We have just returned home from another amazing Ambon Photo Fun Week. Our hosts, the always professional Maluku Divers, was once again a great base for our group. The resort feels like home away from home as many of the staff have been there for years and know us all by name. All of our guests this year have been with us in Ambon before, with only one exception. Of course the one newbie to Ambon loved the diving straight away! The hallmark of our Ambon Photo Fun Week is always the incredible variety of critters on display in Ambon Bay. The guides at Maluku Divers know the sites like the back of their hand and the marine life as well.
A selection of the highlights for the group include coleman shrimp, zebra crabs, jawfish with eggs, coconut octopus, wonderpus, seahorses of all colours, frogfish, hairy frogfish, crocodile snake eels, and at least 6 different rhinopias on a variety of sites. We also enjoyed a few wide angle dives under Air Manis jetty due to the large group of fish under the dock. Of course this is just a partial list of encounters, as we saw so many incredible things. The guides were finding so many great subjects it was often hard to decide which one to shoot first. With a maximum of 4 divers per guide, we were well looked after in that department.
A typical day started with a hot breakfast before heading out for the first dive at 830am. As the resort is located within the bay, we returned to base after each dive for snacks and drinks. The best part of this setup is that it gives an opportunity to change batteries or lenses after a dive. After the second dive a great lunch is served before the third dive at 3pm. Our group gathered in the salon area for “happy hour” each day and to discuss photography and diving. Of course, this often turned into general discussions about life with much laughter. On one night the brilliant restaurant staff even baked a cake for Zoe who was celebrating a birthday!
Black Water Diving
There was the chance to do night dive throughout the trip but the highlight was a Black Water Night Dive. What is a black water dive you may ask? It’s simple really, the boat drives into the middle of the bay (over 500m deep) and the crew drop two powerful lights on a long line into the water. Divers descend under the boat and watch as mysterious animals rise from the depths to check out the lights. Ambon is famous for the incredible pelagic encounters that divers see on black water dives. Our black water dive didn’t disappoint either, with large jelly fish, embryonic mantis shrimp, and all kinds of bizarre creatures were spotted.
As per our Photo Fun Week traditions, we ended the week with an amazing slideshow and videos by the participants. The imagery and videos from everyone show a real sampling of the highlights of Ambon. Although we didn’t see the vaunted Psychedelic Frogfish, we did see everything else! We would like to thank everyone who joined us this year at Maluku Divers, we really enjoyed the camaraderie and fun atmosphere. We hope to see you all again soon!
If you are interested in joining the Underwater Tribe on a future Photo Fun Week or Photo Workshop, please have a look at our Photo Workshop page. Here are a selection of images from the trip, enjoy!