“The Banda Sea is where?” I have become very accustom to this question when I talk of the Banda Sea expedition that we are embarking on later this year, very few people know of it, let alone its location. With depths in excess of 7km, the Banda Sea is one of the deepest locations on earth and is situated in off the Maluku islands, Indonesia.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Malukus islands became extremely popular due to the unique spices that grew there, re-labelling the location as the “Spice Islands.” The small archipelago of the Banda Islands became the hot-spot for these unique and extremely sought after spices. One endemic spice became popular with Europeans, and following claims of its medicinal qualities and a possible cure for the black plague the Banda region became a battle ground for control for the sought after spice, Nutmeg.
The feeling of the Banda Sea
Common sense depicts that remote locations with limited access to human interaction holds an abundance of unspoiled beauty. The Banda Islands compliment this theory very well with a huge array of bio-diversity above and beneath the surface. The Bali, Flores and Banda Sea all connect to create a voyagers delight. Sat on deck beneath the sails one always has the opportunity of dolphins or whales breaching across the watery expanse. In the early evening the spectacle of the sun bursting into the water, emitting shards of orange and yellow streaks across the sky raise a smile for those in the moment and living a unique experience. In these moments you, like I, may feel the link between voyagers of a bygone era and our own experiences. The sunsets and sea creatures before you ultimately display the same images witnessed hundreds of years before. Pretty unique in the modern world.
Beneath the waves
With so much depth and water movement, the Banda Sea creates a huge attraction for thousands of aquatic species. Until recently the Banda Sea was merely a passageway for liveaboards between Raja Ampat and Komodo with the odd dive here and there. It is now very apparent that it is fundamentally a scuba diving heaven. The diving is seasonal with September to December being the prime months for the most action. October is a particularly good month to dive as the waters are oxygen rich attracting schools of Pelagics such as Manta Rays and schooling Hammerheads.
How to get there
Most dive operators running liveaboards in the Banda Sea will operate between various destinations with the most common being Maumere, Flores and Ambon Island, Maluku.
There are plenty of flight links into Maumere via these airports:
Nomadic Scuba top tip
Domestic flights within Indonesia are extremely busy and it is common for small delays in the morning to have a knock-on effect in the afternoon. Plan ahead and wherever possible book early departure times to avoid lengthy delays or even missed connections.
We are delighted to say that Nomadic Scuba has partnered with the Carpe Diem Phinisi to provide our guests with a uniquely boutique experience. We will be conducting regular expeditions through the Banda Sea over 10 and 12 day periods aboard this beautiful vessel and we are strictly limiting the numbers to 7 guests in total. Our next expeditions are planned for September and October 2019, perfectly timed for the best of the underwater action. If you’d like to join us this year or on future expeditions then lets start chatting.