By Alex del Olmo.
We just finished an exciting adventure around the Forgotten Islands, cruised right through the Banda Sea with beautiful weather, and had a stop-over in the Spice Islands to visit Banda Neira, tasted the nutmeg in its different variation and learned a bit more about the story of these islands tightly woven with the commerce of the precious spices. At the end of the trip we finally reached the realm of the Four Kings: Raja Ampat. We spent four days in Misool, after leaving Koon. The first two days we dove Tank Rock, Whale Rock, the well named Nudi Rock, Boo East, famous Boo Windows and bewitching Karang Bayangan. The amount of fish was spectacular and we saw manta rays in different places, two in Boo East, one in Tank Rock and another couple, oceanic and reef mantas, as well as black tip sharks and grey reef sharks at Karang Bayangan. And of course, what I enjoy the most:
The wonderful corals of Raja Ampat. I really love the Fiabacet area for this reason. I love the colorful reefs, and vibrant soft corals in a sea fans landscape, where Jefri and Irwan, our eagle-eyed dive masters, spotted Denise pygmy seahorses. The third day we dove in Wayilbatan, Wedding cake, Four Kings, Neptune Fan Sea (note the pun: fan-cy ) and Barracuda Rock, the last one at night.
The current was running when we jumped in wedding cake. A profusion of fish was expecting us at the pressure point, the spot where the current seems to stay still before it splits in two different directions. Myriads of shiny silver sides were hunted by an army of blue fin and giant trevallies, and a mobula ray joined the feast as well. The soft corals were opened up during this current rush hour and the wall was all bright orange with them. In the shallows at the ridge: plentiful small reef fish (sergeant majors, spine-cheek anemonefish, fusiliers and a few scorpionfishes well camouflaged in the table corals). Four Kings was outstanding as usual. The swim through was crammed with sweepers and the population of fish specially in the first pinnacle was simply outstanding.
What a great start to our new season in Raja Ampat! We’re all looking forward to a series of great cruises here in the next couple of months, before carrying on to Triton Bay later on, to dive and swim with the whale sharks there. It sure looks like Raja Ampat will once again keep its promises, and we’re fully booked for the season here, with probably many of you reading this getting ready to join us!
And that reminds me, not only is this season all booked out, as is the whole year of 2020, also our next season, is filling up really fast. In fact, just one trip left open, right in the middle of that next Raja Ampat season, 2021 January 30 to February 11, so now is a good time to sign up for that! Click here to see our scheduled trips and available spaces.
Hope to see many of you on board with us in Raja Ampat, this season and the next, for the first time or returning for yet another adventure!
Cruise Director The Seven Seas