On day 8 of one of the best dive trips of my life, the Arenui Liveaboard headed into the Dampier Strait of Raja Ampat. Our dive sites were Cape Kri, Blue Magic, and Saonek Jetty. Saonek Jetty brought the biggest shock of the day! The dive site is at a jetty, just as it sounds, and it was a nice, shallow dive site. During my first dive there, I saw a Titan Triggerfish. The Titan has a bad reputation for being aggressive, and I had heard the stories of broken jaws, stitches, and broken ribs. Yikes! I have always been very respectful of the Titan, it is a meaty, muscular triggerfish. On this dive, I saw a Titan diving down, and realized it was building a nest. I didn’t go close to her, but she saw me and came after me with a vengeance! Scared me to death. I had my brand new camera in my brand new Nauticam housing, and the only thing between my face and the fish was my housing. As the fish shot toward me I pushed out at it with my housing. My thought was, great, my first trip with this gear and it is going to be broken. The Titan came after me three times, and how it did not crash into my housing dome I will never know. My dive buddy swam up afterward to make sure I was okay. Okay but a bit shaken, I admit!
Cape Kri was an absolutely beautiful dive site, one of the most visually beautiful of the trip, both above and below. A large group of Bumphead Parrotfish were in the shallows, hanging out on our safety stop. The light was decent so I was able to take good photos of them. They are so ugly, but big and fascinating to watch!
Blue Magic was a gorgeous dive site, and almost an eerie dive. The fish shoals were huge, and so still, we all knew there had to be predators around. We were rewarded with Black Tip Reef Sharks, and finding a Woebeggone Shark snoozing under a ledge. We did two dives at Blue Magic, so we also saw a variety of fish, and a couple of Giant Manta Rays!
Black Tip Reef Sharks were hanging around the shoals. It was so still and quiet!
It was a beautiful day of diving!
This completely awesome trip was a Ray of Hope Expedition from Marine Megafauna Foundation with Dr Andrea Marshall.
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