Thinking of embarking on a diving journey? Undoubtedly, Raja Ampat is one of the most spectacular diving destinations in the world that will take your diving to a new level of amazement and leave you wanting to come back again and again for more. Situated in the north of Gam, Waigeo and Batanta, in the southern region, the Strait of Dampier is where the scuba diving was first initiated back in the 1960s.
Discovered by an Englishman, William Dampier, hence the name Dampier Strait. The topography of the Dampier allows the Indonesian throughflow to pass through, producing strong currents. As a result, you can see a diversity of endemic marine life that you have never seen before.
With this in mind, all dive destinations have dive sites for all levels, but some of the more famous ones can be trickier. They are famous because of their currents and the diving techniques needed to dive the site (such as the use of reef-hooks). It is important to note this if you are diving in the Strait of Dampier; take into consideration your level and realize that there may be some places where you should not dive. Being an advanced diver will benefit you, but if you are not, what better way to get your advanced qualification than at a resort which offers it in Raja Ampat.
When Should You Go to the Strait of Dampier?
If you are looking forward to diving in the Strait of Dampier, Raja Ampat, you cannot go wrong with the exhilarating waters of the Dampier, which will linger in your mind for days.
So, before you book your next diving trip, plan it between mid September to mid June as it is an ideal time of the year to dive in Indonesia. The seas are flat and calm with great visibility. Specially towards the end of the year and beginning months, Manta Rays (both oceanic and reef, even black mantas) can be frequently spotted. From mid June to mid September, the windy weather makes it difficult to explore this area. There are frequent rain spells during that time. Therefore, plan accordingly!
Now, pay attention to everything you will see when you decide to dive into the deep waters of the Strait of Dampier.
Exquisite Marine Life
While you are underwater, enjoy the abundance of marine life that portrays the beauty of the strait waters. All thanks to the strong currents, which bring the endemic marine and essential nutrients to feed on. The Dampier Strait is home to sharks (like the Epaulette Shark or the Tasselled Wobbegong Shark), dugongs, black mantas, oceanic mantas & many marco life, that will surely blow your mind away. The one question that always pops up is diving with whale Sharks. In Raja Ampat they are rarely seen, but there are places in Indonesia where you can find them, such as Kaimana, Teluk Cendrewasi and a few more. Research is the key point when looking for a place in Dampier that offers what you wish to see.
Fascinating Diving Sites
There are various diving sites in the Strait of Dampier where you’ll find a wide variety of species, below are just a few of the best:
- The Cape Kri
The Cape Kri, being one of the top diving sites, has a plethora of sea fishes and diverse coral ecosystem, said to be a hub for about 374 fish species ranging from batfish, jacks, reef fish and many other. Biodiversity of this region is breathtaking. Wherever you look, something captivates your eye, such as seeing the reef sharks guarding the reef and pelagic moving around. All in all, this diving site has a lot to offer and makes you realise just how beautiful the Dampier is.
- The Arborek Jetty
There is another amazing diving site that would unleash the photographer in you, the Arborek Jetty. You will find vibrant coral reefs and a crazy number of fish swimming their way, making the whole place crowded. Also camouflaged fish and unique water creatures that make the diving site nothing less than a paradise. Do not forget to capture photos to preserve the amazing memories with you!
- Coral Triangle
The Coral Triangle is a region covering Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, that provides shelter to 500 reef species. Your decision to dive into the coral triangle is not disappointing you, as you will find all kinds of marine life species, including the blue whale -one of the largest whales on Earth-, sea turtles and cetaceans.
Then, if you decide to dive into the Strait of Dampier, it is important that you choose the most suitable diving site for you. All of the them are completely safe, but remember that you should always have a complete prior training.