A Journal, with Pictures

Diving Raja Ampat

by on Jun.01, 2010, under Underwater

In Octo­ber of 2007 I set out on a under­wa­ter pho­to expe­di­tion to Raja Ampat, which is a area off the coast of the North­ern tip of Papua New Guinea. This is about as remote as it gets, and took me three days of trav­el­ing to get to our debarka­tion point, the small vil­lage of Sorong. I flew from the Unit­ed States to Sin­ga­pore, and on to Bali, where I overnight­ed. I then flew to Unjung Padang in Sulawe­si, Indone­sia, where I did some sight see­ing and spent the night. Final­ly, the next day, I flew to Sorong and board­ed our dive boat.

Our home for the next 10 days was the Chenge Ho and our dive mas­ters were Ker­ri and Hergen.

We sailed from dive site to dive site, to explore the best the area had. What we found was unbe­liev­able coral reefs, par­tic­u­lar­ly soft coral, but very few large species. The Japan­ese and Chi­nese fish­ing fleets had been there before us fish­ing out the large fish.

The fol­low­ing are some of the images cap­tured on this trip, includ­ing three dif­fer­ent species of pygmy sea horses.

The group on board was from all over the world, which made for inter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tions when not div­ing. The weath­er was the trop­ics at their best, includ­ing a spec­tac­u­lar sun­set almost ever evening.

The return trip again took three days of trav­el, and dur­ing the lay over in Bali, I did some more sight see­ing. I talked to Joyce every day via satel­lite phone, since she insist­ed I go, even though she was start­ing chemother­a­py. It was an adven­ture, and entailed six days of trav­el for ten days of div­ing. Trav­el­ing with all of my div­ing and cam­era gear was a has­sle, but I guess worth­while, how­ev­er I did won­dered, am I get­ting to old for this. I was hap­py to be on my way home, with a few accept­able images and some great memories.

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