Sharks , Mantas, and Critters awaited us…

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Sharks , Mantas, and Critters awaited us…

colorful critterAfter a night in Jakarta divers from Australia arrived in Sorong to board the Indo Siren, with briefings, paperwork and breakfast out of the way we embarked on our latest adventure in Raja Ampat. Leaving the port we cruised for just over an hour to make our check out dive at Green Lighthouse, everybody was really happy to be in the water once again and eagerly anticipating the next diving days of this 10-night liveaboard safari.

pygmy-seahorseWe drove immediately southwards to Misool where with sunny weather and great viz the dives where amazing; sites such as “the Candy Store”,” Living colors” and ”Andiamo” wowed us with their scenery; full with gorgonians fans and big schools of fish. The lucky ones spotted there first pygmy seahorse and for some there was even the first manta sighting of the trip. The following day we were once again greeted by great weather and stellar viz to enjoy a wonderful dive on “Magic Mountain” with some bigger stuff; spotting wobbegong sharks, grey reef shark, white tip shark, barracudas and manta ray. Other delights were to be had at “Wedding Cake”, so named for its many tiers, where we encountered large schools of fish and stunning corals in the overhangs.

lagoon-tourThe divers were really impressed by the numbers of fish that are present here in the Four Kings, especially in “Anti-Chovey” where each group returned to the Indo Siren with great stories about their dives! Our day was finished up with an interesting and relaxed “lagoon tour” where we could swim, paddle in the kayaks and generally chill out with a couple of Bintangs in a stunning environment, soaking up the magnificent view. Once back aboard we waved farewell to Misool for this time around and made our way to Waigeo Island.

black-mantaFor our first dive at Waigeo we opted to go directly to “Manta Sandy”, our luck was in and we were rewarded on both dives by mantas circling around the cleaning station, after all who could resist returning for such a stunning spectacle? In the afternoon we dive the Arborek Jetty; at which the wooden pillars are over- grown with beautiful soft corals. During the dive it became suddenly dark; but not due to weather, rather because of a big school of fish swarmed over us and underneath the pier. After ascending we took a tour of the island and having enjoyed the afternoon dive immensely it was decided to return there to experience what the night time had to offer. A very satisfying day all round!

coral-reefNext day we travelled to the mangrove channel that separates Yanggefo and Gam islands to experience some lovely dives with luxuriant growth of soft corals and sea fans that make this area beloved by divers. Several of our guests also took the opportunity to kayak around, exploring the mangroves. Later we enjoyed watching the sunset above the mangroves with the sounds of the birds in the background. Another day in paradise!!!

turtleThe last 2 days were spent making a further 6 dives in the Dampier Strait, giving us fantastic drift dives at Cape Kri, purple ghostpipe fish in Firwinbonda; Epaulette sharks during a night dive at Yembeser whilst during our last dive of the trip, 4 of our siren divers celebrated their 100th dive… in a special way that shall remain our secret!!! Unfortunately for this group this superb trip was at an end and all that was left was to enjoy a final evening aboard as we cruised back to Sorong Harbour. A great trip with excellent diving and wonderful people, we look forward to seeing you all again!!!!!

Photos By Sascha Hofmann

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