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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

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

Kuching Sarawack

This morning National Geographic Orion berthed alongside the Sim Kheng Hong Wharf, in Kuching. Right away, we were lucky to witness a traditional Dayak cultural performance on the wharf. And once we disembarked the ship, we were presented with an ornamental scarf by the performers. We then had the opportunity to visit Semengoh Wildlife Centre. Read More>

Oct 4, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Day At Sea

The National Geographic Orion silently passed over the equator at 4:00 a.m. as we sailed up the western side of Kalimantan. We were set for a leisurely day at sea, enjoying many treats from the galley and interesting presentations from our expedition team, as we continued our journey to Kuching, Malaysia.  As photos from the past days were reviewed, we all continued to reflect and marvel at the remarkable experiences we had at Camp Leakey, and especially at the Orangutan Care Center with Dr. Read More>

Oct 3, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Java Sea

Splashing through the whitecaps on the National Geographic Orion, we’ve left Camp Leakey, Dr. Galdikas, and our beloved orangutans behind. White bellied sea eagles lead us along through the Java Sea with the much anticipated destination of Kuching lying ahead. With a morning lecture from filmmaker and adventurer, Lawrence Blair we’re reminded that we’ve been travelling in the footsteps of the revered 19th century naturalist, Alfred Russell Wallace. Read More>

Oct 2, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine

OCCQ, Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine, was established in  1998 by Orangutan Foundation International for confiscated orang-utans needing medical care, other care and forest skill preparation for the release into their habitat. It is located in Pasir Panjang village, Pangkalan Bun, Central Kalimantan. At the moment, 290 orangutans from about six months old to mid-20s are living at the centre. Read More>

Oct 1, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

Camp Leakey, Tanjung Puting National Park, Indonesia

A bright scarlet sun lifted through the haze across the Kumai River. During the night our ship had entered the river, docking at the town of Kumai. An intriguing mix of craft plied the river’s waters; dugout canoes, large freighters, and wooden klotoks which we would be traveling on later in the day.  Our journey to the famous Camp Leakey—where Dr. Read More>

Sep 30, 2014 National Geographic Orion in Borneo & Indonesia

At Sea

A day out of sight of land and devoid of terrestrial distractions, frees the mind to wander, allowing for contemplation of what excitement and adventures lie ahead. The contemporary author Lori R. Lopez summarizes the spirit of embarking upon an expedition like this one;  “One’s options in this world are as vast as the horizon, which is technically a circle and thus infinitely broad. Read More>

Sep 29, 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.