Mantastic last liveaboard dive cruise in Raja Ampat!
The Indo Siren guests came on board just on Christmas day all very excited to spend the holidays diving in Raja Ampat by liveaboard. We started with a peaceful drift around Two Tree Island in the Stagof area East of Misool. Some of our guests were even treated to an early Christmas present when a curious four meter oceanic manta came close to take a look! For two lucky guests it was their very first manta on our very first dive. The diving cruise was already a success!
You don’t get to spend every Christmas on a luxury live-aboard diving the Fiabacet area of Raja Ampat. To get into the holiday spirit, we all wore our Santa hats diving on Christmas day. One curious dolphin even came close to check us out as we finished our safety stop. It must have been the hats! Merry Christmas to us!
We started our third day of diving on the Eagles Nest Pinnacle then Karang Biagang. On both sites we were treated to amazing, playful oceanic mantas and brilliant soft coral life. The mantas seemed curious about us and came back again and again to get a better look and that was just fine by us. 😉
The area of Farondi is known for two shallow water caves that can be explored only by scuba divers. When you surface inside the caves and take off your mask you look up on a stone cathedral carved in the limestone over the centuries. It was a really interesting and unique topographical feature of this dive site. Later we enjoyed a sunset lagoon tour and swam in the shallow blue waters of the area.
Our diving expedition continued with a muck dive around the island of Batanta. Here we got to see all the amazing, unique creatures that have learned to survive where there is no coral to hide behind. Rhinopias scorpion fish, blue-ringed octopus, thorny seahorse, and ornate ghost pipe fish are just a handful of creatures we are thrilled to find hiding in the sandy slopes!
Around the area of Penemu, we were back to business as usual with beautiful hard coral vistas and schools of colorful fish. Melissa’s Garden is one of the first discovered dive sites in the area and it hasn’t lost any of its beauty over the years. Pristine staghorn, cabbage, and elephant ear coral cover this small area between three islands and offer the perfect nursery to millions of colorful damsel fish.
Manta Sandy in the Dampier Strait is not only one of our favorite places to sit and watch reef manta on the cleaning station but also a fantastic site for macro life. Slow moving sea moth, super camouflaged frog fish, and beautiful nudibranch are just some of the creatures that we found while waiting for the manta action. Later at Arborek and Sundarek Jettys we got some great shots of the soft coral growing on the columns and enjoyed the unique fish life living around them.
After an amazing day of drift diving in the Dampier Strait we rang in the New Year in style on the Island of Mioscone with a bonfire, fireworks, and champaign. It’s not every year you get to celebrate New Years on a tiny tropical island in far eastern Indonesia!
We finished our diving cruise on New Year’s day with relaxing, drift dives at Batu Lima and Friwen Bonda. We timed it right and had just the perfect current. As an added bonus we found four bergabanti pygmy seahorse on a single sea fan, just in case our guests hadn’t seen enough already.
As the Indo Siren steamed back to Sorong we enjoyed a cocktail party on our sundeck at sunset and thought back on our favorite dives of the trip. What an incredible trip it was! Thank you everyone!