KM Black Manta Trip Reports

Feb 8, 2015

Raja Ampat 26 Jan -3 Feb 2015

So it’s begin again!We welcome our friends from USA,Canada,Germany and China sound like we will have lots of fun this trip.

We can’t wait to start our trip in Daram at Misool south of Raja Ampat and we never disappoint for the pristine coral in here.We do 2 dives in Living color and Andiamo.As soon as we jump in we saw a herd of Bumphead parrotfish around 20+ of them patrolling along the reef.The massive giant grouper…massive is mean human size cruising on the deep buttom.Then we move to Yilliet kecil and we enjoy to find many pygmy seahorses on this dive.

 The next day we tried to find Manta ray at Magic mountain.The dive is great visibility and lots of action but the Manta didn’t show up.Then we move to Fiabacet for Nudi Rock the current start picking up slowly some diver lucky to spot Dolphin underwater and in the end of the dive we encounter the predation activity that big school of Longnose Emperor fish,Napolean wrasse,Jack fish work together.It’s so amazing to see this predation.Longnose Emperor fish can change color to mottled pattern in just a second to confused the prey.

We finish the last day in Misool at Farondi and Balbubol area.At first dive in Farondi cave,the swim through and the cave are so nice and lots of Pygmy Seahorses.Then second dive we move to the seamount “No contest” we didn’t expect anything much.The current is quite strong while we cruising around the seamount suddenly I heard the tank banging so intense.When I go there our guide Stanny make a signal Hammerhead underwater!Huh?I asked him again because I’m not sure about that.I heard some rumour about Hammerhead shark in Raja Ampat but I never see by myself.After the dive our beloved boss “Vincent” join this special trip and he bring his luck.He show us the footage from his GoPro the single Scalloped Hammerhead Shark patrolling in the shallow water of seamount and swim straight to him and rushing swim away in a second.Wow!This is first evident I ever saw about Hammerhead shark in Raja Ampat.We do a speedboat tour in Balbulol and then it’s time to move to the north.  

We wake up with beautiful weather in Penemu and dive My reef,Melissa Garden.The visibility is better than usual here.We enjoy the beautiful reef with million of Fusilier,Barracuda and big eye trevally.In Melissa Garden we go to check our little frogfish friend and he still there.Just next to him many seafan we found so many Bargibanti Pygmy Seahorses.Not enough!We found a pair of Robust Ghost pipefish in the whip coral.So nice everything in the same area.We hardly move from this place.And we going to visit the viewpoint in Penemu and we love it with bluesky.Then we move to Yangeffo for Mangrove Ridge and during the dive we enjoyed to sea the Eagle come to cash the fish with the powerful crawl.

We dive Blue Magic on the next morning to find the Oceanic Manta ray again but we still not success about the Manta so far but very nice dive.Wobbegong sharks,Big eye jackgfish,Surgeon fish and lots more.Then we dive Chicken reef our favorite divesite of this season and we didn’t disappoint.The seamount full of fish.Big school of Surgeon fish,Fusilier and big school of friendly Batfish.It’s like a dream for this dive.Next day we still in Dampier strait area for Sardine reef,Cape Kri and anchor in Yambuba village. 

We tried to find the Manta ray to fulfilled this wonderful trip but we heard from the boat in the area that Manta absent in Manta Sandy for a few days already.So we do 1st dive and we couldn’t see them at all.It’s our last day of diving and so far we still didn’t see any single Manta on this trip.We never give up we change to another Manta spot and we quite confident that if no Manta in Manta Sandy must be some of them in there and we’re right!As soon as we jump we saw few Manta passing by then the whole dive was amazing with 5-6 Manta ray come to cleaning station and it’s up closed and personal encounter.We came up with smiley face finally we saw the Manta ray.Remember never give up!!!It’s happy ending trip now so we heading back to Sorong and enjoy the evening time together.See you next time!