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Going back to Indonesia to dive... An obsessive desire, which has been nagging me all winter long! So, in mid-March, I flew to Halmahera.
My destination: Weda Bay. Good choice, again. The underwater world, in Indonesia, is just... amazing !!!
Halmahera, North Maluku Islands
Halmahera, archipelago of Moluccas...Indonesia... Names that are already transporting, even before the departure !
To situate, it is there, in the eastern part of the archipelago, between Sulawesi (in the west) and Papua (in the east) :
Once there, I confess, I did not move at all, and therefore did not see much of the island of Halmahera itself...
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 Weda Cove. And last but not least, the splendid reefs a little further off.
I didn't go that far, to Weda Bay, quite randomly... No need to set up a whole expedition, I simply booked at the 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. To dive every day on virgin reefs, in the middle of an exuberant coral. I was also curious to see what Weda Bay looked like, still little known and little dived, of which several traveler-divers had told me the best.
Verdict: superb! I came back enchanted.
Under the sea of Weda
The different sites accessible from the Weda Resort are full of gigantic gorgonians, huge barren sponges, and immense coral tables. The reefs are teeming with color and life.
Underwater, I usually take my wide angle lens underwater, the Tokina 10-17which is wonderful with such subjects.
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 ...
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 this place to beginners as well as to underwater photographers!
The Weda ResortThe only diving operator in the area is the "Bungalows", where I stayed for a few days. A handful of bungalows between the jungle and the sea. So we are not many underwater...
Especially since there are not only divers: the tourists who come here also come for To watch the birds. As for cruise-diving boats, they are still rare to come in the area.
On each dive, we are in a very small group. Our Indonesian guides are passionate and attentive. We are alone with our bubbles, happy to be there.
To the binomial lotteryI have the chance to be with Michael, a very nice Dutchman, who dives like me, in a peaceful and contemplative mode. No speed race or depth contest... I appreciate it. Admiring the beauty of the reefs is enough to make us happy.
Michael even ends up acting as a model for my lens, alternating with our guides Radyal and Jimmy, when I need a little silhouette of a diver in the background.