Mermaid I Traversing the Unexplored (Part 2 of 2) Lembeh | Halmahera | Raja Ampat February 2019

10 dives in Lembeh searching for the bizarre critters and I lost count of how many different frogfish I came across the mucky strait this time! Although it wasn’t till the last night dive that things have happened for real… 2 Hairy frogfish out hunting! A large fluffy thing cruising together with a younger one. Minutes later on that same dive, a Flamboyant cuttlefish fish decided to come out and play as well!

Algae, White V, Coconut octopus and a beautiful Wonderpus completed the Cephalopod list during our day dives followed by one super star crustacean, a Harlequin Shrimp!
Weather cleared up and Mermaid I started the journey to Tifore island, one epic stop before reaching the Southern area of Halmahera. Tifore is an island located between Halmahera and Sulawesi, a distant and remote spot, home of a magnificent aggregation of Barracudas and Big-eyed Jacks.

Switching from super macro to ultra wide angle felt just right, specially while filming the hungry schooling from inside the massive tornado of silver fish!
The next day waking up in the Patintie strait, a total unexplored region where incredible pristine hard and soft corals thrive together. The amount of Anthias and young Fusilier in the shallows make the entire strait an absolutely gorgeous seascape full of life. Sharks aren’t used to seeing divers around this area, very skittish Blacktip reef sharks but dozens of them spotted on each dive. Macro life is also great and a bunch of Pantohi Pygmy seahorses were found in the shallow boomies.
Night diving was also very productive in Halmahera, One of the dive sites that we discovered last year, and dived again on this trip, is packed with different marbled shrimps and other funky crabs, therefore I like to call the site “Crustaceanland”
Raja Ampat! Warmer water and pretty blue! Young grey reef sharks coming up very close to the camera this time! Mobula rays finishing off leftovers Anchovies, smaller pygmies, bigger cuttlefish, lazy Wobbegongs!
Beautiful conditions on Yangeffo island and perfect tides that made the mangrove exploration one of the nicest ones I had so far!
And finishing off the chapter with Oceanic Manta rays flying by at the Blue Magic!
What a trip… Another 12 days at the office between Sulawesi and West Papua with a stopover in a Halmahera! Biodiversity trips are incredibly special and soon Banda Sea starting again, stay tuned!