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Raja Ampat

Duration: 10 Nights.

 

Ports: Sorong to Sorong.

 

Season: November - April.

 

The region of Raja Ampat, Indonesia is all about diversity - not only diversity of species, but also of dive sites. There are some areas where soft corals and sea fans dominate, others with an amazing range of hard corals, seagrass beds, mangroves, shallow reefs, drop offs, caves, black sand, white sand. Then there are the fish, lots of them, in more shapes and sizes than anywhere else in the world. Not only are there loads of fish, but all the levels of the food chain are well represented - from pygmy seahorses to top predators. In many places brightly coloured soft corals can be found close to the surface which, illuminated by natural sunlight, make these dive sites spectacularly colourful. The reefs in Raja Ampat just buzz with life! Manta Rays, Wobbegong Sharks and Epaulette Sharks can all be found in the waters that make up Raja Ampat.

 

Raja Ampat is huge, 50,000 sq km, with hundreds of islands and an astounding diversity of habitats, which translates to wildly different diving experiences from pelagic drift dives to magic muck dives and even some habitats that are special to Raja Ampat such as clear water mangroves with corals growing right next to them! There are thousands of potential dive sites. Exploration is still continuing, and on every trip there are chances for new and amazing discoveries.

 

Sample Itinerary:

**PLEASE NOTE** the itinerary below is just an example of the route taken and the order and dive sites are not guaranteed. All dives sites are subject to weather conditions and the final route taken is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides.

 

Day 1 - Arrive Sorong

Airport meet and greet, transfer to the port and board the SY Indo Siren. After boarding settle into your cabin and assemble your equipment with help from the friendly crew. The boat briefing is followed by dinner and you can enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure. Depart for South West Batanta.

 

Day 2 - Batanta Island - 3 dives

Batanta Island offers up something truly exceptional for your first full day. Depending on the weather and tidal conditions we choose from sites such as "Happy Ending", "Reflections", "Algae Patch" and "Happy Ending Rocks!" Known for its muck diving, there is really nothing that cannot be seen here along the dark sand slopes. Mimic octopus, wonderpus, inimicus, snake eels, dragonets, flasher wrasse and much more. Overnight sailing to the Misool area.

 

Day 3- Pulau Wagmab and Pulau Farondi - 4 dives

The small islands that run east and south from Misool are surrounded by reefs supporting some of the most majestic underwater scenery in Raja Ampat. Farondi has some good macro diving and its many channels support fish schools and healthy reefs. A mix of walls and slopes can be found here decorated with hard corals and huge gorgonian fans spanning up to 4m. Cathedral-like caves and over hangs adorned with soft corals are a true marvel. Bumphead parrotfish are amongst the sightings and pyngy seahorses (bargibanti and denise) can be found in the fans if you have a keen eye. We choose from the following sites "Cedu's wall", "Swim-thorough and Wall", "Eagle's Nest" & "Batu Tiga" otherwise known as The Three Sisters; which has to be one of the top dive sites in Raja Ampat and the marine life is nothing short of exceptional.

 

Day 4 - Pulau Wayilbatan & Wayil & Pulau Kalig - 4 dives

 

  • Dive 1 - Neptunes Sea Fans. Situated in the channel that runs between Wayilbatan and Wayil islands. The gorgonians here are impressive and numerous fish species can be seen including giant titan triggers, black snappers and batfish.
  • Dive 2 - Black Rock
  • Dive 3 - Hump Rock

 

Both sites offer stunningly scenery and a great atmosphere for wide angle photography. Underhangs and crevices filled with soft corals along the walls. Lionfish & colourful scorpion fish also make fantastic subjects against the clear blue water. The yacht will move approximately 1 hour to Pulau Kalig for a sunset dive at Kalig Point.

 

Day 5 - Misool - 3 Dives

Spend part of the day further south of Misool around Fiabacet. Take in the fan covered walls of Fiabacet and the soft coral lined swim-through of Boo Kecil, the ocean teems with schools of batfish, damselfish and fusiliers.

 

  • Dive 1 - Boo Windows. Comprised of two rocks that stick up from the eastern edge of the island of Boo with a saddle formed between them and with current affecting it diving can be quite exciting as it attracts trevally and schools of dog tooth tuna. Back near to the surface the tides and water have eroded some holes in the rocks, creating swim-throughs that make for great photography opportunities. Sightings of yellow tailed barracuda, snapper, grouper, Napoleon wrasse, turtles, batfish and rabbit fish are often seen in the waters surrounding the islands.
  • Dive 2 - Fiabacet
  • Dive 3 - Nudi Rock - as you can imagine is he place to spot for nudibranchs amongst the soft corals.

 

After our third dive we make the long crossing back to the north.

 

Day 6 - Pulau Gam & Yangeffo - 4 dives

 

  • Dive 1 - Mayhem- As the name suggests this site is known for its changeable currents and fantastic numbers of fish. Schools of barracuda, bumphead parrotfish, surgeon fish and of course wobbegong sharks.
  • Dive 2 - Citrus Ridge is so named for the citrus coloured soft corals that cover the reefs here. Orange, yellow, pink, purple & green corals wave in the gentle currents whilst schools of glassfish and colourful anthias enhance any photo. Wobbegong sharks, octopus. Some time for snorkelling in the mangroves to see the juvenile barramundis is possible if the tides are right - watch out for the crocodiles though!
  • Dive 3- Gam Ridge
  • Dive 4 - Yangeffo Ridge at sunset.

 

Day 7 - Mansuar Island & Arborek - 4 dives

 

  • Dives 1 & 2- Manta Sandy. Divers rest on the sand at just 18 metres, at a designated area, to watch the mantas that visit the cleaning stations here. Up to thirty can be seen on one dive but five or six is more common with wing spans of 4 meters. The manta rays of Raja Ampat are quite distinctive as some are all black as opposed to the norm of a white underside and black upper.
  • Dive 3 - Batu Laut
  • Dive 4 - Arborek Pier Sunset dive. After a short visit to the local village and a walk around this tiny island we make a sunset dive at the pier. Batfish shoals gather and tiny baitfish swarm in between the pier supports.

 

Day 8 & 9 - Mansuar & the Dampier Strait - 8 dives

Dr. Gerald Allen (world-renowned ichthyologist and author of several fish identification books), broke his personal record by identifying 283 different species of fish during a single dive and concluded that Raja Ampat harbours the greatest biodiversity he has ever registered. We would be hard pushed to name all the species found here but you can be sure to see black tip and white tip reef sharks, schools of bumphead parrotfish, sweetlips and snappers, jacks and barracuda. Turtles, pygmy seahorses and notodoris nudibranchs are amongst some of the other creatures to be found here. The reefs are dotted with sea fans and soft corals and the hard coral garden in the shallow waters are breathtaking. Mike's Point offers wide diversity; having been bombed by the US military the reefs topography is quite astounding. One side is full of overhangs and cracks and crevices creating "steps" whilst further around the tiny island a field of whip corals appears. Eagles can also be seen resting in the tree tops as we approach. We spend two days diving sites such as Cape Kri, Sardine, Mike's Point and Blue Magic, whilst sunset dives at the Siren Fleet new site "Roland's Woho!" turn up toadfish and "Mioskon" is a great place for spotting Wobbegong sharks…. And to see the bats that sleep in the trees above.

 

Day 10 - Batanta Island

We make our final two dives on the North Eastern area of Batanta Island on the Wruwarez slope and the new Siren Fleet dive site named "Celtic Corner". The number of dives you do is dependent on your onward flight arrangements. After the dives there is still time for kayaking and snorkeling then enjoy a relaxing evening onboard with a glass of wine or cocktail and start planning your next adventure with Worldwide Dive and Sail and the Siren Fleet.

 

Day 11 - Disembark Sorong

After breakfast say your farewells, disembark the SY Indo Siren and transfer to Sorong Airport.

 

Diving highlights:

 

Boo Island

Fantastic colourful corals, schools of snappers, trevallies, spanish mackerel and bumphead parrot fish. Ghost pipefish can be found in the shallow water and the "windows"- two rock formations with holes eroded through- is an awesome site for some dramatic photography.

 

Manta Sandy at Mansuar Island

At just 18m on a sandy seabed is where we divers rest and wait for the spectacular shows performed by the manta rays. Several mantas are regularly seen at one time cruising in the narrow channel and to two coral bommies to be cleaned or just get an up close look at a curious diver! The mantas' wingspans reach up to 5m, some are totally black whilst others have various white markings making them identifiable. A site not to be missed and we will often dive here more than once.

 

Sardine at Kri Island

Fish, fish and more fish.... over 970 different species have been recorded here. White tips, black tips and wobbegong sharks, turtles, morays and giant clams, Schools of big eye jacks and the occasional marble ray. This site has so much of interest that one dive here is not enough.

 

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