Barrel sponge. Weda Bay, Halmahera, Indonesia. March 2013.

Weda Bay: beauty under water

#Halmahera # Indonesia

  Indonesia: Weda [Halmahera] + Bangka [Sulawesi] - March 2013

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Go back to diving in Indonesia... A haunting desire, which has been nagging at me all winter! So, in mid-March, I flew to Halmahera.

My destination: Weda Bay. Good pickaxe, again. The underwater world in Indonesia, it's just... amazing!!!!

Diving in Weda Bay. Halmahera, Maluku, Indonesia. March 2013.

Halmahera, North Maluku Islands

Halmahera, archipelago of Moluccas...Indonesia... Names that are already transporting, even before the departure !

To locate, it is there, in the eastern part of the archipelago, between Sulawesi (west) and Papua (east):

Once on site, I admit, I have not moved at all, and therefore not seen much of the island of Halmahera same ...

Just the beautiful road which connects the city of Sofifi on the west coast to the village of Kobe in the east. Then the stretch of coastline mixing beach and mangrove in the Weda cove. And last but not least, the splendid reefs a bit further offshore.

Halmahera map. From Sofifi to Kobe.
Halmahera map. From Sofifi to Kobe.

I did not go so far, until Weda Bay, quite at random ... No need to ride an entire expedition, I just booked to Weda Resort, held by Linda and Rob Sinke, who are also the owners of Divers Lodge that I already knew, in the Lembeh Strait in Sulawesi (see my previous trips to Sulawesi, in 2007 and in 2010).

I wanted a week of relaxation, far from everything. Diving every day on untouched reefs in the middle of an exuberant coral. And then I was curious to see what Weda Bay, still little known and little dive, was like, several divers-travelers had told me the greatest good.

Verdict: Superb! I came back enchanted.

Under the sea of Weda

The various sites accessible from the Weda Resort are full of huge gorgonians, huge barrel sponges, huge coral tables. The reefs are teeming with color and life.

Underwater, I usually take my wide-angle lens underwater, Tokina 10-17which is wonderful with such subjects.

Barrel sponge. Weda Bay, Halmahera, Indonesia. March 2013.

Diving in Weda Bay. Maluku, Halmahera, Indonesia. March 2013.

Diving in Weda Bay. Maluku, Halmahera, Indonesia. March 2013.

Diving in Weda Bay. Maluku, Halmahera, Indonesia. March 2013.

Between the play of light and the colors of the coral, I enjoy ...


Diving without stress

In addition, the dives are rather quiet, in the corner, conducive to contemplative walks ...

Diving in Weda Bay. Maluku, Halmahera, Indonesia. March 2013.Unlike other beautiful places where I was able to dive in Indonesia and Malaysia (Komodo, Raja Ampat, Nusa Lembongan or Sipadan, to cite some famous diving spots), Weda Bay offers all its beauty without furious current.

The visibility is remarkable some days. The dives are varied, without stress, ideal to refine your photographic settings without haste. No need to choose between palmer or photograph... In short, I recommend without hesitation the place to beginners divers as well as underwater photographers!


The Weda Resort, where I live for a few days, is the only dive operator in the area. A handful of bungalows between the jungle and the sea. In other words, we are not many under water ...

Especially since there are not only divers: the tourists who push up to here also come for To watch the birds. As for cruise-diving boats, they are still rare to come in the area.

Every dive, we are in a very small committee. Our Indonesian guides are passionate, attentive. We are alone with our bubbles, happy to be there.

To the binomial lottery, I am lucky to be with Michael, a very nice Dutchman, who plunges like me, in peaceful and contemplative mode. No speed race or depth competition ... I appreciate. Admiring the beauty of the reefs is enough for our happiness.

Michael even ends up playing the models for my lens, alternating with our guides Radyal and Jimmy, when I need a little diver silhouette in the background.

Diving in Weda Bay. Maluku, Halmahera, Indonesia. March 2013.

Diving in Weda Bay. Maluku, Halmahera, Indonesia. March 2013.

Diving in Weda Bay. Maluku, Halmahera, Indonesia. March 2013.

Weda, I love it. 😎

  Indonesia: Weda [Halmahera] + Bangka [Sulawesi] - March 2013

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  1. Hello,
    I went there in November and loved it! The wealth of sites in terms of wildlife and fish, the tranquility of the area, the impression of being a little at the end of the world ... We went mostly to the Elmoo Reef sites; a bit far from the resort, but so beautiful and interesting to explore!
    Here, it makes me want to go back!

    1. @Malene: yes, I had gone to read your posts on Weda before I left... 😉 Elmo Reef is huge, there is plenty to do, indeed...

      Ah, you too, want to go back ???

    2. Always the same dilemma: return to the places we loved or discover others! With 5 weeks of vacation, including 4 for diving, the choice is difficult! But yes, Weda is still on my list ... By cons for my next Indonesian vacation, I will go well on the side of Ambon because, in addition to the mucks, it seems that there are also beautiful coral sites.

    3. @Malene: what dilemmas, eh 🙂 Ambon and the rest of the Moluccas, I confess, I'm thinking about it too. But for July (not the right season for Ambon), I have other Malaysian-Indonesian plans that are maturing...

  2. @Corinne: whaaoooo! More beautiful pictures ! And when I see all your work, I tell myself that I still have a lot of work to do 🙁 as a beginner in underwater photography....Bon, I'll start with basic equipment (as you did too it seems) and then there you go...I'll learn as I go along...But I admit that my first images encourage me to persevere.... 🙄

    1. @Didier: thanks for the note!!! 🙂
      Yes, I am having fun, now, with my "big fancy camera". But I was already having fun with my compact. All photos sub from before 2010 on this blog have been taken with ... If you are rather satisfied with the first results, the sequel looks promising!

  3. I'm dying of jealousy, you can seriously think about organizing a photo exhibition at the next diving show ... .with a VIP journalist access, even if you do it in "amateur". Your shots are beautiful especially when you will capture the surface light with mirror effect and divers above you! Are these photos retouched or the viewing was really such as without particles? I really miss an external flash but I'm happy with what I do with my Canon G12 and admire your talent because everything is not in the device, it is necessary especially with the eye, to seize a subject and sublimate it. Again, congratulations ...

    1. @Lisemet: thank you, very flattered by your compliments! Well, the show, I'm doing here on my Little Bubbles Elsewhere, it's very much like that ...

      I edit little my photos. If there are visible particles in the image, I leave them, too bad. I will not have fun erasing one by one the small spots, it would be a crazy job ... No, the visibility was good and when there is sun, you have to play with!

      The only true retouches that I allow myself in photo sub are the crop, as well as small readjustments of color and contrast. I like when the image that "comes out" is good as it is and does not need much to be reworked.

      The camera is not everything, of course, but to make such atmospheric photos as I've chosen here to give you an idea of what reefs look like in Halmahera, the Tokina 10-17 fisheye lens is fabulous.

      The rest is a matter of composition and light, as always in photo, underwater as terrestrial: you have to learn how to play with flash light and natural light, and balance the two ...

      With an external flash on a G12, we can already make very nice pictures of atmosphere ... For example, this photo of me, below, taken a few years ago by a photographer named Phil North , was made with a G-I-do-not-know-what-number and an external flash.

      The flash allowed him to illuminate the coral in the foreground, which here, in addition to the shape of a heart ... Really pretty!

      Finally, it must be said that for a successful photo, I throw ten or more ... The picture under water is like oil painting is more fun but it requires patience and length of time. Gradually, by dint of shooter, shooter, shooter, we end up digging the things that work and improve ...

      Anyway, I'm glad to see that I'm making progress, since acquiring my 7D and the housing in 2010. Now I'm at the stage where I'm thinking more and more about investing in a second external flash... 😈 (But what a mess to lug around!!!)

  4. Thank you Corinne for this review that gives me almost regret to put already engaged on the cruise Wallacea has Rajat Ampat !! But hey I'm your advice and I think we will feast!
    Congratulations for the photos of atmosphere, it's really beautiful! I really like the colors and the light ...
    Is it as expensive as Papua?
    With your savvy advice we have our tickets from Reunion to Sorong and stay on the area 3 weeks, 2 cruises and one on an island to finish the last shots that would miss ....
    thanks again

    1. @Yves: oh, no, you do not have to regret having opted for Raja Ampat! Weda is very nice, but Raja Ampat is wooooooooowwwwwwww !!!!
      Weda is not especially cheap, but much more affordable than Raja Ampat ...

      Enjoy, you will hallucinate under the water !!!!

    2. Do not regret especially. Raja is much more impressive than Weda.
      If I had to make a classification, not necessarily subjective, I would put as ranking (for Indonesia):

      Corinne, your ranking?

    3. @Steph: When you say "Maluku", you mean you've never been to the Maluku Islands, so never went to Weda in Halmahera (Big Island of North Maluku), which is however in your list? Or do I misunderstand?

      For the question of the top dive sites in Asia (and not only in Indonesia), I had already mentioned the question in comment, I do not know where, under another post ... Not knowing Wakatobi nor sites to muck du remain Moluccas (Ambon, for example), I would be hard to list in any personal ranking ...

      But in short, I'll do an article on it next day, that's for sure. Still, the choice is difficult, except for my trio of head, which would, for now:

      1 - Raja Ampat (Indonesia, West Papua)
      2 - Sipadan (Malaysia, Borneo)
      3 - Komodo (Indonesia, Small Islands of Sunda)

      Afterwards, it's more difficult. Places like Bangka Island (North Sulawesi), Bunaken (North Sulawesi), Weda Bay (Halmahera, North Maluku), Tulamben (Bali), Pemuteran and Menjangan Island (Bali), some sites around the Derawan archipelago (Indonesia, Borneo), or Richelieu Rock (Thailand, Andaman Sea), and even the Perhentian Islands (Peninsular Malaysia) seem to me quite worthy of inclusion in this kind of ranking ... But I have not yet taken the time to seriously look into the matter.

  5. Thank you Corinne for your answer, we are already sharpening our cameras, Chantal has just equipped a Sony rx100 and everything to enjoy also make pictures! We will go this summer to train in the Red Sea for a week combining Kite and diving. Good continuation .

  6. Hi Corinne, you do not remember, the operation screwdriver with Regis at Ko Lipe it was in my bungalow. Returned in 2012 to Ko Lipe, if the dives are still pleasant even though you say apart from the currents, the island has become absolutely unbearable too many people there are even golf cars, the stay is poorly finished for me, my kidneys were suddenly decided to strike, leaving for a hospital Hat Yah, back to Bangkok three dialysis and repatriation to Switzerland by ambulance. But I do not give up the song, March of this year left a month dive at the meeting not terrible but you had to start over with something, your stay in Weda Bay tempts me a lot can you give me more information, how there are you going from Manado or Makassan? see your blog thank you kisses Sergei

    1. @Serge: Hi Serge, what a nice surprise! Oh, but if, I remember very well ... I even mentioned the subject here, on this blog:

      Since then, I have progressed well in photography and have equipped myself with some more material ...

      As for Koh Lipe, yes, I was not very impressed by the underwater world at the time, it did not make me want to come back. Given the speed at which the island was already developing, in 2009, I can not imagine what it should look like today ...

      Sorry to hear your health concerns. I hope you've been back since, and that you can continue to dive and travel anyway ...

      As for Weda Bay, it has nothing to do with a very famous and very touristy place like Koh Lipe. There is really nothing around, except the jungle and some villages.

      To get there, the easiest way is via Manado. There are Manado-Ternate connections with Lion Air. For my part, I did Paris-Jakarta and Jakarta-Manado-Ternate. But there must be information on the possible flights on the Weda Resort website:

      Kisses too, good preparations!

    2. Hi Corinne,
      yes that's it you made me want to go to Weda between January and February for 4 weeks need to shake my toes, I do a chek up at my doctor and then hop, I'm less frisky than before c is also the age, super your blog continues and you never know always keep a Swiss knife at your side.
      Kisses Sergei

    3. @Serge Junod: Four weeks? It might be a bit long, all the same... There's not much there, apart from the small villages, the sea and the jungle. Think about taking some reading material, it might be more useful than a Swiss Army knife... 😉