Ni Sa Bula and welcome to another week of fabulous diving aboard the S/Y Fiji Siren. This week we had a very mixed group of divers from all over the world, some close and some far. We had a couple from the extended Siren Fleet family (Chris & Helen) joining us on their 4th Siren cruise and a few others doing their second journeys and even a couple joining for their first ever Siren trip. We had English, French, German, Dutch, Polish, Danish and American.
Grey reef sharks gracefully negotiating their way amongst what must have literally been a smorgasbord for them
The Fiji Siren crew was very happy to welcome back ‘photo pro’ Mr Douglas Hoffman who was on-board conducting another underwater photography workshop throughout the cruise as well as a bunch of repeat guests! To start our subsurface proceedings it was a quick hop over to our neighboring island, Nananu-I-Ra, where we got straight into the swing of things with a nice easy shake-down dive at Amazing Maze among myriads of swim-through adorned with beautiful gorgonian sea fans and of course no dive in Fiji would ever be complete without thousands upon thousands of colourful anthias.
The Indo Siren welcomed on board a group from Equator diving. So it was really nice to say hello again. On the first day we had plenty of time to get settled and sorted.
The first day of diving we started in Bima Bay with Unusual Suspects where our guest had already some great encounters: Wonderpus, seahorses, rhinopias, harlequin shrimp and much more were our encounters. During lunch, the liveaboard dive trip continued to Sandeang, where we started with Black Sand and its colourful reefs.
The Philippine Siren crew welcomed on board a new group of divers all ready for their 13 night liveboard dive trip between the Tubbataha Reef and Southern Visayas. Many of them were repeat guests, so soon everybody felt at home! We went through the boat, cabin, safety, and general dive procedures briefings, and got on our way to the Tubbataha Reefs National Park.
Bula once again from the Fiji Siren Crew! We kicked off the week diving in the Vatu Passage with a couple of mild dives to Mellow Yellow and Black Magic Mountain both hast slack tide making for a very easy spin around the pinnacles. We had a couple of reef sharks and barracuda float with us through the water. After three dives here we picked up the anchor and moved the Fiji Siren onwards to Wakaya Island.
For the last Raja Ampat liveaboard diving trip, the Indo Siren welcomed on board a group of 16 repeat guests from Taiwan all ready for their liveaboard diving holidays. After a quick orientation, set up equipment ,we already moved to central of Raja Ampat were we spent our first night.
For this Palau liveaboard dive trip, the crew welcomed on board an international mix of divers coming from the UK, Australia, US, Indonesia and Russia. We boarded Palau Siren from Malakal harbor during a beautiful sunset. After they got to know their new home for the next 7 nights, we unpacked and set up their dive gear for the first dive the next morning.
The Philippine Siren welcomed on board a brand new group of divers all ready for their liveaboard diving holidays in the Tubbataha Reef! The first dive day started at Jessie Beazley Reef. We did two lovely dives along the dramatic walls and over the shallow plateaus. We spotted numerous grey reef sharks and loads of whitetip reef sharks. The amount of fish just off the wall was again unbelievable. Everybody got a taste of Tubbataha’s beauty and was eager to have another bite of it. Next on the schedule was Malayan Wreck. The wreck itself sits on top of the shallow plateau and with the absence corals or big fish isn’t the main attraction of the site. That would be the nearby corner where the currents come together from different directions resulting in an upwelling of nutrients attraction loads of fish. And with that the dogtooth tunas, giant trevallies, grey reef sharks and white sharks. The nervous darting around of the fish really works well for our guests. It’s hard not to get excited yourself too when you see so much life around you. All in all, we drew the conclusion that it had been a great first day of diving!
This was going to be a special trip for the Philippine Siren because a group of many marine life researchers and people working in or on the Ocean were going to dive Tubbataha with us! We chatted with the group leaders and made some plans for what looked to be a very nice week with extra activities such as presentations, a barbeque at the ranger station and talktails… talks with cocktails. After the formalities and getting clearance from the coast guard we set off on the eleven to twelve hour boat ride to the Tubbataha Reefs National Park.
The Indo Siren welcomed on board a group from Atmosphere Resorts. Many of them already dove with us in Komodo so the crew was happy to see them on board once again! Every was happy to start a new adventure diving in Raja Ampat! In the evening, the captain started sailing towards Misool.