The buttons below link to details of our trip around Raja Ampat. The gallery link takes you to photos of life above and below water and 'About' includes details of how to get there as well as a reading list.

Introduction cruising diving gallery about

and here is a link to Vicky's blog

More information on the Dewi Nusantara

 

 

sunset on board

Living on the boat makes diving in the area very easy. It is possible to stay at one of the eco resorts in the area or even in a homestay (although I am not sure how you would manage to dive). The islands are quite spread out so staying on a boat makes a lot of sense.

A typical day on board goes something like this. The previous night we went to bed in one location and at 2am we weigh anchor and move to our next spot reaching there around 6:30:

6:00 get up early and watch the sunrise. Have a cup of tea and some fresh fruit/meusli which is out on the side.

dive briefing7:30 first dive. Check nitrox mix, pull on wetsuit, sort out the camera and then listen to the dive briefing. Sometimes when the sites are quite small the group splits in two and each tender dives a different site.

9:30 breakfast. we have given our orders before the first dive and might choose bacon and eggs, Indonesian noodles or perhaps porridge.

11:00 second dive: probably from the same mooring as the first although sometimes we do a first dive in a more exposed location and then move the boat for the rest of the day.

13:00 lunch: a buffet which might include soup (tom yam), chicken or beef, tuna steaks, samosas, mixed veg (morning glory), rice, crackers. A good mixture of western food with eastern options.

15:30 third dive. After this dive there is a 'snack' served which might be cake, doughnuts, or something savoury like toasted sandwiches

18:00 night dive. Clearly all the dives are optional. I found that there was more to see in the North than the South, perhaps to do with the underwater topography. After the dive we are served hot cocoa, perhaps with a splash of Bailey's

20:00 dinner: three course meal served at the tables. We usually eat outside on the dive deck and enjoy the mild weather (and no bugs).

So basically eat - dive - eat - dive... Time in between to relax on the sun deck or perhaps check your photos. Hendricks will mix cocktails before dinner and you can help yourself to soft drinks and beer.

The boat has plenty of fresh (desalinated) water so deck showers and showers in cabins are no problem.

CabinOur cabins are super comfortable. Finished in Indonesian hardwood with subtle lighting and plenty of space. The shower rooms are also roomy with large showers with strong water jets. Because the compressors and generators are hidden away at either end of the boat they are quiet too. In fact there really is no noise from the compressors which is great for a dive boat.

The saloon is also comfortable and roomy. On our trip all the cushions covers had just been replaced in a big refit so it was super-smart. There is also a good library - from fish reference books to Raja Ampat picture books and general reading that guests have donated.

Camera roomFor photography fans there is a big camera room in front of the main deck. A great facility with work areas for all photographers with plenty of battery charging points as well as non-slip surfaces to store your equipment and lenses. The crew help with kit and move the cameras to and from the tenders before and after the dives.

There is also a TV and ipod dock in the saloon where you can plug in to view your images or show your latest brilliant video of those mantas that you filmed on the last dive.

Village life

Papua has a fascinating mix of people and tribes. The local villages do benefit from divers with contributions towards amenities funded via 'visit fees'. We make an early morning start to view birds of paradise; a local guide meets us on the shore and launches up a very steep path which takes us to the top of the island and a clearing from where we can watch two birds of paradise enjoying the dawn. Handrails have been put in place on the steeper sections and fortunately it is not wet. A great outing but worth taking binocularsto see the vibrant red and yellow feathers of these famous birds. Afterwards we walk through the village and watch the uniformed kids getting ready for school.

We also do a couple of 'lagoon tours' in the tenders to explore the amazing number of rocks and islands that make up this wonderful area. At one stop the previous Indonesian prime minister had recently visited and a fantastic set of steps had been erected to a great viewing platform.

Lagoon