda Islands where we had been previously. Our vessel was escorted into the wharf by one of the spectacular Kora Koras, the Bandanese version of a dragon boat. It was interesting to see (and hear) that the paddling cadence was maintained by bronze gongs, rather than the more familiar leather-covered drums. It was quite melodious and pleasant. We were then welcomed to the historic old town by a troupe of beautiful young ladies performing a dance, accompanied by the ever-present gongs, on the wharf alongside our ship.  The rest of the morning was spent exploring the very photogenic colonial township. Read More>

Oct 26, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

The Banda Sea to Lucipara

Crossing the deep blue waters of the Banda Sea, we’re riding above a world we know almost nothing about. Abyssal trenches cut deep into the thin skin of our fragile home while sea mounts erupt from midnight depths clambering for the life-giving light above. Humans may have never seen what lies at the bottom of the Banda Sea, but it’s evident that something stirs deep below the surface. Amidst the wind-whipped waves, towering above the measly white caps shot the largest exhale you’ll ever see. Holding stubbornly straight against the prevailing sea breeze, the behemoth’s life breath stood tall for the length of a sigh before vanishing into the hot tropical sky. The ship’s course was altered so that all could take in the sight of the world’s largest animal. Some may have been longer, but no creature can match the mass of a blue whale. These particular animals may not break any records for size, but their presence in warm tropical waters may seem like a surprise. Although the Banda Sea sweats with a hot midday sun, beneath the waves swirl strong currents and upwellings of deep, cool, nutrient-rich water for the whales to ply.  The Lucipara Group lies isolated in the midst of an azure sea. Read More>

Oct 25, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Kalabahi, Alor Islands, Indonesia

Today we visited the rugged volcanic island of Alor, the largest island in the Alor Archipelago among the eastern Lesser Sunda Islands.   Just before breakfast, the National Geographic Orion came alongside in Kalabahi, a vibrant town with busy streets and markets. Read More>

Oct 24, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Larantuka, Flores Island

We got off to a great start this morning with glass-smooth seas. Our ship had spent the entire night cruising off the southern shore of the large island of Flores as we headed eastward towards our afternoon destination of Larantuka. Several of us were up for the sunrise and we were entertained by lots flying fish as they scooted away from our vessel. A small group of spinner dolphins was sighted before breakfast, but they were not particularly interested in us. Later, we saw a pod of short-finned pilot whales and a single pigmy sperm whale. A relaxing morning at sea was appreciated by everyone as we reminisced over the past two very full days spent in the western region of the Lesser Sunda Islands. And, it gave us a chance to present a couple lectures by the expedition staff. Conditions were hazy, but we could easily discern the impressive volcanic mountains on Flores all morning, as well as on nearby islands as we approached the town of Larantuka at the eastern end of Flores in the early afternoon. Larantuka is the capital of Flores Island. Read More>

Oct 23, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Komodo Island National Park, Indonesia

We awoke this morning to another glorious Indonesian sunrise and enjoyed a relaxing breakfast on deck before preparing for our morning activities. Full of anticipation, we made the short Zodiac transfer to Rinca Island, part of the Komodo Island National Park. We were greeted on the jetty by a very cheeky group of long-tailed macaques who were playing in the mangroves all around us. Read More>

Oct 22, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Sumbawa Island, Indonesia VIDEO

This morning we began our voyage from Bali to the Great Barrier Reef in grand style, cruising into the harbor at Badas on the north coast of Sumbawa, two islands east of Bali. This small port lies at the foot of the vast stub of Gunung Tambora, the great volcano that exploded with unimaginable violence in 1815, filling the world’s skies with ash and bringing on the “year without a summer.”  It seemed an appropriately superlative opening to our explorations through this greatest of archipelagos. Secure to the dock at Badas, we left the ship immediately after breakfast and climbed into small buses that carried us up into the dry hills of the island to the village of Pamulung. Read More>

Oct 21, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Anambas Island, Pulau Lintang

The Anambas Islands are a group of over 40 islands that stretch 55 miles north to south and 40 miles east to west. Pulau Bawah is the most southerly of the Anambas group. Anambas archipelago (Indonesian: Kepulauan Anambas) is a small archipelago of Indonesia, located in the South China Sea between the Malaysian mainland to the west and the island of Borneo to the east. Geographically part of the Tudjuh Archipelago, it is administratively a regency and part of the Riau Islands Province. Anambas have a large reserve of natural gas that is exported to countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. Read More>

Oct 7, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

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Please note: All Daily Expedition Reports (DER's) are posted Monday-Friday, during normal business hours.