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!