The Deep Blue

Raja Ampat - Banda Sea - Ambon

You never know what you are going to encounter as you embark on a twelve day diving safari
through one of the most bio-diverse bodies of water in the planet, which is what Mermaid II just did in
the beginning of February. In the past we’ve snorkeled with whales, dived with hundreds of sea snakes,
encountered rare pelagic species like hammer head sharks and mola-mola, and discovered a multitude
of super rare and beautiful critters such as mandarin fish and rhinopias. After the guests boarded
Mermaid II and we gently motored out into the immensely rich waters of Raja Ampat and the Banda
Sea all the guests and divemasters could talk about is what they hoped to see, like a bunch of eager
children the on Christmas Eve.

Raja Ampat started the trip off with an absolute bang. In one dive we encountered twelve oceanicManta Raja Ampat
mantas cleaning and chasing each other around the pinnacle in their typical courting behavior. On other
dives it would be as if someone had turned off the sun as a shoal of anchovies engulfed you when the
thirty or more mobula rays came bursting though the perfect blue water in attack. Further south in the
Banda Sea the water was alive with schools of fusileers parading thought the gardens of soft coral and
barrel sponges while hundreds of large Chinese sea snakes made their ascents and descents to and fro
the surface for air. Ambon is the finishing point for the thrip and it’s reputation for world class muck
diving held true with it’s bounty of cryptic critters.

On a trip like this you really couldn’t ask for more. Twelve days diving remote islands full of fish and
pristine reefs where ocean giants like mantas pass you by on the regular it was like Santa had brought
everyone on board exactly what they had wished for.

Mermaid II Raja Ampat – Banda Sea – Ambon
Febrary 08 – 19, 2016

Alex Lindbloom