shark

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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Mexico Trip Part I: Salty

Mexico Trip Part I: Salty

First day, and we’d already planned an ill-fated morning excursion. Heavy storms had been bearing down upon the Yucatan for about a week, and we woke up to a blinding deluge accompanied by twenty knot winds and violent sea swells. There were no boats going out today. But at the last moment, there was a reprieve and the captain gave the green light. It turned out to be a poorly timed decision for all, and before we got a chance to pick up all the passengers (who were swimming out in neck-high waves to the boat with all their gear) we were again under siege from a fulminant cloudburst. The weather didn’t improve for the rest of the twenty-minute ride and I got progressively more nauseated.

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