October 17th, 2016
We have just recently finished an Underwater Tribe group trip aboard the Mermaid II liveaboard in Raja Ampat and there is no way to describe other than the word FANTASTIC!
When we planned this trip almost two years ago, we looked at the calendar to decide what dates would work best in terms of tidal and moon phase as well as the optimal time of year for weather and we decided that the end of March would be perfect, and boy are we happy that we chose those dates! The weather and sea conditions could not have been better, the water was crystal clear, and the currents were mild which made life easy for our group of divers.
We spent the vast majority of our time in the Misool area enjoying the incredible dive sites that the area has to offer including Fansea, Nudi and Tank Rock, Whale Rock, Magic Mountain, Bo’o, and the Daram area along with a few other sites thrown in as well. In the Dampier Strait area we dove Cape Kri, Blue Magic, Arborek, Manta Sandy and Sardine.
As can be expected from Raja Ampat, the fish life was prolific and the incredible amount of colourful corals was just mind-boggling. For those looking for macro subjects there was certainly no shortage of pygmy seahorses as we saw Denise, Bargibanti, and Santa Clause (the red and white Denise) on pretty much every dive. We had plenty of turtle encounters and we were also very lucky with mantas both in the Misool region as well as in the Dampier Strait. The diving could not have been better as everything worked out perfectly.
When not diving we also enjoyed several cruises investigating and photographing the unique karst limestone formations that can be found in the Balbulol and Wayil area and also had the chance to wander around the island of Arborek and enjoy a very well performed dance by the kids. Of course we also presented our patented Underwater Tribe photo seminars each day and answered questions about photography for those interested.
We were very impressed with the Mermaid II, the boat was quiet and the ride was smooth, the food was excellent and plentiful, and of course the crew and guides were absolutely outstanding! We are already planning our next trip aboard the vessel and are looking forward to another week with the Mermaid II.
Special thanks for everyone who joined us on the trip, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and we are looking forward to seeing you all again soon. Enjoy some pics and stay tuned for a few short videos as well!