Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is renowned for diving. It's also a huge area with relatively few people. So far, we have been to a couple of spots in Wayag and an isolated anchorage called Uranie. Any one of these anchorages could be used as a base for weeks upon weeks of diving. The other day, we were with our friends on Field Trip, talking about our cruising experiences (they have been out six years to our five). We all marveled at how many more cruising boats there were in the U.S. and Caribbean than in this neck of the woods. Here, there are live aboard dive boats, fishing boats, and tourist speed boats. We even met some of the crew from the jaw-dropper Octopus, owned by Paul Allen of Microsoft fame. But, besides each other, we have seen only three other cruising boats in the month or so that we have been in Raja Ampat.

True to its reputation, the diving has not disappointed. The variety and number of coral and fish is impressive. In many cases, it seems the best diving corresponds with strong currents. It is good to have two boats of certified divers and two dinghies so that we can coordinate the best way to approach various dives, including having someone sit in the dinghy during some dives (thanks Mary Ellen and E!).

On one recent dive, Matt and Mark on Field Trip got a good long look at a wobbegong shark who patiently sat still like a well behaved dog while Matt clicked off photo after photo from just inches away. Unfortunately, Matt's footage was lost when the Faux Pro (an Akaso--a less expensive Go Pro-like camera) went missing somewhere between when Matt hooked it onto his BCD and when he got back to the boat. The camera wasn't expensive but finding a replacement in these parts isn't going to happen. I'll save the story about the expensive Ikelite camera housing and strobe debacle for another time. Let's just say that Ikelite is a bad word around here lately.

Since Sorong, we have celebrated Thanksgiving and Mark's tenth birthday. We're waiting to hear from a haul-out facility in Indonesia before we decide if and when we go to Darwin. Something as simple as a price quote gets to be very complicated without a cell phone signal and not speaking the local language.


  1. So where are the pictures that did not disappear before the camera escaped? That is one very ugly shark, BTW. It even looks worse than the unshaven Matt, and that's pretty bad.

    Matt's Dad

  2. How lucky you have your friends from Field Trip to dive with you. Saw the macro shots you posted on Facebook and they’re fantastic. The clarity of the water must be great.


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