KM Black Manta Trip Reports

Feb 6, 2013

Raja Ampat 28 Jan - 3 Feb 2013


A dive trip in Raja Ampat is constantly surprising; even the check-dive, done just 4 miles away from Sorong airport reveals such a rich macro life in its soft and hard coral forest.

We have seen this time the smallest wobbegong shark ever! not even 50cm long, so cute! Unfortunately most divers were diving with empty camera housing to make sure they have no leaks, so no Photo, but such nice memory!

The 29th we started the day in Daram islands, not far from Misool, with clouds of glassfish hunted by jacks and snappers; a site hosting a large numbers of fat barramundi groupers too. Our second dive was the famous magic mountain, and once again ,4 magic manta rays showed up on their cleaning station surrounded by baby white tip reef sharks. The afternoon dive took place at boo windows and its colourful soft coral garden ,napoleons, red and white pigmy seahorses. Few people went for the night dive, but they got rewarded by 4 walking sharks and an endless list of commensal shrimps and crabs!

30th was as good as the previous day, on Fiabacet and Farondi where the underwater and above water landscape are stunning, hundreds of rocky islands with narrow passages, caves, cliffs, white sandy beach....

The 31st, schooling bumphead parrotfish passed by, birds of prey and cockatoos too in the reefs and mangrove of Yangeffo island of North Raja Ampat.  After a delicious lunch we sailed to MANTASPA where we had 2 AMAZING DIVES with at least 7 different manta rays from 3 to 5m wide, flying above our heads!!!

The 1st of February we dove the famous Dampier strait and got surrounded by fusiliers, sweetlips, trevallies and barracudas all day long. we managed to get slack tide twice so we could spot as well loads of macro critters such as nudibranchs, pipefish, pigmy seahorses and frogfish!!!!

On the last day, we started by observing 10 birds of paradise mating at just 30min walking from the village of Saporkrem and back to dive at 8:30am at Friwinbonda and Mioskon to finish at 11am. both being easy dives and so fishy at the same time...many Wobbegong sharks, batfish, giant moreys and the tiny hipocampus pontoi (latest pigmy seahorse discovered). a great trip with great people, mostly from Malaysia, Switzerland, U.S.A and Australia.