Raja Ampat on Shakti - May 2006


Raja Ampat (the Four Kings) in Indonesia is currently THE destination for photographers and critter hunters. We took a trip on the liveaboard Shakti, taking 3 flights to reach Sorong in West Papua to embark. We did the Northern itinery and spent time around various islands, Waigeo, Uranie and the stunning lagoons of Wayag. With only 7 guests the diving and life on board was super relaxed.

The only casualty was our main camera, which mysteriously flooded in a bucket while waiting to dive, it took a few days to get used to the backup but finding things to take pictures of was no problem!

Many thanks for a great trip to Captain Dave, his crew and our fellow divers.

The panoramic view from above the achorage on Wayag
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Slipper lobster
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Rob doesn't notice the fish forming a giant finger to squish him
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A screen of bait fish
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An ornate ghost pipefish - Katja's find
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A Barramundi Cod or Pather Grouper resting after hunting under a bommie
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The coral inspector checking the reef
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Dawn out for a walk before lunch on Wayag
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A mudskipper in the mangroves of Wayag
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Shakti parked for the night
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A bit spotty but our best turtle
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A tiny cuttlefish putting on a show
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Cleaners waiting for clients
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Jacks swarming around Cape Kri
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Batfish
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  A Chromodoris Kunei, climbing a hydroid
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This bruiser has vampire teeth!
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This Trevally looks a bit underfed
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As usual trying to take close ups of Garden eels wasn't very productive
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Barracuda don't show up against the blue... which is exactly their plan
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The batfish boys on the way back from the bar
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A razor fish, so called because of its flip up and forward dorsal fin
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A face even its mother wouldn't kiss
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This one is very like those we saw in NZ, only smaller, a Nembrotha type
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Another obscure slug
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We nearly landed on this Wobbegong!
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I couldn't imagine divers discovering these without knowing where to look but now other types are being found as guides search everywhere for new things to tempt tourists
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These seahorses were discovered accidently when a fan coral was taken to a lab for study and someone noticed it moving.
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Raja Ampat is the 'Realm of the Pgymy Seahorse' - it doesn't make them bigger or easier to photograph
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Probably a Chromodoris tinctoria
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Sorry I can't resist bubble coral shrimps
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The delicate coral love the storming currents of Raja Ampat
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Every anemone has its own residents
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A transparent anemone shrimp going back into hiding
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Clown fish are hard to catch whilst they're smiling.
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Cute?
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A filter feeding bifurcated worm, doesn't Christmas tree sound better?
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Bolshy blenny
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Whiskery wobbegong
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Colonial tunicates (a stick of sea squirts)
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Chikoko's nudibranch
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Another showy slug
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Who knew those dull brown fish were this brilliant brick red?
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Lots of very varied hard and soft coral, they love the currents
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A robust seasquirt
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Cleaner shrimp
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Furtive Hawkfish
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Chikoko striking a pose
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It's cool the way you can play 3D hide and seek in big caves!
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Crayfish!
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Surfacing in Depraved Dave's Big Cave
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Inside the hollow islet near Uranie
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Hanging around waiting for the bus home
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Fat little fish on a whip coral
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A bobtail squid, who told him metallic blue and purple was the best outfit to blend in with white sand?
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Sleeping with the fishes at the 'Sleeping Barracuda' end of Chicken reef
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Rob Spray.