Manta Rays! (by Cathy)
Set sail from Raja Ampat, where we hung out at the Papua dive resort. Went for the most amazing dives! You can see up to 230 different species in a single dive! As if the first two dives weren't spectacular enough seeing turtles, moray eels and my first sharks, Leonie, Adam, Mees, Pieter and I went for a treck to see if we could spy some manta rays.
Set sail from Raja Ampat, where we hung out at the Papua dive resort. Went for the most amazing dives! You can see up to 230 different species in a single dive! As if the first two dives weren't spectacular enough seeing turtles, moray eels and my first sharks, Leonie, Adam, Mees, Pieter and I went for a treck to see if we could spy some manta rays. Spy we did! There were 5 rays, up to 4m across. Totally amazing creatures and very curious, sometimes sailing over the top of us so close you could almost touch them! What was more amazing was the amount of poop one did right before our eyes, all I can say is lucky we were up current!
We met some incredibly amazing people at the resort. There were three Ecology Scientists from USA doing research who were a wealth of knowledge to us, with some amazing stories. They were all incredibly passionate about the ecology and preservation of marine life. So refreshing after all the rubbish we've been seeing. We were lucky enough to have Seabird show us his crab specimens, some of which were so small I can't believe he found them! Last night we bid our new friends goodbye the American way, over pumpkin pie.
Set sail early this morning for Pulau Deer off the Island of Kofiau, into traitorous waters! Adam was lucky enough to catch a Tuna. Unfortunatley upon it's retrieval, as if it's day could get any worse, it got taken out, as Adam was reeling it in, by a huge shark, along with 200m of line! So Tuna from a can for dinner tonight. No swimming here, unless you are the crocodile hunter. Although the locals appear to not be too worried about the crocodiles. You probably wouldn't see it coming as the water here is a murky green color. A few years ago, in a dive spot nearby, a diver was attacked by a croc which bit right across his neck, face and torso. Surviving the death roll unbeknown to the croc as he attempted to drag the diver to his den, the diver proceeded to gouge at the croc's eye with his thumb, scared the croc off and survived! Survival 101, need it around here.
We visit the village. Joseph shows us around and takes us to the village head. We present him with some gifts and get permission to anchor overnight. There are 1100 people on this tiny island. We see the soccer and volleybal match on the village field. There's a big Christian church. A lot of people have coco out to dry (unfortunately no chocolate yet). We trade some coconuts for a litre of diesel (probably for a generator?). Tomorrow we're off again, in search for pristine crocodile-free waters.