Cruis­ing with a cam­era on a never-to-be-for­got­ten voy­age

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Asia - SU­SAN KUROSAWA

WHEN Bris­bane-based tele­vi­sion di­rec­tor Jef­frey Ho­gan took first prize in our Oz in Fo­cus photo com­pe­ti­tion in Jan­uary last year and won a lux­ury cruise, we asked him to share im­ages of the voy­age with read­ers.

Ho­gan’s prize was a 10-night For­got­ten Is­lands photography-themed sail­ing for two from Bali to Cairns with Orion Ex­pe­di­tion Cruises, our com­pe­ti­tion spon­sor.

‘‘The high­light [of the voy­age],’’ says Ho­gan, ‘ ‘ was sail­ing through the nar­row straits into Banda Neira in the Banda Is­lands imag­in­ing I was aboard a Por­tuguese ship in 1512 when the first Euro­peans dis­cov­ered this beau­ti­ful, nat­u­ral har­bour, rimmed with vol­ca­noes.

‘‘I learned that nut­meg was once worth more by weight than gold and, in the 16th cen­tury, Lon­don dockworkers were paid their bonuses in cloves.

‘‘Another stand-out in­clu­sion on the itin­er­ary was our visit to Orion Reef, a ten­nis court-sized sand reef on the outer fringe of the Great Bar­rier Reef that is only present at low tide.’’

Ho­gan says one of his favourite shots from the cruise is of an in­tenselook­ing fish­er­man he en­coun­tered in Banda Neira. ‘‘He was re­ally cam­erashy and I had to pre­tend I was try­ing to pho­to­graph oth­ers around him. It was a cat-and-mouse game for about 10 min­utes but I even­tu­ally grabbed this shot with my Canon 5D Mark III with a 70-300mm L lens at 300mm — pa­tiently hand-held.’’

Since our 2012-13 con­test, Orion Ex­pe­di­tion Cruises has been sold to the US small ship com­pany Lind­blad Ex­pe­di­tions, which part­ners with the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic So­ci­ety for its ad­ven­ture sail­ings.

A new pro­gram com­mences next month aboard the re­branded 102-pas­sen­ger Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Orion to the Kim­ber­ley, Bor­neo and In­done­sia, South Pa­cific des­ti­na­tions and Antarc­tica.

A voy­age sim­i­lar to Ho­gan’s is a 17-day Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Orion Spice Is­land Ad­ven­ture, de­part­ing Bali for Cairns on Oc­to­ber 20 and hosted by Na­tional Ge­o­graphic So­ci­ety pho­tog­ra­pher Mark Thiessen.

The itin­er­ary in­cludes vis­its to Ko­modo, Flores, the Banda Is­lands, West Pa­pua, Thurs­day Is­land and the Great Bar­rier Reef, from $15,540 a per­son twin-share. More: 1300 361 012; ori­on­ex­pe­di­tions.com.

Tele­vi­sion di­rec­tor Jef­frey Ho­gan, left, and his shot of a Banda Neira fish­er­man taken on his Orion cruise

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