Indo Siren diving Raja Ampat
Indo Siren diving Raja AmpatEventful is an understatement with a very multicultural boat load and only a slight delay from Lion Air, our second to last trip of the year was on its way heading south for some muck diving in Batanta followed by the extravaganza that is Misool. On 10th December we celebrated Philips birthday under the waves, presenting him with a board wishing him a very Happy Birthday from all of the Indo Siren. That evening the celebrations continued after dinner with a surprise appearance from the crew dressed up in their finest nitrox hats, runner beans and chilies banging on pots and pans and singing very harmoniously Happy Birthday in both English and Indonesian, and presented Philip with a birthday cake. As exhausted as he was (at his age – just kidding Philip), after completing 4 dives, he stayed up to party for a while before everyone called it a night.
Overnight we headed down to Wayil Batan, arriving a little late due to some bad weather conditions on route. The currents treated us nicely however for our dives and we enjoyed 2 lovely dives on Dunia Kecil and had a top find of 9 pigmy seahorse – denis (white) – on a sea fan at Gorgonian Passage. At least 2 of them were pregnant! After the second dive guests had a little time to relax and take out the kayaks. Two left and we spotted one returning. After careful observation we noticed it was pulling the second kayak along with Nid and Yves hanging off the back… Jumping into the dinghies we rescued our stranded kayakers and reminded them again that perhaps a one man kayak really means one person ;0) Kaspar certainly got a good workout.
We then headed off to Kalig for a night dive at potato reef – beautiful topography – and spent the night in Misool area. Next morning bright and early our first dives were at Whale Rock, Tank Rock and Nudi Rock – all fabulous dive sites. Our plan was to move on to Boo area for a night dive but unfortunately on returning from our third dive we were informed that the anchor winch was not working and the engineer was trying to fix it. Whilst the crew worked hard to try to solve the problem we did a night dive on the very lovely whale rock. With the anchor still anchored… the next day after a dive at Fiabacet, we took some slightly longer than normal dingy rides out to Boo so that we could enjoy the sites of Boo Windows and Boo east whilst the crew continued to try to manually retrieve the anchor.
On day 4 we dived Kalig wall first were we saw some really beautify nudis and flatworms amongst other things. Followed by a special request to dive Nudi Rock again and then the other side of Whale Rock. Unfortunately on returning from our dives we had not managed to progress too far with the anchor and one of the crew decided to dive down to check it out. The anchor was lying in 54m and as a result of not completing the appropriate safety stops unfortunately that night we had to evacuate him to Makassar for treatment. I am pleased to say he is doing well and is resting for a couple of trips before returning to work. We really miss his smiley face around and can’t wait for his return. That said frustrations were starting to show throughout the boat and action really needed to be taken.
The following morning we had the order to cut the chain and leave a mooring bouy and take GPS tracking so that we could retrieve the anchor on the next trip. As soon as we were free there were big cheers all around… we were finally on our way again, this time heading to Magic Mountain. Unfortunately we had one last blip on the schedule. The conditions at Magic Mountain were just not safe for diving and so we took a vote and made a diplomatic decision to move on to Darum where we have 2 amazing dives – The Candy Store and Andiamo.
From Darum we travelled over night to Arborek, and Kri, where at Manta Sandy we were entertained by 9 large Manta rays, several coming directly over the top of the divers and just hanging there almost asking us to tickle them – which of course we didn’t do….. Spectacular! What a treat. Everyone was keen to do it again for the next dive so we did. Not so many mantas but we were lucky to spot 3 robust pipe fish. We spent the next two days diving in the Kri and Yembeser areas and were treated to wobbagong sharks and blue magic and Mioskon which was a great end to the trip. On the last day some guests headed off to Mioskon Beach which they appeared to thoroughly enjoy by the looks of the number of beer cans that returned empty… and the photos we saw later that evening. Then it was time to head back to Sorong. Sails up and everyone was in good spirits on our return and we would like to thank you all again for your patience and understanding with the anchor. And we truly hope that we see you all again on a little less eventful trip.