Mermaid I April 29 – May 6, 2019

Beginning our trip in the remote area of Ambon, we spent the day discovering an endless collection of Macro critters, in and around the jetty and harbor area. Rhynopious, Sea Horses and Blue ring Octopus are just some of the incredible creatures that we found amongst the dark sand and rubble. From the miniature to the massive, we then took the opportunity to explore one of the only diveable wrecks in the area, the Aqila which was a Dutch cargo ship.

Saying goodbye to Ambon, we set sail for the Banda Sea where, dramatic drop offs, underwater pinnacles and volcanic landscapes awaited us. A particular highlight of this area was Manuk Island, which translates into English as Bird Island, a fitting name for an island swarmed with bird life. It’s not the birds we were there for however, this magical place is a meeting point for large groups of venomous Sea snakes. As soon as we entered the water we were surrounded by snakes, they didn’t even acknowledge our presence never mind showing any signs of fear. After a day of diving with the snakes we prepared for an over night journey to Raja Ampat.

With spirits high after a great start to the trip, Raja Ampat only added to the excitement. Manta Rays, Pygmy Sea horses, huge colorful soft corals and towering limestone landscapes greeted us as we made our way from Misool to Dampier strait, encountering spectacular quantities of fish life and an abundance of world class diving on route.

by Grant Thomas