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The Banda Sea- 2019’s most wanted destination

Liveaboards do not get much better than this. 12 days cruising around the Banda Sea on the Carpe Diem Phinisi taking in the splendor of the Coral Sea above and beneath the water. If there is one trip to be on this year it’s this one; and there is only room for 7 lucky guests!

Avoiding Diver Soup

The Carpe Diem can accommodate up to 10 guests but we will limit it to 7 on this expedition:

  • Fewer divers in the water improves the experience
  • Fewer photographers jostling for the one shot
  • Lots space on deck allows for more comfort
  • Increased opportunity for education/advice on diving with sharks and obtaining the desired footage
  • More one on one time to register photographs with research agencies

Schedule for the Banda Sea expedition

Day 1 – Maumere airport Pickup and transfer
Day 2 – Pulau Kumba – 3 dives
Day 3 – Alor – 3 dives
Day 4 – Wetar – 3 dives
Day 5 – Nyata – 3-4 dives
Day 6 – Damar – 3 dives
Day 7 – Nils Desperandum – 3 dives
Day 8 – Manuk – 3 dives
Day 9 – Banda Sea Islands – 2 dives am, land tour pm then Mandarin dive
Day 10 – Nusa Laut – 4 dives
Day 11 – Dives depending on individuals time to fly
Day 12 – Airport transfer


We plan to leave Maumere and hug the coastline as we cruise the Banda Sea and across to Ambon. You can see from the satellite picture below how we follow the submerged shelf stopping at hotspots along the way, including islands and shallow reefs. Not only does the shelf afford us the relative depth to dive, but it creates a natural nutrient-rich landmark for food sources and predators to congregate and feed.

Maumere to Ambon, route plan, Banda Sea map, Nomadic scuba, carpe diem
Planned route for 2019 Expedition

The Banda Sea & South Raja Ampat

The Banda Sea & South Raja Ampat are among the few remaining highly bio-rich aquatic areas in the world. This is an absolutely epic dream for dive photographers that is perfectly timed for the schooling hammerheads in the region.

Schooling Hammerheads

During my dive career I have been fortunate enough to encounter sharks of all shapes and sizes.  Diving in hot-spots such as South Africa, PNG and Indonesia has yielded some amazing opportunities for my photography and research, though these sightings are usually of single sharks.  There are limited locations around the world where one can witness schooling apex predators, even more rare if the location is in warmer waters, The Banda Sea is clearly a warmer option than say the Galapagos Islands.

The Carpe Diem Phinisi

Travelling from Maumere to Ambon, the Carpe Diem will be our home for an unforgettable 12 days.  A traditional, twin mast sailing vessel, constructed out of iron wood and teak, the Phinisi has been configured specifically for scuba diving.  A fully fitted dive deck, beautifully designed and appointed cabins and common areas, along with excellent chefs complete the experience.

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Pelagic Research Agencies

A significant number of research agencies around the world welcome any media footage that may assist in their research on particular species; a key goal of this expedition is to share our photographs and add to the data bank on a range of aquatic creatures.

I have experience working with the following agencies:


Marine Megafauna Foundation

As a cruise director last year I had the pleasure of hosting one of the MMF team as they researched migratory movements of the Manta population. As an added bonus a couple of my media sets were registered with MMF and through their vast database they could track where the Oceanic Manta had been previously seen and could also confirm that the Reef Manta was indeed, miles away from where he was expected to be.

Manta ID shot blue water nomadic scuba

Spot The Leopard Shark

Much akin to MMF, Spot the Leopard Shark also collates vital information on the species which is listed on the IUCN as ‘Vulnerable to extinction’. Based in Thailand they will happily take media footage from any location around the world as it benefits their ever-growing database.



Over the past 6 years I have been fortunate enough to experience quite a few dives with whalesharks and have uploaded a number of photos to the database. I personally find it an awesome way to conclude an already amazing dive experience – by contributing information post dive.

whale shark blue sea sunshine nomadic scuba

Shark Guardian

I first became aware of Shark Guardian whilst working as a dive pro in Thailand 6 years ago. I felt a strong connection with what they are about, which is sharing their experience, knowledge and tuition, to assist in the protection of our apex predators. Earlier this year founders Brendan & Liz invited me to become an Ambassador for the foundation for which I am humbly grateful.  Following their ethos, I in turn am more than keen to share my knowledge of and experiences with sharks with all who are willing to listen.

Here are some of my photos from this years Sardine Run in South Africa.

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 Matt Waters Shark Guardian Ambassador

Following a lengthy career in the UK armed forces I have been in the diving industry for 6 years, which ultimately led to my creation of Nomadic Scuba for scuba expeditions and vacation bookings. My main destinations include Thailand, Indonesia, South Africa, Papua New Guinea, Australia and now the Banda Sea where I have taught, explored, photographed and experienced some of the world’s most beautiful marine creatures. During my time in the dive industry I have worked as a multi-agency instructor, managed two dive centers, explored and mapped uncharted reefs and led expeditions all over the world. My ultimate goal is to enable like-minded divers to experience moments that are simply unforgettable. It’s not often that I am speechless but I think schooling hammerheads may just do it, join me as we venture into the Banda Sea.


The Carpe Diem Expedition

The trip consists of:

  • 12 days at sea
  • average of 3 dives per day
  • local airport transfers
  • Dive equipment rental
  • food and soft beverages
  • accommodation double/ twin share
  • extremely small dive groups
  • guest to staff ratio of >1:1
  • NO WIFI – freedom from the digital world
  • Trip video edited by Matt
  • free Nomadic Scuba T-shirt
  • Shark Guardian presentation
  • Free photography editing advice

The best way to get to Maumere is flying through Denpasar, Bali. If you need to break up your travel times then please get in touch for a quote as we do have an account with a hotel in Denpasar and a private driver for airport transfers.

You may need to bring cash with you for purchases on board and an additional USD100 for marine park fees. This price will be confirmed upon reservation confirmation.

The Banda Sea expedition is taking place on 27th Sep – 8th October 2019

Cost: Was USD 4,320 NOW USD 3,999

This is certainly a unique expedition and an adventure never to be forgotten. A 20% deposit confirms your reservation on a first come first served basis.

To make an inquiry or booking simply email Matt on  info@nomadicscuba.com

or contact Matt and the Nomadic Scuba team through social media or

WhatsApp +61(0) 499021920

Matt Waters

Originally from the UK & following a 17 year military career I know enjoy the much more relaxed uniform of board shorts and a rash vest. I get a real kick out of making a scuba experience the very best it can be, whether that is via tuition or introducing rare aquatic species to my guests. Either way, what results is a friendship with a shared common goal, to breathe life into your adventure.

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