Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic Google translation from a post originally written in French. My apologies for the weird sentences and the funny mistakes that could have been generated during the process. If you can read French, the original and correct version can be found here:
Here, there are swarms of sparkling fish and a jumble of multicoloured corals... I take you diving in the waters of Misool, in the south of Raja Ampat.
Heading for Raja Ampat and Misool!
November 2, 2015. I'm aboard the Waow, a magnificent three-masted boat specially designed for diving cruises. After the Banda Islands and incredible encounters with Hammerheads, we now approach the south of Raja Ampat, with the island of Misool (Pulau Misool, in Indonesian).
Updated 2018. The Waow, this magnificent dive-cruise boat aboard which I had the chance to embark on in 2015, no longer exists ... 😢 He unfortunately burned and sank, in Cenderawasih Bay, Indonesia, at night January 31 to February 1, 2018. I refer you to the message posted on their Facebook page and on their site.
We discover a cluster of karst islets, capped with greenery. Typical landscape of Raja Ampat, reminiscent of the bay of Phang Nga in Thailand (Krabi, Koh Phi Phi).
Here, we are at the heart of what is called "The Coral Triangle". It is the richest region of the world for marine biodiversity, home to 76% of the coral species! This triangle is broadly defined by the Philippines to the north, Borneo to the west, the Sunda Islands, Timor and Papua to the south, to the Solomon Islands to the east (see map below) .
At this point, the waters of the Pacific meet those of the Indian Ocean. In the middle, there are the islands of the Indonesian archipelago.
With the tides, monsoons, seasons, the influence of El Niño or La Niña, powerful and nutrient-laden currents rush into the straits between all these islands. The phenomenon is called in English The Indonesian Throughflow. A true brewing, source of life and a unique underwater profusion in the world! More than 1,400 species of fish and some 600 species of coral identified to date ...
I am often asked why I always go back to Indonesia ... For the diver I am, one of the main reasons is the beauty of the underwater landscape and the exuberance of the coral reefs! Impossible to get tired of the seas of the Indonesian archipelago!
Underwater, it's even more beautiful
Two dive days are planned here, south of Misool, before we reach the north of the Raja Ampat archipelago for the end of the cruise. I prepared carefully my box the day before for my photos under the water. Misool has the reputation of owning a beautiful coral. I can not wait to see it !
First good surprise when I go under the surface: the water is hot, much warmer than the previous days when we were in the sea of Banda! We go from 24-25 ° C to 28 ° C! ! ! Raaah ... The non-divers do not realize, but the dive has nothing to do with swimming and these few small degrees make a big difference when we stay an hour immersed (and we're a super chilly like me ).
The rest ... It's just fantastic. 😮 I almost cry for joy in my mask, so beautiful. Everywhere, it explodes with life and colors. The reefs abound in gorgonians giant and there is a spectacular mass of fish.
Images are better than a long speech. To begin, I give you below a short video sequence, full of life (with scintillating fish balls that form and reform in an instant as in Nemo), which sums up well the underwater atmosphere that reigns at this place ...
At the site of Andiamo, where I made the small sequence above, we even saw a little further, in the blue, a squadron of rays mobulas ... (Sigh.)
Coral side, I let loose in photos, during these two days!
I take photos, I go into video mode, I come back to the photos and I do not know where to turn ... 😯 😮
The splendor of coral
As I explained above, at Raja Ampat, you are right in the heart of the Coral Triangle, at the epicenter of marine biodiversity. You do not have to be a marine biologist to check it. It can be seen at first glance, on sites still preserved from degradation due to human activity.
For coral and fish, this translates into a hallucinating variety and density as I have rarely seen elsewhere, except perhaps at Komodo. I often use the word "profusion" to describe Raja Ampat's background and that's exactly it ... I do not get tired of it. These two days around Misool unfortunately pass too quickly!
I love when there is such a debauch of coral, with poiscaille everywhere! The little I saw of Misool impressed me a lot, I admit. I'll have to come back ... 😈
The more I dive, the more the beauty of the underwater world touches me, moves me. The more I am sensitive to his fragility too. Because these kind of reefs intact, sparkling health, where life proliferates, are fewer and fewer in the world. I feel privileged to have admired such beautiful.
I was the guest of Waow from October 27 to November 8, 2015, for this diving cruise called "Secrets of Seram". All opinions expressed here remain 100% mine.