The first dive day in Raja Ampat on The Arenui! Exciting! The currents were strong as you can see on the video, but it was wonderful. There were 15 divers on the boat and we were split into four dive groups, and each group had a guide. Most divers dive with a guide though there are some places in the world (Australia for example) where divers can go off with a buddy. My personal preference is to have a guide nearby, but that depends on the location and site as well. There are some places where I stay pretty close to the dive guide.
The first day of diving in Raja Ampat found us at Misool Island, and the dive sites Yuliet, Shadow Reef, Boo Windows and Boo Ridge. Before each dive the divers receive a dive briefing from one of the dive guides. The briefing consists of a map of the dive site, a discussion on typical currents, entries and exit points, and what animals are typically seen there. I have been on boats where a briefing is not given, in Key Largo I was given a map of the dive site to look over before jumping in.
I took GoPro video on this first day. Why? Because I have a new and fabulous camera, the Olympus OMD EM5 Mark ii, a mirrorless camera with DSLR quality photo ability, and I had to learn how to use it underwater. My new housing, a Nauticam, also took quite a bit of getting used to. For the most part, the first day was spent relaxing, getting used to diving again (I had not been since July 2016), and taking in the environment. On one dive, I took my new camera, but forgot to take the lens cap off! I thought the dive guide would drown he was laughing so hard! Ah, well, I can be somewhat forgetful at times, but by the end I had it down. Overall, I was happy with the photos I took, but they were certainly better by the end of the trip. I have to say I am just thrilled with my new camera and it’s capabilities!