Indonesia diving offers some of the best diving in the world! Throughout the thousands of islands that make up the eastern part of Indonesia that extend to Papua, you will encounter spectacular hard and soft corals, reefs bursting and incredible and diverse fish life, and opportunities to see amazing macro life. World famous underwater photographer Berkley White led a trip to the Alor area of Indonesia in November 2013. You can read the travel blog about this trip at Alor and Komodo written by Jennifer Penner.
Berkley, who owns Backscatter and his amazing staff offer a variety of photo trips each year – ranging from photo workshops, digital shootouts, and expeditions to world-class locations. Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo is the largest underwater photo and video retailer in the United States with two locations: Monterey, California and Derry, New Hampshire.
Alor is part of the Alor archipelago on the eastern Sunda Islands in southeastern Indonesia. A short domestic flight out of Bali to Maumere got us to our liveaboard dive boat – the Damai II (http://www.dive-damai.com/boat/damai-ii) . I must say, the Damai II was the most luxurious, well organized, and well-staffed liveaboards I have ever been on. Our expedition throughout the island of Alor and nearby islands (see our route) and its many dive sites was an amazing ten-day trip aboard the Damai II. Each and every dive site was different and proved new opportunities to see and photograph new scenes and critters. The crew, led by Geraldine Richards and her expert dive guides were extraordinary.
Some of our dive site highlights included a group decision to stay an extra day in Baenbabang – one of the best macro experiences this diver has ever experienced. We also had a chance to dive with the children from the village of xxx who show off wearing their homemade coconut goggles. I made some trades with them – trading my Speedo goggles. I treasure my newly acquired coconut goggles and showed them to my teammates on my Masters swim team – they were amazed. Another highlight of our trip was a journey north to the island of Kumba – which is an active volcano. It was erupt about every 20 minutes – I’ve never seen or experienced anything like this. You could actually feel the power of the regular eruptions! We spent a day diving nearby sites off of Kumba where I saw some of the most incredible sea fans and shelf corals. During this trip, I saw and photographed many new critters such as my first mandarinfish and my first acceptable photo of a pygmy seahorse – they are about the size of a grain of rice.
One of the incredible benefits and advantages on going on many of Backscatter’s trips is the one and only Erin Quiqley. Erin is an award winning underwater photographer and leading Lightroom guru and is an incredible asset to any photographer who needs help with any and all aspects of downloading and working with images. Erin also runs many workshops throughout the country and world called “Lightroom Bootcamps!” Check out “Go Ask Erin . Erin also does short imagining articles on Backscatter’s website. And you can read about one of her recent trip reports from Little Cayman.