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Raja Ampat Central and North

Raja Ampat Central and North

After motoring all night, we’ve left Misool and are now in the Pyanemo (central) region of Raja Ampat, and this is our first dive in the area. You'd think no dive pioneer would name an unsightly reef after his own daughter, and indeed, this reef is home to some of the most beautiful hard corals we’ve yet seen. Small fishes darted in and out of the staghorns, and a school of spadefish lazed about a cleaning station, unperturbed by our approach.

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Raja Ampat South

Raja Ampat South

Ever since our first trip to The Similans onboard The Mariner, we’ve been itching to go on another sea adventure; and whenever we talked to other divers, Raja Ampat would inevitably come up as a favorite. An archipelago spanning over 1,500 islands and more than 40,000 km2, Raja Ampat (Four Kings) is considered one of the most biodiverse areas in the world: over 1,500 species of fish and 600 species of hard coral have been documented here, representing over 75% of all coral species known worldwide (!!). Its relative remoteness has also left its reefs relatively intact and pristine, and so our Raja Ampat dream was borne.

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Bali Part I

Bali Part I

A little late in the season, but it's a few days after full moon and our guides thought this was our best chance to see some pelagics. We were going on the big boat!

Just outside the embrace of the bay, three tiny prominences make up the Gili (islands) Mimpang and Tekepong. While we moored the boat and donned our gear, divemaster Chris briefed us on the capricious currents that can pull unwary divers into a terrifying downdraft. We were counseled to stay low and close together, and conserve our air for as long of a deep dive as possible.

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