UNIQUE ADVENTURES

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pen ink well goldA note from Dom  ... Our Unique Adventures

Each trip here is unique, special, extraordinary .... something you'll do once in your lifetime, if at all.  They are the stuff dreams are made of.  For a lucky few ...  they become reality.    Read and dream ... and feel free to contact us to learn more about one of these rare journeys.   I'm always happy to chat about the various options, so don't hesitate to give me a shout  .... Cheers, Dom

WHALES OF TIMOR LESTE

Malpelo silky shark shutterstock 178533530 optCATCH A RIDE WITH A BLUE WHALE
Atauro Dive Resort
October 31 - November 10 ... € 2.590


From October to December, the Wetar Strait between Dili & Atauro Island becomes a passageway for countless mega-whales ... blues, humpbacks & more. Sperm whales, several species of dolphins, plus smaller whales, such as short-finned pilot & melon-headed whales can also be seen year-round at East Timor. 


EAST TIMOR ... ONE OF THE FINAL FRONTIERS


It's entirely possible that you have never heard of Timor Leste (formerly known as East Timor) ... the world's youngest & perhaps poorest nation. Located southeast of Indonesia's Flores Island ... and due north of Darwin, Australia ... it sits directly on an extraordinary channel used by migrating whales.

Until 2012, a bloody civil war & various uprisings, kept researchers & tourists alike, away from the rich waters surrounding this reomote island nation.  Since then, the country has enjoyed peace but certainly not prosperity.  There is hope that "swimming with whales" and whale watching tourism, managed in a sustainable way, may bring much needed revenue to this nation.

TIMOR LESTE SMALLER

The island of Timor ... lying as it does at the end of the archipelago made up largely of Indonesia .... features some of the more stellar aspects of that island chain's glamor.... but without the infrastructure.  No 5-star Bali hotels here. No luxury liveaboards.  What you get is spectacular beauty with simple accommodation ... and, at this time of year, you get whales, whales and more WHALES.


BLUES, HUMPBACKS, PILOTS & SPERMS


The Wetar Strait between Timor‐Leste and Ataúro Island has only recently been found by scientists to be a migration route for a vast variety of whales journeying between the Antarctic and the warmer waters in Indonesia.. These migratory populations are heading for waters in and around the Banda Sea (Indonesia) to mate and bear their young before heading back to Antarctica and their feeding grounds. 

It's possible, when conditions are right, to see humpbacks, blue whales, sperm whales, beaked whales and also, possibly orcas. We all know there's never a guarantee with Mother Nature ....  but, recent  history shows that between October and December the chances are excellent.  (The sperm whales, other smaller whale species and most of the dolphins seem to be resident pods, which means you may see them at most any time of the year.  Scientific studies are still in their infancy and more is being learned with each passing year.)

You can also add to your "wish list" at Timor multiple sightings of spectacular pods of dolphins and small whales, Including Fraser's, dolphins, bottle-nose, spinner& spotted dolphins  ... melon-headed, pygmy killer and pilot whales   You might also catch sight of a resident dugong.

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In spite of the extreme diversity of marine mammals to be encountered, the blue whales are probably the Number One draw here, due to the fact that, of all the species, they are the most elusive and the most alluring thanks to their status as the largest species on the planet !  Also, interesting to note that the blue whales here are referred to by most as "pygmy blue whales" because they are smaller than other blues around the planet.  Don't let that fool you !  They still reach lengths of up to 24 meters (nearly 79 feet ... 26 yards !)


MASSIVE SPONGES ... TOWERING FANS ... FISH, CRITTERS & PELAGICS


Along with the huge sponges, beautiful coral gardens (hard & soft corals) and a variety of reef fish around Atauro Island, you'll find macro critters at one end and, at the other end of the spectrum, the bigger stuff like hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, mola mola, mantas ... and plenty of pelagic fish such as barracudas, trevallies, tuna & mackerel.  Visibility is always excellent and the abundance of fish life and coral is simply overwhelming.

You'll find some deep wall dives - down to 70-80 meters - where the walls are covered with hard and soft corals.  Crevices in the walls are filled with crustaceans and juvenile fish.  

There are some good currents which make for super drift dives which require a good diving level to undertake.

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CONTACT US WITH QUESTIONS OR TO BOOK


ATAURO DIVE RESORT


The authentic style and ambience of Atauro Dive Resort will charm anyone looking for "off the beaten path" experience.  This dive resort is located on Atauro Island, 25 km north of Dili in Timor Leste (East Timor). The island itself offers amazing scenery, characterized by beautiful hills, clear sea with protected bays and healthy coral reefs.  The lush setting of the dive resort and the simplicity of its decor suit the adventure of this odyssey perfectly.

Founded by Volker Katzung, a German Master Instructor with more than 25 years diving experience around the world, this is a perfect stepping off point to discover the untouched diving of Timor with its a variety of sites ranging from slopes covered with coral gardens to dramatic walls draped with magnificent fans, sponges, whips and soft corals.  Plenty of fish and critters, too.  The accommodation is situated right on the beach with easy access to pristine reefs where you can dive and snorkel.
 
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GETTING THERE, WHAT'S INCLUDED, RATES & ITINERARY


Please note that this trip has a true "expedition character" and the resort is simple and basic.  You will be at the end of the world (from our perspective) where everything works on "island time".  Activities are weather dependent and can be changed through group decisions or or by the authorities. ..... See trip details ...

DATES AND RATES:
October 31 –  November 10, 2021
€ 2.590 per person

GETTING THERE:

Take your international flight to Denpasar, Bali where you will probably want to overnight.  We can help you to set up the flight from Denpesar to Dili Airport on Timor Leste.  Your transfer to Atauro Dive Resort from Dili is included in the package.

ITINERARY:

  • you will be travelling with a small group ... maximum 10 people with a private boat from the resort.
  • the trip includes 7 days of both diving and swimming with whales.
  • 2 tanks of diving are scheduled each morning
  • afternoons will be spent in the open ocean looking for whale action

WHAT’S INCLUDED

• transfer from / to Dili Airport (Timor‐Leste) with speedboat and land transfers
• 10 nights Atauro Dive Resort
• Garden View rooms with shared facilities (shower/toilets)
• 7 days private boat charter for the group for diving & whale watching full day
• 2 tanks per charter day (up to 14 dives in total) with guide, weights, tanks
• group leader

Tea, coffee, drinking water & other cold drinks are available 24/7 from the restaurant.  The daily menu will always provide both meat and vegetarian options ... and homemade ice cream, if you request it !  If you have dietary restrictions, please do let us know in advance.

EXTRAS:

• international flights
• flights from Bali Denpasar to Dili and back with Sriwijaya Air ~ 600 € per person
• insurance
• surcharge for beachfront bungalows (“Damsel” and “Grouper” ... shared bathrooms) € 45 per person / 10 nights
• surcharge for superior beachfront bungalows (“Snapper” and “Wahoo” with private showers) € 140 per person / 10 nights
• stopover night in Bali .... for example Hilton Garden Inn Bali Airport per room € 85 including breakfast

We highly recommend DiveAssure insurance which also covers force majeure and single missed days of diving due to sickness. Feel free to ask us about it.. 

Further extensions in Bali or around Indonesia are always possible and we’re happy to assist! 

STILL LOOKING FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT ?

Ever considered swimming with whales?   Discover the possibilites.  See Focus on Whales .....
Or perhaps a Photo Expedition with one of the top underwater photo pros ?

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