Eye to eye with Cendrawasih's Whale Sharks (Bonnie Jackson)
A special trip to Papua's most majestic dive spots
This adventure trip will be run on the luxurious Dive Damai I liveaboard to explore remote Cenderawasih Bay in Indonesia’s Papua region on a 7 night trip. The diving will be unlimited, nitrox included, dive gear provided, free massage, complementary beer – a truly 5* experience. The trip promises encounters with Papua's amazing Whale Sharks, diving on forgotten WWII wrecks off Manokwari and exploration of Cendrawasih Bay's reefs and macro sites. For after the liveaboard we recommend an add-on to Bali for Mola Mola diving or a land-tour to the Toraja Highlands - talk to us about the options!
The cost of the trip is 2,370GBP (3,675USD) per person in a twin/double cabin, 2,595GBP (4,025USD) per person in a single cabin, or 2,825GBP (4,375USD) per person in a master cabin. These prices include 7 nights on the Damai I, all diving, free Nitrox, equipment rental, all meals, soft drinks, beer, tea/coffee, laundry, massage, port/park fees and return airport transfers. There are daily flights from worldwide destinations to Jakarta and connecting flights to Manokwari. Equator Diving will happily handle all of your flight and hotel arrangements.
When diving with the whale sharks in Cendrawasih Bay, you don’t just see one swimming by, they stay at the same location for hours. Sometimes there are just a few (2-3) but if you are lucky it is teaming with whale sharks. The reason for them staying at one spot is because they like to suck on the nets of the soft net fishing boats. These boats use small fish kept in a big net under the boat to attract bigger fish. The whale sharks swim up to these nets and start sucking on them. Around the world policies are put in place to snorkel with whale sharks instead of diving as the sharks do not like the bubbles. The whale sharks of Cenderawasih Bay are different, they swim into the bubbles on purpose- for some reason they appear to like the feeling, they will even try to ‘gulp’ the bubbles with their mouths.
Feeding Whale Shark in Cendrawasih Bay (Equator Diving)
The wrecks off the coast of Manokwari in Indonesia's Papua Province are yet to be visited by commercial dive operations. As a result the wrecks are pristine and you can be sure that you are one of the first divers to visit these ghostly remains. The bay at Manokwari provided safe anchorage to the Japanese in World War II. The surrounding hills are riddled with tunnels, a trademark of Japanese occupation. The Allies held nearby Biak Island. The Japanese were able to duplicate their radio signals, causing Allied planes to fly toward Manokwari, where they were shot down. A number of Japanese ships were also sunk in the harbour. Over 20 wrecks have been located but only five can be dived on. The five wrecks that can be readily dived off Manokwari are Pasir Putih, Pillbox, Cross, Mupi and Shinwa Maru.
Pasir Putih Wreck is a navy coastal patrol boat, 30-35m long, sitting upright at 13-22m. There are depth charges on the stern and a nearby reef slope. Pillbox Wreck is a commercial cargo vessel carrying ammunition, it sits at 9-16m. The ship is 60-65m long and holds grenade cases. Cross Wreck is a coastal patrol boat with lots of fishes. It's easy to view the galley, engine room and radio room. Mupi Wreck is 40m long and upright at 9m. Red and white soft corals festoon the structure. You can see a copper pot on the stove, bottles and ammunition. Shinwa Maru is a large cargo vessel with five holds. The superstructure is intact but the ship lies on its port side. You can see diving helmets, dishes, cables, small tanks and mines.
Mon 29 July 2013 International flight to Jakarta
Tues 30 July 2013 Arrive in Jakarta, optional day room at Jakarta Airport Hotel
Wed 31 July 2013 Fly Jakarta to Manokwari (via Makassar, depart 00:30, arrive 09:20), transfer to Damai liveaboard, start diving if schedule permits
1 August 2013 Full day Whale Shark diving
2 August 2013 Full day Whale Shark diving
3 August 2013 Diving at Purup
4 August 2013 Diving at Pulau Dua
5 August 2013 WWII wreck diving at Manokwari
6 August 2013 WWII wreck diving at Manokwari
Wed 7 August 2013 check out from Damai and transfer to Swiss Bell Hotel Manokwari
Thurs 8 August 2013 check out from Swiss Bell Hotel Manokwari, fly to Jakarta (via Makassar, depart 10:05, arrive 15:55), connect to International flight back home or overnight in Jakarta Airport Hotel
This itinerary can easily be extended to include a stay in Bali after the liveaboard.
Rainbow off the bow of the Damai (Alberto Reija)
The MSY DIVE DAMAI was built in Tanjung Bira, South Sulawesi, by Pak Hadji Baso, the most prestigious builder in the area. The collaboration of traditional skills and experience with the years of experience in the Indonesian liveaboard diving industry has created a remarkable vessel. The MSY DIVE DAMAI has been designed to offer a personal service that only a vessel of this size and that is dedicated to small groups can provide. With an overall length of over 40 meters and a beam of over 8 meters the vessel has two single cabins, three twin/double cabins and two master cabins. Specifically designed for divers the vessel offers a large dive station with individual rinse tanks and a camera room with separated camera work stations. The vessel is the first in Indonesia to offer a guest to dive guide ratio of 4 to 1 ensuring the best service underwater as well as onboard. The vessel has been designed with three large deck areas for relaxing either in the sun or shade. Onboard you can enjoy the all inclusive service where even spa therapy is included in the price of a cruise.