Nabucco Island was named after Verdi's Gefangenenchor aus
Nabucco as performed by the Hebrew slaves. The island proper is doesn’t take
up more than an area of 20,000 m2 at the most. It lies like a small dot
below the eastern end of the Maratua atoll some 90 km from the mainland of
We were warmly greeted by co-owner and manager Walther with freshly cut
coconuts and he told us of the islands many splendours. It was Walther
himself who found the spot for the dive resort. A couple of years before
Walter did some diving on the surrounding coral reefs but was taken by the
current. He more or less washed ashore on this small island, took a quick
look and thought to himself: This is perfect for a dive resort.
And it was a perfect dive resort. Quality materials and design, hot water
from solar energy, nice and spacious twin cabins – all with own porch facing
the sea, big bathrooms and a big hall with plenty of room for a diver's
luggage. Not a single palm tree had been chopped down to give space for any
construction on the island. The distance from the farthest of the twelve
cabins to the jetty and the restaurant was some 100 m. Nowadays it seems
that six twin cabins have been added – all with air conditioning.
The quality of resort was underlined by the Nabucco chef,
who seemed to produce wonders in his kitchen. Most of what we were served
had a western flavour with local touches but it was very varied and tasteful.
At breakfast we dug into omelettes, pancakes, toast, fruit and freshly baked
bread. Each night – except on barbeque nights – dinner consisted of four
delicious courses: A soup, a salad, the main course and finally dessert.
And, of course, freshly baked bread again.
No matter how hard, how long and how often we dove, we didn't loose any
weight. For lunch we usually ordered a tasty sandwich and some fruit to
bring along on the dive trip, though temperatures at some 40 degrees around
noon usually did away with any immediate hunger.
Some of the guests at Nabucco were expats who simply came for a few days to
relax and reload before returning to the timber and oil industries on the
mainland. They didn't even dive!!! But the atmosphere on the resort and
among the staff was inviting indeed and did warrant such silly behaviour.