Mangroves, which can be found throughout the tropics, play an extremely vital role for the ocean’s delicate ecosystem. Their unusual root system not only act as a nursery for juvenile fish, sharks, and rays but also function as a natural scrubber for carbon and other toxins in the ocean. Mangroves also happen to offer some phenomenal and highly unique diving far different than your typical reefscape. The only issue with diving most mangroves is that they tend to grow in murky lagoons where visibility is not much further than the tip of your nose. This is not the case however with the coastal mangroves skirting the various islands in Raja Ampat.
Diving Raja’s mangroves seems to transport you to an enchanted realm. Looking up through the glass like water offers a surreal perspective where blue skies, dense canopy pierced by the suns rays, and a vibrant coral reef are all stitched together with the thicket of arching mangroves roots. An assortment of unusual creatures reside within this tuberous underwater forest including cuttlefish, sea snakes, and a multitude of fish species. One fish in particular that is unique to the mangroves is the archer fish who spits an arrow of water to knock down insects from the branches above. Despite a max depth of about three meters, the mangroves are an absolute must do for divers seeking new underwater experiences. three meters, the mangroves are an absolute must do for divers seeking new underwater experiences.
Mermaid II, Raja Ampat Diving Cruise
January 27 – February 4, 2018