Mermaid II 27 Jan – 4 Feb 2019 – Misool is The Hotspot

The supermoon cycle was over by now. The power of currents diminished by the day but still we had great visibility on most sites. This time we started our trip in the central area of Raja Ampat and we were going to finish in Misool in the south of the Raja Ampat Marine Reserve.

The first dive of the trip at Yanbuba was a great one. We had nice and calm water, beautiful visibility and lots of fish. The whole day turned out to be great in the Dampier Strait with equally good dives at Mioskon and Blue Magic where everyone could see their first oceanic Manta. Given the great conditions in Dampier, we also dived there the following day. Everyone was thrilled by the dive at Blue Magic on the first day so we repeated that and also dived Sardine Reef and Friwinbonda where we had lovely dives as well.

We then moved to Yangefo the following day in the morning where we had excellent dives at Citrus Ridge and Mayhem Reef. There was lots of action going on on both of those dives. And we could get very close too few black tip reef sharks.

When we went to dive the mangroves as the weather was not the best we decided to focus more on the ridge of the divesite where we could watch lots of fish and some huge bumped parrotfish eating hard coral in the area. Even though the visibility in the shallow was a bit lower than usual we still could see the some of the unusual suspects of the area like the signal goby.

After a beautiful day at Yangefo we then moved to Pyanemu and as the current was very mild we could dive My Reef seamount which turned out to be an excellent dive. There was lots of action at My Reef with Jackfish hunting the fusiliers. After a couple of lovely dives at Melissas garden and Keruo Channel respectively, we went for the walk at the Geosite look out point in the small mountains of Pyanemu. After a beautiful day full of activities we did cross south overnight and reached Misool area early in the morning.

The currents we had on the previous trip must have done some good in Misool because this time we had some really great conditions, we had almost no current, great visibility and lots of fish on all reef. One of the highlight was for sure when we dived Whale Rock which was packed with thousands of fusiliers close to the reef. The fish were so many that they did not bother moving much even when we swam right through the school. There were also few grey reef sharks patrolling the fusiliers and we had some close encounters with them.

When we we went to dive at Magic Mountain, we were not expecting what it was going to happen. We had Oceanic Manta cleaning in the shallow from the get-go. Two of them where cleaning right in the middle of thousands of fish. The visibility was great , We slowly took our positions hovering in the outer edge of the reef enduring that we were not disturbing the manta. They all quickly accepted us and continued in their ritual undisturbed. We all had a blast

Down the ridge there were also Manta at the cleaning station so some of us split from the group and went watching the show a little down deeper whereas the others stayed in the shallow where there were also schools of Big Eye Jacks and several Napoleon wrasses were also to be seen in the area.

The dive at Magic Mountain was probably on of the best of the trip even though every dive was marked by some beautiful encounter.

On the last day on the way back up to Sorong we stopped at Andiamo and Warna Berwarna in Daram which had a great visibility and lots of fish by the ridge . We had two beautiful dives to end a very good trip.

Even though the weather above the water was not the best on this trip, as it was mostly overcast and with the occasional rain shower, we still had the best dive conditions with great visibility , lots of fish and easy currents.