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Friday, October 14, 2016

Diving pristine Reefs with lots of marine life with Raja4Divers

Raja4Divers picked me up on their way from Sorong, which meant that I reached Pulau Pef in half the time :). I was greeted by the Pulau Pef Band and Joram, my former co-worker who now works on Pef as IT/Marketing specialist.

The resort is very relaxed and beautiful and the view from my Bungalow was simply stunning!

Since unlimited diving was included, we had many different options to choose from. In the morning there was a double tank boat dive. In the afternoon another boat dive. Sunset and Night Dives were also offered and there was a very nice house reef just in front of the island.

Most of the diving took place on pristine reefs where the corals were healthy and fish and other critters plentiful.

One of the highlights was diving under the jetty at Arborek where we encountered an enormous School of Scad. They were so relaxed, we could swim into their midst and they would close the circle and surround us.

Just behind Pulau Pef is an area where muck diving is offered. There we spotted a juvenile Sweetlips that wasn't pictured in the fish identification books!

On Tuesday we did a daytrip to Pulau Wofoh, there we again encountered lots of fish and in the wall we spotted a perfectly positioned Giant Frogfish!

I was very impressed with the huge Gorgonias we encountered in many different colors. The yellow ones being my favorite :).

And where there are Gorgonias the Pygmy Seahorses aren't far away!

In front of our bungalows is a shallow reef which currently houses a Blacktip Reef Shark Nursery. It was great seeing the young ones around and healthy! During my trip through Indonesia so far I had seen very few Reef Sharks, a sign of the long and intensive trade in Shark Fins. Up here around Pulau Pef the marine conversation area is slowly showing its benefits. We spotted Sharks on most dives. And at one time four very active Blacktip Reef Sharks who weren't afraid of the divers either :).

There was always so much going on, that I ended up only doing one Night Dive. There I encountered a pregnant Ornate Ghost Pipefish, a gigantic Star Puffer, a Tasseled Wobbegon a beautiful snail and much more. With 80 minutes this was our longest dive!

With so much fish around one can get easily distracted and miss the small things! But the dive guides know their turf and point out all the highlights.

One of the more special dives in Raja Ampat is also in easy reach of Pulau Pef: The Passage. This is a narrow shallow strait between two islands through which a fast paced drift dive is possible. When we were there, the current was very moderate and so we had more time to inspect the small caves and critters along the way. Visibility was a bit lower than normal, but this offered unique perspectives.

Just next to the Passage is an area called Hidden Bay. A huge inlet with many nooks and crannies and only one connection to the main ocean. Since we had some time we explored the area and were astonished by the stunning rock formations.

Pulau Pef has more to offer than just a nice resort and diving. The island also hosts a large number of wildlife. The most impressive being the large Monitor Lizards, which can be seen on the beach and sometimes even climbing the palm trees!

One of my personal goals while on the island was to place the first Geocache on Pulau Pef. With the generous help of Joram, we created an intriguing Multi-Cache, which takes you to three special places.

Amongst all this I managed to complete my 600th dive! For this achievment I earned original Papuan Diving Goggles. The field test wasn't too successfull, apparently a large amount of grease is normally also applied ;).

The week went by much too fast and by the time it was time to say goodbye, Pulau Pef had gained a special place in my heart and I will gladly return when I'm in Raja Ampat again.

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  • Hey David

    Thanks for the detailed facts and pictures from your trip. It was great fun having you here and diving together.

    Until next time :)


    By Blogger Joram, at 8:37 PM  

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