Raja Ampat Snorkeling Tour, Nov, 2017 Trip Report
Raja Ampat 2017 trip report. Another superlative CTA excursion through the very heart of the Coral Triangle! We are just back from our latest journey through the islands of Raja Ampat and we’re still bathing in the afterglow of the experience. Our trip began with wonderful weather and though we had a bit of rain here and there during the course of the route that never took away from the area’s magnificent underwater backdrops. Raja Ampat covers a massive area with hundreds of islands so it could never be adequately covered during just one snorkeling trip. Thus, we decided to focus on the northern islands above Sorong and charted a unique route that took us through the area’s wide-ranging marine habitats.
Every one of CTA’s trips is an exclusively-crafted itinerary, specific to the locale, the weather, the marine life and the underwater conditions. From Sorong we headed into the blue waters along northern Batanta then sailed along western Waigeo and across the equator to the spectacular limestone islands of Wayag. Working our way back down towards the famed and fishy waters of the Dampier Strait we explored off-the-beaten-path reefs that offered up some unbelievable and unforgettable gems. A few of the numerous highlights from this adventure include watching an incredibly rare Hairy octopus’ escapades, finding a trio of minute Crinoid cuttlefish fight for the right to mate with a female, and watching the shy behaviors of one of the most extraordinary reef fish in these waters, a Picturesque dragonet.
As always we were able to find a plethora of vibrant nudibranchs and other bizarrely-colored invertebrates but we also had some time to watch the behaviors of big fish, such as bumphead parrotfish feeding, tasseled wobbeong sharks camouflaging themselves on the seafloor, and huge resident manta rays visiting their cleaning stations.
It is not only the astonishing wildlife and delightful scenery we consistently get to observe, but the people who come with CTA who make our trips ones to remember. Our unfailingly passionate and inquisitive group of avid snorkelers create the best atmosphere one can imagine for exploring the shallow marine habitats of the Coral Triangle.
As I said on the last day of the tour, I can’t find words superlative enough to say how much we enjoyed our glorious Raja Ampat tour. Thank you, Lee and Ethan, for the care you took to choose the best snorkel spots including visiting them immediately prior to our time in the water to assess the conditions and to be sure the most beautiful and interesting critters were still there. Thank you for your attention to organizational details, your marine biology expertise, your thoughtfulness in maximizing each guest’s experience (including remembering and pointing out particular fish someone was hankering to see) plus being personable, fun and entertaining. The whole experience was unforgettable, and we will be back to tour with Coral Triangle Adventures again!
Thanks Linda! It was such a pleasure to have you and Steve join us in Raja Ampat and we look forward to seeing you guys again!!