I traveled to Raja Ampat, Indonesia in October 2015 to explore the northern islands above Sorong. This was my third trip on the Pindito and the crew was excellent as always. We began in West Mansuar with dives at Manta Sandy and then moved to Arboreck. Literally the first creature I focused my lens on was a beautiful tasseled wobbegong shark hiding on top of hard coral. We continued to see these wonderful sharks for several more days on our journey north. We missed the manta rays at Manta Sandy but we caught up with several at Palau Kawe in the north. Watch my video from Eagle Rock in the video galleries if you're interested. The weather was not ideal on this trip due to excessive smog from burning trees in Indonesia. Likewise, we had several days of murky green water which made wide angle very challenging. Our guides Ronin, Lea, and Eric made the trip enjoyable and our speedboat driver Martin was excellent. The crew helped us tremendously on the day of departure when our flights were delayed for more than 6 hours. Thank you!
I included map locations for most of this trip. Two of my cameras allowed geotagging to record our dive spots. We had the pleasure of traveling with several guests from Europe and New Zealand. Karen and Peter were guests on the first Pindito voyage back in 1992. It was nice to dive again with Andrew Martinez. I traveled with Andy and Candy to Gannga after this voyage for great diving in North Sulawesi. See my Gannga gallery for more pictures.
There were several great photo opportunities that I missed on this trip. The pier at Arboreck was fantastic for wide angle with thousands of schooling fish. Alas, I had my macro 105mm lens on my camera! Even worse, I missed a chance to photograph two recently discovered P47 Thunderbolts at Jenief Island. The second airplane was upright at 120 feet in crystal blue water. Next time!
© Mark Etter Underwater Photography