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Kri Island, Papua Diving

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Does anybody know of any organized dive trips to Raja Amphat in january or feb/o7?

 

There are lots of boats operating during this period. November through March is the best season for Raja Empat, and not a great time in Komodo, so a lot of boats relocate to the Banda Sea/R4 area during this time. Now would be the time to book, by the way, if it isn't already too late, at least for the better boats. Some of these trips are sold out a year in advance.

 

Let me also "amphatically" urge everyone to note the spelling of the name of the place. "Empat" means "four", and rajas were of course kings in Hindu-influenced cultures including pre- and non-Islamic Indonesia. (Islamic local rulers were - and are - sultans.) So "Raja Empat" means "Four Kings". The name is a reference to the four biggest islands in the grouping off the western tip of the bird's head of Western Papua. And hence the common shorthand reference "R4".

 

As to the debate over liveaboard versus resorts, I think some people have said some silly things here. I can understand people wanting to support Max, who I understand runs an excellent dive operation. It isn't necessary to slag liveaboard operators and throw out unsubstantiated and misinformed criticisms of their knowledge of dive sites. R4 is a big place. It would be surprising to me if Max and his divemasters were not the best informed about the dive sites in the area around his resort. But that represents a fairly small part of the overall area.

 

There are several liveaboard operators who are very knowledgeable indeed about the whole area. Of course, one of the biggest attractions of R4 outside the area close to Max's resort is that it is possible to do exploratory dives on new sites which have not been dived before or only rarely, and are not well known.

 

Frogfish

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Oh Gray-um, it's not how many fish you have in an area, but how the fish pose for you that counts. :)

So it's true, Gerry, Mark and you are really getting soft. And you make fun of me of skipping most of the night dives.

Btw we should really rename FakFak for the international english speaking market, it's pretty rude if put in the wrong context. Imagine if someone says to you, "you been fak fak?" "Fak Fak is most wonderful!""you wanna go fakfak next week?" ;):D

 

O Lorbert, while 4 is 4 universally, empat is 4 but ampat is an acceptable way of spelling 4 in bahasa melayu or Indonesia. Afterall they only really reformed Bahasa to a standard form in 1972. So some schleps missed the class. Blame the Sri Vijayas for spreading it way back when. I mean, Hakka is so much more eloquent.

 

As for Dru... you want some biggies, come on, you need to join me for a trip in Fakfak. Now this really is the final frontier, we were the first team to properly survey this region! Highest reef fish biomass ever recorded, this is direct from Mark, Gerry Allens son who done the biomass survey on the trip. As for the talk about Cape Kri having the highest fish diversity, this is now old, this was blown away in Halmahera back in September 2006 when Gerry counted 301, then in April this year Gerry blew the count from Halmahera away with a count of 328 in the Fakfak area. Plus, Gerry and Mark Erdmann came across 13 new fish species, and this was without us doing any night dives!

 

As for critters, we only came across a few cool critter spots as the fishy reef diving was off the charts, having said that I came across enough critters -- 3 species of pigmys and plenty of different colours, a bunch of nudi's, fire urchin critters, loads of cool cowries, check it out at: http://www.diving4images.com/fakfak_gallery.html. With a few night dives on the next trips I know we are going to find even more great critters, I ahve my eye on a few places alreayd for night diving in this region.

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Hey! What's all the fuss about how to spell Roger 'n Pat? When I last saw it spelt by a local it was just a meaningless squiggle! Just think of all the fun they have spelling Arabic names in phonetic English in Egypt. ...and why in phonetic English? Why not in phonetic Castillano Spanish or Portugese? Hola, mas mejillones por favor! (Ask a European Spanish speaking friend if you miss the point!)

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Well John if it somewhere else I'd agree. But Bahasa Indonesia is the official language and is based on the latin alphabet courtesy of Mr Suharto (aka Soeharto) and really the dutch. So while Robert's emphatic plea may seem fussy, he is correct in demanding accurate constitution of alphabets, barring any acceptable local variances.

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Blimey Gov! Look at most forums and people can't spell words in their own language, never mind the foreign names! American English? Well, that's another sad story of how to spell incorrectly! ...as for that Robert, doesn't he know Delph is spelt with a ‘ph’. ;)

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Dru I couldn't agree with more it's not only fish counts, however when you have the highest fish diversity and also the highest fish biomass recorded -- now this is when you have one hell of a place to dive. I have never seen Giant groupers so close, even when I worked in Australia I never managed to see the real big Queensland groupers up close for any length of time, they were always too far. We hit an amazing site with at least 4 really big Queensland groupers that came very close up and personal. As for the pelagics are lacking -- come on -- it sounds like you haven't dived Sardine Reef when it's really going off, now this really is an awesome dive site with huge giant trevallies, gigantic Spanish mackerels lurking around, often usually plenty of baracudas, blue fin trevallies and at times you can even have a few grey reef sharks on this site as well, although the sharks rarely come in close enough to shoot. Sardine Reef is really a site that needs to be dived quite a few times, if it's not going off on your first dive then it will more than likely be going off on another. I personally prefer Sardine Reef a little later in the day, say just before dusk, this is generally when I have seen the best feeding action and at times you just don't know where to look next! When staying at Papua Diving Resort make sure you dive Sardine Reef a few times to make sure you see this site going off. Cape Kri is also a great site for critters when dived with no current that is!

 

As for sites further afield there is an amazing site that I know Dru would love in north Kawe, however the current here is something that really needs to be treated with major respect. Then there are many amazing sites in Misool for great fish action! Then go way further south and you enter another place altogether. Dru, you will have to check this place! Yeah -- Fakfak what a name hey!

 

Hey Dru

So it's true, Gerry, Mark and you are really getting soft. And you make fun of me of skipping most of the night dives.

Yeah I know what slacker hey! We were putting in a lot of hours underwater in the day and I was constantly out in one of the tenders searching for sites, this meant we were really knackered at the end of the day, plus everyone needed to log their data and on many evenings we were not anchoring the best places for night diving otherwise I would have made a few night dives. There were a few really great looking spots I wanted to night dive though these were generally not where we anchored, oh yeah we also had plenty of great beach BBQ's too...

 

International English -- By golly gosh young man, am I to take it that you mean the Queens English and not Bill Gates's American English here ;):D

I'm constantly in disagreement with my computer that wants me to spell words wrong all the time.

I wish I still had the speech that John Cleese was said to have made. Ah it's so funny, the way he talks about Americanism's -- does anyone out there have this?

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Oh yes, I've just found it. To finalise the discussion on the English language I urge you all to check this out http://www.itsallpolitics.com/john-cleeses...ica-vt9046.html ;):D

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I recall my first dive at Sardines , and still find myself overwhelmed with the diversity of life , in fact I was so overwhelmed that I hardly shot an image !

 

On my last dives there ( 3 weeks ago ) I focused on the little things and found the pygmy seahorse "Pontohi" to be fairly abundant. We found a number of individuals on each dive and with relative ease which says a lot about Otto's skill rather than my poor eyes.

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O Lorbert, while 4 is 4 universally, empat is 4 but ampat is an acceptable way of spelling 4 in bahasa melayu or Indonesia. Afterall they only really reformed Bahasa to a standard form in 1972. So some  schleps missed the class. Blame the Sri Vijayas for spreading it way back when. I mean, Hakka is so much more eloquent.

 

Ampat, ok, but Amphat - I have to say amphatically "no". But, on the other hand, who really gives a fak-fak? How's Phuket these days?

 

Frogfish

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You ever dove Fakatahuna pass in Toau, FP?!?!

 

say that one fast and watch what you put on your sashimi...

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Hello Anthony,

 

I've been in Walindi (Western New Britain) last year and I really enjoyed that place. There is much micro and macro life over there. Many Antibes first prizes came from the region.

You can read a couple of lines of my trip in my site http://www.braunstein.co.il/articles.asp?id=10

Papua New Guinea is a really great place and not only underwater. If I don't mistake, there is a festival in October on one of the islands. It's not the very famous Mounth Hagen festival, but it should be good as well.

Have a great time and I'm a bit jealous! :)

 

Michel

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