Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Raja ampat diving sites map

Raja Ampat is all about diversity, from the great things about the variety of reefs to their topography. There are vertical walls, reef flats, slopes, ridges, sea mounds, mucky mangroves, lagoons and pinnacles all of which are affected by a varying degree of current from none to very strong. The uniqueness of dive sites in Raja Ampat is no doubt anymore , surround by the small islands, the area of Raja Ampat give the feel of a truly exotic, makes you feel like the first person who dive into these region, an experience that you probably will not forget for the rest of your life , Enjoyed !

Reef Basics

Great for: Reef life and health, large animals, small animals, underwater photography, advanced divers
Not so great for: Non-diving activities
Depth: 5 - >40m
Visibility: 10 - 30m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface Conditions: Calm
Water Temperature: 27 - 30°C
Experience Level: Intermediate - advanced
Number of dive sites: Unknown but >200
Distance: ~1,200 km north east of West Timor (60 hours)
Access: Raja Ampat liveaboard cruises from West Timor or Irian Jaya
Recommended length of stay: 10 - 16 days

Description :

The Passage
A jumble of rocks marks the entrance to this enchanting looking dive site, the coral almost grows to the surface here. There is not much choice but to drop in and drift down the channel, pausing in bays where the current is more forgiving. Plenty of life can be found here including octopus, flatworms and cuttlefish, even the Wobbegong shark can be spotted on occasion. Schools of bigger fish await out in the current such as jacks, tuna, barracuda and sharks. Caves and arches also make up some of the topography here. Close by is this Nudibranch Rock, recently discovered sheltered dive site where the small island and bays wield a number of flamboyant nudibranchs.

Mike’s Point
This rocky outcrop just off Cape Kri was bombed during WWII. From the air it was mistaken for a Japanese ship due to its size and the wake left by speeding currents. Walls surrounding the islet drop to over 40 meters and attract huge schools of sweetlips, snappers and fusiliers. A dazling array of giant sea fans on a shelf at 27 meters can be explored for pygmy seahorses and the walls and coral crevaces home all manner of reef life.

Cape Kri
As one of the most popular dive sites of Raja Ampat , divers here can look forward to being literally engulfed by fish, huge swirling schools of dogtooth tuna, jacks, giant trevally and chevron barracuda. In addition to these expect to see large napoleon wrasse, car sized Queensland groupers and reef sharks as you drift along with the fish. Coral growth here is also diverse with all manner of hard and soft varieties. It is best to stay deep here to avoid the stong surface currents.

Sardine Reef
Sardine reef is a large off shore reef that slopes down to around 25 meters. There are no actual sardines here but the fish are so tightly packed that it derives the name of the dive site. Great schools of fish block out the light, jacks, tuna, trevally, they’re all here in huge numbers. There are also Australian Wobbegongs to be found here hiding under ledges and table corals. This dive really is a fish frenzy, you even need to stay close to your buddy if you want to keep them in sight for the living walls of fish.

Misool Island
This is one of the larger islands in the archipelago. The stunning reefs around Misool offer a breathtaking kaleidoscope of colour which offers a nice contrast to all the big stuff on other dive sites. Sloping walls are carpeted with soft corals of every colour imaginable housing all manner of critters from ghost pipefish to harlequin shrimp to pygmy seahorses.

Wai Island
This spot is famed for its visiting manta rays and a couple of WWII aircraft wrecks. However it is also popular for night diving in the secluded bay. All manner of creatures emerge to feed including octopus, stonefish, epaulette sharks, wobbegongs, squid, pipefish and many rare nudibranchs.

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