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Papuan Whale Sharks, WWII Wrecks & Richest reefs

Cenderawasih Bay, Manokwari and Raja Ampat

20-31 July 2014 & 1-12 August 2014

On MSY Seahorse Liveaboard

 

MSY Seahorse Liveaboard

Eye to eye with Cendrawasih's Whale Sharks (Bonnie Jackson)

 

Special trips to Papua's most majestic dive spots

These adventure trips will be run on the luxurious MSY Seahorse liveaboard to explore remote Cenderawasih Bay and Raja Ampat in Indonesia’s Papua region on 11 night trips. The trips promise encounters with Papua's amazing Whale Sharks, exploration of the forgotten WWII wrecks off Manokwari and amazing dives with Mantas, Wobbegongs, Walking Sharks and Macro Critters on the exciting reefs of Raja Ampat.

 

Trip Price

The cost of the trip is 2,750GBP (4,400USD) per person in a twin-cabin or 2,885GBP (4,620USD) per person in a double-cabin, including 11 nights on the MSY Seahorse, all diving, all meals, tea/coffee and return airport transfers. Additional costs are port/park fees (275USD) and fuel surcharge (160USD). Nitrox is available for 160USD. There are daily flights from worldwide destinations to Jakarta and connecting flights to Papua. Equator Diving will happily handle all of your flight and hotel arrangements.

 

How to join this trip

To book your place call us on 0161 442 7703

or email us at info@equatordiving.com or fill out our booking request form >>>

From abroad call +44 161 442 7703

 

Read our 2012 Cendrawasih trip report here

 

The Whale Sharks

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.

 

Cendrawasih Bay's amazing Whale Sharks (Ben & Bonnie Jackson)

 

The WWII Wrecks

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.

 

Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is probably the hottest diving location on the planet right now, amazing scientists and divers alike, with its sheer number of species, big and small. In Raja Ampat screens of glassfish hide Tasselled Wobbegongs and at night the ‘walking sharks’ come out to play. And then there are the unforgettable Manta congregations and Mushroom Island landscapes. Some of the key areas in North Raja Ampat include the Gam Islands with the famous Passage dive site, Arborek Island with close by Manta Sandy dive site, and the Dampier Strait, home to Kri and Mansuar Islands. In the Dampier strait you can dive for day after day on the richest dive sites in the world - including Sardine reef, Cape Kri, Lalosi reef and Chicken bay. It was at Kri Island that the Ichthyologist Dr Gerald Allen famously identified 283 different species of fish on a single dive.

 

Mantas putting on an acrobatic show in Raja Ampat (Scotty Graham)

Pygmy Seahorse in Raja Ampat (Andrew Lioe)

Example Itinerary

Day 1- Embark Seahorse, Cendrawasih Bay Whale Sharks

Day 2- Cendrawasih Bay Whale Sharks

Day 3- Cendrawasih Bay Whale Sharks

Day 4- Cendrawasih Bay reefs

Day 5- Cendrawasih Bay muck diving

Day 6- WWII Wrecks in Manokwari

Day 7- North-West Papua coast - Amsterdam Island Wreck

Day 8- Waigeo reefs (Raja Ampat)

Day 9- Gam reefs, The Passage Dive, Mushroom Islands (Raja Ampat)

Day 10- Arborek Island and Manta Diving (Raja Ampat)

Day 11- Dampier strait diving - Mansuar & Kri islands (Raja Ampat)

Day 12- Disembark Seahorse

 

Schooling Sweetlips, one of the iconic sights of Raja Ampat (Scotty Graham)

Tasselled Wobbegong in Raja Ampat (Bonnie Jackson - Equator Diving)

 

The Boat

The MSY Seahorse is a majestic and spacious vessel accommodating up to 16 guests attended by 12 crew. With a 380 hp MAN engine, the ship has a cruising speed of 9-12 knots to ensure swift travel. All cabins have individually controlled air-conditioning, private en-suite bathrooms with hot water and plenty of room for storage. There are 6 twin cabins and 2 double cabins. The classic beauty of the MSY Seahorse combines traditional craftsmanship with fully modern conveniences and safety features, providing charming comfort in the remotest waters of Indonesia. For underwater photographers the Seahorse is excellent, with a dedicated camera room and a large camera table on the dive deck.

 

The MSY Seahorse generally offers 4 dives a day, each one of them carefully prepared and checked beforehand, reassuring the right conditions. The day starts with a satisfying breakfast of fresh fruit juices, toast, coffee/tea, cereals and eggs any style to satisfy your morning hunger. After the first dive you’ll be served a full breakfast, and in between eating and diving there will be spare time to relax on the sundeck, read a book, have a chat or check out the mornings digital photos on your laptop. Lunch is served after the second dive and usually, a quick afternoon siesta. The food-dive-food routine follows after the third dive of the day, after which you can enjoy a lazy late-afternoon on the sundeck, lounging back and soaking in the wonderful landscape with a cup of coffee or tea and some snacks. Dinner is prepared after the night dive, and the food is excellent. Hailing from a long tradition of big family home-cooked meals in Spain, the crew takes pride in offering you a delicious menu from their professional chef. Maybe a nice glass of wine, watching the stars and then a well deserved sleep.

 

Twin cabin on the MSY Seahorse

Sun deck on the MSY Seahorse

 

Call us: 0161 4427703

International: +44 161 442 7703

Email us:info@equatordiving.com

Copyright Equator Diving Ltd 2011

 

Registered in England & Wales - Company No. 07502867

 

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