From the Dampier Strait to the gorgeous Wayag, this cruise offers world class diving and some stunning landscape. This loop, compared to the Southern one, will fit to people not only focused on scuba diving, but also keen on discovering the Raja Ampat archipelago on land.
Our first stop will be in the Dampier Strait, which sits directly in the path of the Indonesian trough flow. On most of the dive sites of the area, the sweet spot is where the current hits the reef, bringing some high concentrated nutrients waters. Schools of fish, cruising pelagic and sharks are all concentrated on that strategic point. Famous also for its birds of Paradise, labyrinthine mangroves, lush forests, white sand beaches and traditional Papuan villages, The Dampier Strait is full of surface interval activities. In the rich waters of Aljui Bay, chosen by the Atlas farm to grow its highly valuable pearls, you will dive steep walls covered with soft coral, sponges and invertebrates. Kawe has great dives to offer. Eagle Rock and its cleaning station for Manta rays, Canggo with swimthrough, overhangs, pinnacles and schools of fish or Black Rock, a large plateau with massive boulders covered of black coral bushes. The visit of the inner lagoon of Wayag is the highlight of the cruise, and definitely the most spectacular landscape of the Raja Ampat archipelago. You will climb the mount Pindito and explore this last Eden on earth. Numerous limestone islands with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters are standing in the middle of nowhere, and create a perfect protected area to moor up. We will also dive around those mushroom – shaped rocks. We will end the cruise around the island of Penemu, to end on high note in the Dampier Strait.
The day-to-day itinerary describes the dives. Snorkeling takes place at the same or close-by locations.
Arrival and Navigation to Matan Island
Pick up form Sorong airport and transfer to the boat. Welcoming fresh juice, breakfast, introduction to the crew members and general boat and safety briefing. Diving equipment set up and navigation to MATAN Island for a check dive.
CAPE KRI: The one you cannot miss from the Dampier. A real legend. Hundreds of species of fish gather here for the pleasure of the divers.
SORIDO WALL: Close from Cape Kri, this site is amazing during high tide.
SAWANDAREK JETTY: A jetty covered with purple soft coral, which attracts a lot of fish. Some pygmy seahorses can be spotted (Pontohi) also.
Navigation to Yangeffo. Mooring for the night
YANGEFFO AND PEF
MAYHEM: A submerged reef with an abundant marine life. Yellow fins barracudas, sweetlips, grey and black tip sharks gather here. For the lucky ones a face to face with the famous wobbegong!
PEF SEAMOUNT: Another seamount on the western part of Pef, with an incredible marine life, a lot of black tips and schools of fish.
DEEP PURPLE: Starting the dive between some rocks covered with soft corals, we will keep on diving along a wall full of purple sea fans.
After visiting the village of Selpele, we will anchor the boat in a quiet place to spend the night in front of the pearl farm of ATLAS.
WHITE ARROW: A sumptuous wall, inhabited by soft corals, sponges and sea fans. A real haven of peace for nudibranchs and other invertebrates. Macro lovers get ready!
PEARL JAM: Full of fish, this reef is an underwater ridge exposed to the currents entering the bay. Big eye trevallies, and ignobilis, yellow fins barracudas and even sharks…During the surface interval we will have the possibility to go and visit the pearl farm. Discovering how these precious pearls are cultivated and improved to be exported worldwide.
SOLAR JETTY (Night dive): A great night dive in front of the pearl farm of Aljui. Frogfish, scorpion fish and for the luckiest, an encounter with a walking shark.
Quiet mooring for the night. 5:30 am: departure to Canggo.
CANGGO: Spectacular dive site! Exposed to strong currents, Canggo requires a careful planning. The numerous tunnels, pinnacles and walls attract schools of snappers, giant Napoleon wrasse, bumphead wrasses, trevallies and a lot more, which are excited by the currents. Divers get ready for the show!
WEKA’S BOW: Exposed to the swell, there is a big marine activity there. 3 hours of navigation to reach Wayag.
FIGURE EIGHT ROCK: A peaceful site for the last dive of the day.
Mooring in the lagoon of Wayag.
The icon of the Raja Ampat, Wayag is real masterpiece from mother earth. Its lagoon is a labyrinth of sugar loafs. Protected from the winds and the currents it is a nursery for many species such as the manta rays and the sharks. Nonetheless, we will go diving outside the lagoon.
PELAGIC ROCK: A rock exposed to the swell, the underwater fauna and flora is amazing. Some grey reef sharks are often spotted there too.
RIDGE ROCK: Closer from the lagoon. This rock is made of an underwater ridge ending on a pinnacle full of colors.
CORAL GARDEN: An easy and enjoyable dive in a coral garden full of activity.
Departure at 4am to Kawe.
KAWE WEST AND WOFOH
BLACK ROCK: These black rocks pointing out of the sea, hide a large reef. The most beautiful part is the little circus located in the North, spreading on the West and ending on huge pinnacles colonized by soft corals. Black tip sharks, yellow fins barracudas, giant groupers and many more.
EAGLE ROCK: Famous for the big favorites of the park: the manta rays and for the big amount of sea fans.
BLACK FOREST: The best dive site of Wofoh! Paradise for seahorses hiding in uncountable sea fans, porcelain crabs, boxer or peacock tail shrimps to quote just a few…
Mooring for the night close to the island of Wofoh.
MELISSA’S GARDEN: Famous dive site in Raja Ampat. It is absolutely stunning and full of life! Field of unharmed stag horn coral in the safety stop area. So uplifting to find such an intact coral nowadays! Some underwater ridges from each part of the site guarantee the sight of pelagic and sharks coming from the deep.
MY REEF: A ridge one will not find on the marine maps located in the North of the island of Penemu. Yellow fins barracudas, jack fish, reef sharks and groupers… One cannot be bored.
CITRUS RIDGE: A submerged ridge which cross the strait, separating Gam from Yangeffo. Amazingly colorful hard coral, barracudas and wobbegong!
MANTA RIDGE: This dive is dedicated to the other super star of the park!
MIKE’S POINT: Although this site is exposed to the currents and requires a careful planning, its topography is breath taking. Crevasses, overhangs and walls. Dinghy ride in the mangroves of Gam.
SAPOKRENG (Night dive): The best night dive in the area. Octopus, rhinopias, ghost pipe fish and numerous species of scorpion fish are to be spotted there. A must!
For the most motivated ones a walk to discover the famous Birds of Paradise will be organized. Please note that people willing to do it could not join for the morning dive.
BATU LIMA: White sandy slope covered with wonderful corals.
BLUE MAGIC: One of the famous site of the area to end this cruise on a high note! Grey sharks, barracudas, wobbegong, big eye trevallies, Spanish mackerel and who knows, some oceanic mantas could come and say bye!
5 hours navigation back to Sorong.
Breakfast and even lunch (if necessary) on board. Rest. Transfer to airport or hotels depending on your plans.
The route and dives are always organized according to the weather conditions, the currents and tides.