1) New Reef with my lucky dive partner Brian from Dominican Republic. This dive was so over the top that at times we had difficulty stopping laughing underwater. Although there was virtually no current, the abundance of fish, sharks, turtles and rays was just ridiculous. I mean tens of thousands of fish ... massive shoals of Trevelle, large numbers of Napoleon wrasse, insane quantities of Bump heads, black and silver tip sharks everywhere, Hawksbill turtles, Sting rays ... I could go on for some time. When the dream finally ended and we surfaced it was labled by Brian as "perfection" ... his best dive in nearly 2000 hours spent exploring remote places. We joked that there was no longer any point diving again as it could never be topped but after 2 hours out of the water we were back in for more.
2) Manta Point. It is relatively easy to find Manta Rays around the world as they regularly come to cleaning stations but the experience in Raja Ampat has to be the best. A very easy dive ... no current and only 18 meters down. We lay on the sand and watched the Mantas dance and fly in front of us which is always a special experience. After 50 minutes or or so they left and we slowly swam towards the rock that they had been near on our way back to the dive boat. Then 2 mantas returned and we stopped on one side of the rock to watch them come closer and closer to us ... It looked as if one was trying to brush the top of Brian's head with the edge of its wing. I love the eyes of a manta ray ... they say that the eyes are the windows to the soul and having eye contact this close was a mind blowing experience. We stayed another 20 minutes with the mantas just an arms length away and it is by far and away my most memorable interaction I've ever had with these incredible animals ... Until I went to Hanifaru ... hundreds and hundreds of manta rays coming from all directions Incredible !!! Click here for details.
3) There are some extremely strong currents in Raja Ampat and my other dream dive was labled "carnage". Using reef hooks we tied ourself onto rocks and hung onto our ropes. The current was so strong that it tried to tear off your mask if you turned sideways and we were surrounded by a feeding frenzy. Trevelle eating smaller Trevelle ... sharks coming in for the kill and so many fish that when you looked up you couldn't see the surface of the water.
We stayed at the Kri Eco resort see Papua Diving for more info. It was so well run and had such a great vibe that I yearn to return !