Raja Ampat in Indonesia, has always held a lot of fascination for me. Customers on their way there, or just back, were awestruck by the area. “Best in the diving in the world!” they’d say, but having dove for many years, I’ve heard that before…
Optical Ocean Sales dive travel trip reports. Read what it's like to try out diving around the world. Be sure to see our Travel Section to learn how to join us on the next adventure!
An exclusive luxury resort, Lizard Island Resort has access to over 1000 hectares of National Park and 24 private beaches. With both inner and outer reef experiences, Lizard Island and the surrounding area showcases the true beauty of the northern Great Barrier Reef.
Stretching along Australia’s Queensland coast for over 1400 miles (2300 km), the Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef ecosystem in the world. At the southern extent of the reef lies the world-famous Heron Island. While the island itself is home to many natural treasures, the surrounding reef is renowned as a world class diving location.
Although most divers are acquainted with Raja Ampat, remote outlying areas such as Triton Bay are not so well-traveled. In March of 2019, Optical Ocean Sales led a photo expedition diving in Triton Bay for 5 days, then joining the Damai II liveaboard for diving in Triton Bay, and continuing northwest to dive Raja Ampat, ending in Sorong. Over the course of 16 days, we would have close to 50 dives offered.
Triton Bay is one of three regions in Indonesia’s West Papua province that comprise the Bird’s Head Seascape (the other two are Raja Ampat and Cenderawasih Bay). It is now considered by marine biologists to be the epicenter of the Coral Triangle and contains more fish and coral species than anywhere else on the planet.
How an eight-armed thief stole my one of my strobes and arms in a tug-of-war at 65'.
By Pam Treischel
After a few great days of diving at Tulamben on Bali, I joined up with the rest of the Optical Ocean Sales guests up in Ambon, Indonesia. The 12 of us joined the Damai 1 the next morning and settled into our comfortable cabins onboard. We were headed for Maumere on Flores Island - 1,000 nautical miles away, clear across the Banda Sea which lies lies between Raja Ampat in the north and Komodo National Park to the south. Over the next ten days, we would do 35 dives at some of the most remote sites anyone can imagine. Islands, walls, sea mounts, volcanos, reefs and muck - we would dive them all.
Dropping into the warm, crystal clear water we spotted at least 3 or 4 species of sharks all in good numbers. We were on a shark dive on the remote outer reef of the Micronesian island of Yap. Grey reef sharks of moderate size, lots of smaller black tip reef sharks and quite a few larger silvertips were nosing around us looking for their afternoon snack. Good for us it was a small “chumsicle” of frozen fish, which they eagerly attacked on the bottom. For the next 45 minutes we excitedly clicked away and enjoyed the show. While the sharks were definitely curious about us, they kept their distance. Certainly, a great dive.
After many hours of flights on through the night and day, fifteen of us had arrived early in the morning the day before to this small island paradise for the first stop in our 2018 OOS South Pacific Photo Expedition.
Komodo National Park lies near Bali, between East & West Nusa Tenggara islands in Indonesia. Our intrepid group of Optical Ocean Sales photographers managed to survive a cold wet season dive expedition there last February on the Damai 1 liveaboard boat and take an amazing array of photos.
We came, we saw, we took photos, and more and more photos of an amazing variety of small underwater critters at Lembeh Straits, Indonesia October, 2017 With 8,000’ deep drop-offs nearby, pumping huge amounts of plankton into the area, it harbors and fosters one of the highest bio-diversities of marine life found anywhere on the planet.
Twenty-one underwater photographers boarded the Solmar V dive boat in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on June 23rd expecting to steam the next 25 hours to the Revigadagos Islands, aka "The Socorros", 250 miles offshore. Alas, "Amanda" had other ideas.
Having built up to a Category 4 Hurricane, Amanda was an early violent storm a few hundred miles south of Socorro Island and heading straight for the area we were to dive. Needless to say, the Captain told me that we had to make a big change and head north into the Sea of Cortez.
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