Mermaid II, December 13 – 21, 2018

This time of the year Raja Ampat, and especially Misool in the south, is absolutely full of little anchovies that almost cover the divesites. Bigger players, like Giant Trevallies and Mobula Rays, are moving in for a feast, so there’s a good chance to witness some proper feeding frenzy! As always in Raja we enjoyed the healthy reefs and the big schools of fish. Already on our check dive we found ourselves surrounded by Batfish, Big-eyed Trevallies and Barracudas. Moving into Fiabacet, famous for fantastic soft corals, things started to pick up, and we encountered Grey Reef Sharks, Blacktips Sharks, big Napoleons and friendly Turtles. We had some incredible dives here at one of the seamounts where we spent the entire dives with several big Manta Rays that come here to get fixed at the cleaning stations.

Divers that somehow managed to take their eyes off these graceful giants were greeted by big schools of Jackfish, Barracudas and Snappers and even a couple of Wobbegong Sharks. Nightdives on this trip were pretty productive, with an assortment of Ghost Pipefish, Seahorses, Pygmy Cuttlefish, Pegasusfish, unusual Nudibranchs and Walking Sharks. We had the chance to visit two lagoon areas, one in the south and one in the north.

Stunning views, and a great addition to all the diving! No Raja trip would be complete without a visit to the mangroves! Surrealistic underwater scenery with plenty of juvenile fish. Always one of my favourites!

Last two days were spent in Dampier Strait, central Raja Ampat. Plenty of action here, with hunting Barracudas, massive schools of Jackfish, congregations of Sweetlips, several Grey Reef Sharks, Eagle Rays and a few more Wobbegongs thrown in for good measure! 

Filmed and edited by PJ Widestrand