Fond farewells mark Indo Siren voyage…
Fond farewells mark Indo Siren voyage…
On the 16th of March our guests from America arrived in Sorong early in the morning so after an initial boat briefing, a spot of paperwork and breakfast everyone enjoyed a nice rest. We departed the port once final checks were made and the remaining briefings concluded, bound for Misool.
We had a smooth ride so arrived with plenty of time to prep for our first dives in Daram area of Misool. We started with a visit to the Candy Store dive site, where most of the guests fell in love with Raja Ampat and its beautiful soft corals, seafans and the sheer number of fish. After our next two dives in Living Colors and Andiamo, it was clear the divers were having a great time! The viz was exceptional and with fantastic weather the diving was superb, proven by the number of pygmy seahorses seen.
After drying off we drove to Yilliet Kecil for our first plunge the next morning which brought huge diversity with its wonderful scenery, the small stuff and the big schools! We continued the day on Magic Mountain – always one of the highest rated dives. This time was no exception with the site alive with grey reef shark, black tip and white tips, jacks and many other schools of fish. We completed our dive day blowing bubbles at Boo Windows with two nice dives. Next day we made all of our dives in Fiabacet. The first at Boo West, where of one of the groups was influenced by the current, while the others saw a lot of different nudibranch. The next two dives on Tank and Whale Rock were also highly appreciated by the divers. The night dive at Patato Reef proved once again the great art our divemasters have for spotting the “macro”.
We continued our adventure in Wayal Batan, where the boat was tied to the mooring line next to this beautiful area. We made our dives at Dunia Kecil and on Wedding Cake, spotting our first wobbegong of the diving adventure. In the afternoon and evening we dived Barracuda Rock twice as our divers liked the overhangs so much! The last dive in Misool came too quickly before we headed north to Balbulol. The dives in Venus Hill, Love Potion and No Contest were literally no contest – the potion worked! Time was taken to relax before we took Indo Siren’s tenders into the lagoon, and drink in the scnery with the odd a beer or soft drink.
We then ventured north for Waigeo, again with calm seas, we arrived in the strait between Yangeffo and Gam. Many of the guests took advantage of our kayaks in this charismatic area. Back to the diving we dropped into the straits at Mangrove and Citrus Ridge. Two great sites with a lot of the yellow-orange soft corals, stretching out before you like carpets. We spotted ribbon eel and wobbegong to name just two. Our third dive at Mayhem, a submerged reef, is just outside the channel where we saw varieties of nudibranch, cuttlefish, juvenile rockwaver wrasse – the list goes on! The sunset dive was in the strait again and part of the group got their chance to see the exquisite Manderin fish.
We left the straits behind for our first dive at Lalosi, fusilier in Papua-language, so a guarantee for a lot of fish. Besides the numerous shoals, two wobbegongs and various nudibranch made this dive wonderful. The next two dives were on Manta Sandy, with mantas circling throughout the entire first dive, though the second was to be poignant.
After the dive briefing a gentleman returned his wife to the sea, to this special site – her favorite. In a moving – emotional ceremony her friends gathered to pay their respects, and send her on her way . Upon ‘gearing up’ he took his leave, asking all to enjoy the dive as a remembrance. The dive, with magnificent mantas again gliding around us, all understood why this was her dive site.
After Manta Sandy, a visit on the island Arborek beckoned where you appreciate the scenery, without being disturbed. Many of our guests love to take photographs with the children, showing them the results and seeing them laugh. The night dive on the island was one of a kind – the divers saw four blue ringed octopus,and a walking shark!
Regretfully, the last full day of diving arrived with us in the Dampier Strait, with a plunge at Sardine Reef. A lot of fish, but unfortunately the viz was a little bit milky. Nevertheless, when we unhooked an start our drift we saw wobbegong, crocodilefish and another walking shark. On Blue Magic the visibility was much better. We saw a “cloud” of travelly, a swimming wobbegong, and an octopus tried to steal somebody’s nudipointer! We moved onto Mioskon and straight into the middle of a big school of yellow snappers. The wobbegongs were there again for our night dive and a frogfish! Unfortunately, we couldn’t have our BBQ on the beach as rain interfered, though no one starved thanks to our great chef.
Most of our divers decided to stay out of the water before flying, so for those who had time we took the opportunity to drop in at Cape Kri. Then it was time to cruise back to Sorong, and in spectacular fashion. A glorious afternoon of sunshine and a whale waved us goodbye with his tail! Then we were privileged to see a school of pilot whales close to Indo Siren. We were then welcomed home by a huge pod of dolphins near the mouth of the harbor.
Thank you to for making this such a memorable voyage.
Photo of Indo Siren by Andy Pazzali.