20 Creatures You Want to See When Macro Diving – Part 2May 2, 2016
All Responsible Divers Do These 7 ThingsMay 6, 2016
Ridiculously Illogical Folklore
The folklore behind Raja Ampat is as mythical and mysterious as the name suggests. Once upon a time, King Waikew found six eggs in Waigeo, five of which broke and four of them became the Kings of four different islands, namely, Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati and Misool. (You could Google to find out what happened to the remaining two eggs.) Sounds ridiculous? Yes I absolutely agree. The word “ridiculous” is one word that I’d like to use to describe the experience in Raja Ampat and almost everything else I’ve seen over there.
Ridiculously Long Journey
The brightly-lit night skies of Singapore disappeared in the darkness as we were lifted off into the sky. Jakarta and Makassar stopovers were a whirl. Stepping out of the plane at Makassar, we were greeted with the morning sun’s first streaks of light. It was a breathtaking display of radiant colors; a prism of bright streaks of red, pink, and orange, creating a perfectly blended canvas. Arrival at Sorong the next day, it was a mix of relief and excitement.
Ridiculously Comfortable Boat
I love stories. MV Putiraja is one boat with a story to tell. It is a beautiful, classic Indonesian Pinisi that was originally used to transport cargo. Under the loving hands of Ken and Jo Wiedenhoeft, it was transformed into one that has carried the family across the oceans on diving adventures, and one that has brought numerous divers to the exotic places that existed in their dreams. Each cabin is fitted with a private bathroom, there’s a cozy lounge area on the second deck, and a communal dining area. The kitchen is my favourite place, chatting with Jo and checking out the utensils and appliances, asking her about cooking stuff, about diving in Indonesia while shares the stories of the boat and the family with me. Every dish that is served is wholesome goodness, with no MSG, just lots of love and fresh ingredients. It was home away from home.
Ridiculously Wonderful Crew
Under the water, the diving crew are the ones that make the experience whole. They are mostly native Papuans.The ratio was a comfortable 4:1. The coolest thing that I’ve yet to figure out is how good they are at spotting pygmy seahorses. I requested to see a pygmy seahorse every single dive, and somehow, they can find one for you. Those tiny little things that clung onto the corals, that are of a ridiculously small size of probably 0.5mm? It is amazing. I was obsessed with trying to find one on my own for the subsequent dives after the first one, but alas, no luck. And somehow, natives are just natural with music. Folk songs about Raja Ampat along with the strumming of the Ukulele and guitar after the day was just… magical.
A Ridiculously Lucid Dream
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream —
Lingering in the golden gleam —
Life, what is it but a dream?
– Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll
All photos used in this post are credited to Andrew Fuentes.