Raja Ampat, The Last Diving Paradise?

We recently returned from a truly wonderful dive trip to Indonesia. After the stress-inducing O-ring debacle of the diving portion of our first adventure post-Covid, in Egypt‘s Red Sea, this was relaxing, exhilarating, and breathtakingly beautiful diving. (Note: You’ll need to scroll waaaaaay down to read about our fubar diving in my Egypt trip report ;^).

On this trip, most of the gang (comprised of the usual suspects) spent a few days – before setting sail on a 10 day live aboard trip – doing some nice land based diving out of a resort in northern Misool, a remote area located in the far eastern reaches of the sprawling island nation of Indonesia.

To get to this part of Indonesia it’s for sure an adventure – for us, a long haul flight from the west coast of Canada, then a quick connection in Singapore to a flight to Jakarta, and then a red eye 4.5 hour flight from Jakarta to Sorong (aka So Wrong ;^) – we called it that because on a previous flight out of this non-touristy place, the ancient 737 that we were on barely made before the end of the quite short runway – I swear it must have been skimming its wheels across the wave tops as it struggled to get airborne. Hot, heavy, and humid were the conditions that day – all perils in flying. The flight was crammed to the max with sweaty bodies – every seat was taken, the overhead bins were stuffed to overflowing, as no doubt was the luggage compartment in the belly of the beast. I won’t even get into the malfunctioning loos in the rear of the plane which permeated the cabin with an incredibly foul miasma of septic gases for the duration. It was definitely a ‘suck it up buttercup’ kind of situation. Still, the diving in the area was so good that, despite the sketchy Indonesian-operated flights required to get there, there we went again. (Here’s a link to my previous trip report on Raja Ampat, from 2010).

Where in the World Were We?

I’ll write more about the land-based resort we visited in a future post, and a bit as well about the superb live aboard that we all greatly enjoyed (seriously, we all loved it so much that we are already looking to book a future trip).

But for now, I thought I’d start by sharing some images from the trip in some short photo blogs. I have already shared the following images on my social media (Judy G Diver on both Facebook & Instagram), but thought I’d drop them in here too.

Rush hour at Boo Rock, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, April 2023.

That’s Amy D going πŸ‘€ to πŸ‘€ with a massive Bumphead Parrotfish – one of about a dozen there that day. We saw schools of these big beauties on several other sites as well. This sighting was particularly lively as they hung around in the swirling current, audibly chomping on the beautiful reef.

Rush Hour in Raja Ampat Part 2. This is a school of silvery Jacks – just one of many species of schooling fish that we spotted on the trip.

It warmed my heart so much to see abundant, healthy and diverse fish populations and reefs in this part of Indonesia – no doubt due to an established marine protection zone, which appears to be working quite well.

Heart Lagoon, Raja Ampat.

A fairly short, very sweaty, steep sketchy wooden-stepped hike to this viewpoint of a gorgeous πŸ’™ shaped lagoon. This was the only time we went on land during our 10 day live aboard trip.

More pix and stories to come…

About Judy G Diver

Born and raised on the west coast of Canada, I have always felt a strong connection to the sea. But for many years, I stayed on the surface, afraid of what lurked down deep. When I was in my early 30's, with three young children (aka the P's), my husband (aka Mr G) signed us up for a SCUBA certification course, as a surprise. Although I had my fears, my stubbornness prevailed, and somehow I made it through four murky, frigid, cold water dives in Vancouver to successfully pass the course. Soon after we went diving off the west coast of Mexico, in the Sea of Cortez, where my eyes were opened to the beauty and other-worldliness of the life down under. And the rest, as they say, is history. I currently have well over 2000 dives under the belt, and I have been fortunate to travel and dive in Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Fiji, Palau, Philippines, Galapagos, Costa Rica, Hawaii, California, Egypt, Mexico, several islands in the Caribbean, and here in British Columbia. In addition to this blog and my personal website (Awoosh.com/Directory), which is linked at the top of the blog, my stuff has been published in a variety of magazines and websites, including a regular monthly feature for Scubadiving Magazine for several years. All links to this work can be found in this blog.
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