For several months every year in Raja Ampat, the sun can instantly disappear, turning your tropical day dive into a dusk dive. This rare unusual phenomenon has nothing to do with the weather though, and everything to do with a tiny fish the congregates around the karst islands of the Raja Ampat. Every year millions of anchovies ascend from the deep and swarm reefs of a few select islands forming tightly bound and wonderfully choreographed shape shifting clouds. The arrival of the millions of tiny silver fish has not gone unnoticed though. Their presence has attracted fleets of mobula rays and shoals of jack fish who take turns charging though the dark masses of anchovies.
All of us aboard Mermaid II last week were lucky enough to finish an already spectacular trip through Raja Ampat with this rare underwater ballet of predators and prey. However, from the perspective of the tiny fish, who were on the menu, I doubt it felt like they were performing a beautiful aquatic ballet, this was survival. The shoal was so densely packed with these tiny scared fish that at times it was near impossible to tell if it was your dive buddies or the rays making the dark shadows on the other side of the fishy wall.
Mermaid II Raja Ampat
December 31, 2017 – January 8, 2018