Have you ever heard of Raja Ampat? A group of over 1500 jungle islands in West Papua, Indonesia make up the archipelago known as Raja Ampat and the area is home to some of the most diverse and mind-blowing dive sites in the world.
Raja Ampat is part of the Coral Triangle. That is a roughly triangular area covering Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. The Coral Triangle is the heart of the world’s coral reef biodiversity. The diversity of Raja Ampat is considerably greater than any other area sampled in the Coral Triangle, making Raja Ampat quite possibly the richest coral reef ecosystem in the world!
On the 5th May 2018, a group of 16 lucky Abyss divers departed Sydney International airport en route for a 7 day/21 dive liveaboard adventure, diving some of the most popular dive sites Raja has to offer on board the Indo Siren.
Raja is not the easiest destination to get to (but the best ones never are and that’s all part of the fun right!). After flying Sydney > Jakarta > Makkasar > Sorong we were met by a representative of Siren fleet and transported to the boat which would be our home and diving base for the next 7 days.
If anyone has ever travelled on board the Siren Fleet, one thing you would agree on is that their service, crew and facilities are first class. As soon as we stepped foot on board we were welcomed by the smiling crew with a much needed cool drink and refreshing towel as we were briefed and shown to our gorgeous cabins. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time for diving on day 1 as we steamed away from the Port of Sorong towards that beautiful blue water and diverse coral reef.
Now, what we were all there for… THE DIVING! From the second we backwards rolled off the diving tenders and put our faces in the 28-degree water, we knew we were in for a treat. The marine biodiversity and general marine environment health in Raja are second to none! Over our time on the boat, our team did 21 dives (both night and day dives) and there was something on every dive to please every diver. From the big; Manta rays, Humphead Parrotfish, Turtles, Barracuda, schooling Sweetlips and even a Sailfish for a lucky group of divers! To the small; Batfish, Crabs, Shrimps, Pygmy Seahorses, Anemone and Clown Fish, Scorpionfish, Ghost Pipefish, Mantis Shrimp, Frogfish, Flamboyant Cuttlefish and SO many varieties of Nudibranches. There was so much to see on every dive and the photographers and videographers on the trip got the opportunity for some fantastic shots!
We all came expecting great things and Raja certainly delivered. The diving was jaw-dropping, the above water scenery was just as beautiful, the boat and crew went above and beyond to ensure we had a great trip and of course we had an AMAZING group of Abyss divers to share these experiences with! Thank you so much, everyone, for making it another unforgettable trip of a lifetime!