When you dive through eighteen hundred miles of world’s most bio-diverse waters, an area known to many as the Coral Triangle or the Ring of Fire, you never quite know exactly what your going to see, you just know it’s going to be epic. This was the feeling amongst all the customers and dive staff on Mermaid II as we set off from Indonesia’s Maumere in eastern Flores, on our Crossing trip through the notorious Banda Sea and into the the crown jewel of Indonesia, Raja Ampat.
Over the next sixteen days we would explore the depths and shallows of smoking volcanos, coral atolls, and un-inhabited tropical islands. In these remote corners of Indonesia we would witness the true splendors of the ocean. As we were crossing during the full moon, which typically triggers the reproductive responses of numerous marine species, we were present for all the different breeding habits of everything from coral to sea snakes. Clouds of fish came together eager to for the opportunity to prolong their genetic legacy. If you had never seen a barrel sponge before you would have thought that they are always smoking.
Breeding marine species aside, we had loads of big surprises from snorkeling with a pod of a hundred plus melon head whales, scalloped hammerheads surprising us from the blue, gaggles of amphibious children sporting their hand made-wood framed goggles, giant mantas, and waves and waves of anchovies being hunted by mobula rays!
At the end of every Crossing trip, whether it’s north to south or south to north, it’s always seems a bit surreal to go through the extensive list of what we saw. There is no place like it in the world and there is no other liveaboard trip like it where one can dive and explore islands rarely visited by humans and witness natures greatest spectacles.
Mermaid II Maumere – Alor – Banda Sea – Raja Ampat
November 25 – December 10, 2017