Sebastien Le Corre,

35 years old, spearfisher since he was a child and co-founder of Dinosaure Production, he will take us in an amazing journey in the exceptional waters of Indonesia! In January he will also present the relevant film at the "Salon de la plongée" in Paris.




It’s in the north-west of France, near the nasty and cold waters of Normandy that the project of this trip was born. Didier knows Indonesia. He has been sailing there for many years. He organized this cruise and he was already there one month before the arrival of the rest of the group. A short domestic flight leaves us on the island of Flores, where a boat is waiting for us to head south ... to Sumba!

Sumba is not just another Indonesian island, no ... it is mostly another world. A world divided between voracious modernity and fierce tradition. A universe that cannot be visited as in a nice safari, but that you must live as a privileged experience.

Sumba is hostile! Most of its coastline is topped by cliffs. In water, the steep falls show the sign of a tormented geological history ... what will make our later happiness. The eastern part of the island is particularly dry. The western part is much more rainy and this is also the place where you find the most beautiful traditional villages. A forgotten island, wild, mysterious ... all that we like. The smell of adventure will accompany us throughout our cruise on the Cahaya Mandiri (solitary light), a 26 meters long traditional schooner that will melt history with our passion... and what better place than Timor to do it!



Located between the Philippines, Australia and Papua, the Timor region is in the centre of the coral triangle, and involves the greatest biodiversity on the planet. Experts agree that, after the Ice Age much of the marine life survived only in this part of the world, and from here it subsequently re-spread in the world. Timor, Rote, Savu and Sumba are so central to this cradle of life and provide us with an ideal playground for some good spearfishing.

We get to know these rich waters and hope to meet snappers, barracudas, jacks ignobilis, the monstrous Mahi-Mahis and why not the famous dog tooth tuna. We sail (especially at night), fish (2 times a day), explore the points that we have the coordinates of and hunt the fish of our dreams ... The Savu Sea will be the scene for all our hopes. This trip has been in our heads for many months. We imagined it, prepared it and our equipment has never been so ready. We are finally here...

We sailed all night on this beautiful and comfortably furnished boat. The crew consists of 6 people at our service and the cook has successfully to awaken our taste buds. We left the cabin to sleep on deck under the stars. The sun rises, we arrive at the first spot, north of Sumba. In front of us, an infinite and beautiful white beach. No homes, no roads, only dolphins around the boat. The hunting fishes attract our attention, the water boils. Julien, our guide, began a briefing on safety. Fishing will only take place in couples, a speargun for two fishermen. A second smaller speargun will be given to the fisherman on the surface only for safety reasons or to double the prey. According to the type of sea bottom our spearguns will be equipped with reels, or with the brake away system with floating line, bungee and buoy. We are ready and we start fishing inshore at 10m depth with excellent visibility, corals and live colours!



Once in the water we see that the current is strong but the fish is there and do not know where to look at. As it usually happens during the first dive our hands tremble and we're nervous. We want a fight so we agreed to shoot only large fishes. We decided to limit the number of preys per species. Once we catch a type of fish we pass to another ... so we let a lot of fish go. All reef fishes seem to be there, parrot fish, schools of barracuda, grouper, wahoo, and for the pleasure of the eyes some turtles, rays of different species including the Queen Manta. There is so much feed-fishes but nothing big except parrot fishes who make fun of us. They are in schools, from 5 to 10 specimens, but very suspicious and the very tough hide and seek game is clearly in their favour. We met some medium-sized wahoo and Phil met the only dolphinfish of the holiday. No shots yet, it does not matter, we prepare our dives for the big preys still to come.

These first dives have been an excellent warm up. We take our coordinates and get ready to meet the big ones. We return to the boat and have a bite and then a nap before the second round of the day. Mid-afternoon, second spot, we split in three couples with mathias as cameraman. The water is clear and we find ourselves on the edge of an underwater cliff. We need to be careful as the surf tends to throw us on the rocks. The conditions are not optimal and are we get buffeted by a strong current. There is a first passage located 10 meters along the cliff, followed by a second one ending on a deep drop. It's scary, it is deep blue and make us feel almost dizzy as in fact it ranges from 20 to 300meters ... We know that the monsters can come out of these depths at all times. We try to be discreet and not get noticed by the fishes. We are motivated. Along the drop there are large schools of surgeonfish, and they are nervous ... the same we are.

It is 17:00, the light is low, we are even more focused because we know that this is the best time of the day. These are the last dives. Seb is waiting laid on the edge of the passage, with his gaze to the blue and finally sees his first dogtooth tuna. He shoots and the tuna reacts violently. He can’t manage to hold the line as the swims fast. He calls the boatman for help but he is already heading to Gerald. He schouts something we do not understand. At the same time Didier fights right beside him. He shot a large grouper of about 20kg (the first shaft is torn for him). Seb manages to retrieve its prey and joins the rest of the group. He finds Gerald with a big smile and a 20 kilos GT and Phil with a 10kilos caranx. In 5 minutes 4 preys: A tuna, an ignobilis, a caranx and a grouper! What a nice end of the day!



We are already satisfied by this spearfishing day so the rest can only be an extra. After two fruitful days we decide to head south east of the island. The route is not quiet, the waves are big, strong winds and a storm sends everybody in the cabins. We head to an offshore shoal we do not know much of, but it sounds promising. 15 meters depth and the bottom is full of coral. Water is turquoise and the strength of the current leads us to anticipate the descents to be able to land on the coral heads. This is the kingdom of red snappers, Aprion, barracuda and other jacks. Phil will catch two beautiful red snappers and much of the catch will be given to local fishermen. The next day will be devoted to a terrestrial excursion aimed to discover the famous villages of Sumba. So we get a Biskayu, a local truck for the transportation of passengers, and we start exploring the island. The people are friendly and the children are curious, the old men chew Betel that smashes their gums. The betel according to local belief gives them strength and protection from diseases. It is an exciting drug providing a satiety feeling.



The villages are amazing and seem to come directly from another age. They are magnificent with their huts topped with a very high roof made of leaves. Anywhere the big tombstones occupy the ground. The wealthiest people have stones so heavy that 200 people are required to be lifted. The vegetation is lush, incredible humidity and rice fields give a touch of colour to this tropical landscape. It is time to get back on board and head to the south of the island. Some small islands off the coast make us discover new sea bottoms. We are on the crest of a wave frequented by surfers, we dive in an impressive maze of canyons where the fish are abundant. The fishing day will end up with inshore lobsters catching. The days pass by  and the end of the holiday approaches. We go up north and we stop two days at the first anchor spot. Some nice fishes caught but not THE fish .....



Didier starts waiting at 15 meters on the edge of the reef. Suddenly his attention is drawn to the left. A huge dark mass moves towards him. It's a huge dogtooth tuna. It slows down before him and starts to turn back taking a final look at him. He shoots and gets it in full spine. It tries to swim away but the shot was too strong. It gets back to the surface, it's huge! The team starts to party. After being hoisted on board, its weight will be 77kilos by 174cm in length. The dream fish will be given to local fishermen. This fantastic cruise comes to an end. The sea of Savu was amazing. The beauty of the landscapes, the richness of the seabed, the kindness of the locals will make us come back, for sure! This adventure was organized by SeaQuest Adventure.


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   written by Didier Rives



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