Announcements

We're ready and thrilled to be a part of Beneath The Sea Dive Show 2012 in Secaucus, New  Jersey. Diving enthusiasts of the greater New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and surrounding states are encouraged to attend the biggest dive show on the East Coast. There are great dive seminars to attend, hundreds of vendors, and of course us! Stop by our booth #837 in the Carribean Section. We're not lost, we're just unique! We will be showing fantastic documentaries including one by world renown filmmaker Mattias Klum that you can enjoy while having delicious Indonesian coffee and cookies!

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Science & Conservation

We are happy to say that we are currently supporting another great expedition with TNC scientists (The Nature Conservancy). We will be sailing away for the next few weeks with them. You can definitely follow their progress from the following link:

http://blog.nature.org/2011/11/follow-the-raja-ampat-expedition/

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Dive Trips & Logs

Our last trip was to be for 8 days in the north part of Raja Ampat.  However, due to flight availability our guests arrived a day early so it became a 9 day event.

On day one we sailed to a small bay at Pulau Arefi on the North coast of Batanta  Island. We arrived after dark, anchored for the night and dove a night dive on “Putiraja Corner”. That reef has a beautiful coral formation and a large variety of fish.

The next morning we dove “Putiraja's Gallery” where there are large schools of Barracuda, an unbelievable variety of small fishes, and nudibranchs. For the second dive we dove on the P-47 plane wrecks near Wai Island. There were four fighter planes that hit bad weather on the way back to their base on Morotai Island during WW2.  Three have been found, The planes were trying to go around the storm, ran out of fuel, and ditched the aircraft there. From there we sailed to Penemu  Island and dove “Melissa”s Garden”. There are some interesting coral formations and of course lots of fish. After diving “Melissa”s Garden” we sailed to Batang Pele Island and anchored in the “Manyaifun“ bay for the night.

Early the next morning we proceeded to “Eagle Rock” south of ”Kawe Island” dove once and set sail for “Wayag Island”. “Eagle Rock” has a large and beautiful field of soft coral and a large Wobbegong shark was found resting there with a Moray eel lying on its tail, The weather was beginning to turn bad as we arrived at Wayag and we were disappointed to find another ship tied to the mooring there. We anchored but shortly afterward the ship left so we pulled anchor and moved to the mooring. In spite of the worsening weather we managed to safely dive inside the mouth of the bay. Then we took a scenic sail through the multitude of small islands and rocks in our speedboat.

On day four an early morning dive was made, breakfast was served, then the guests climbed a nearby mountain to view the majestic scenery. The view from that point is stunningly beautiful. As they were on their way down the mountain a helicopter from the French TV group and a chartered “Wings” passenger jet began circling the area and filming Putiraja as well as the local scenery. It was surprising but fun to watch. As soon as the guests boarded Putiraja we departed and headed south toward the equator islands. There we dove “One Tree Island” several species of Pygmy Seahorses can be found. After One Tree Island we dove a nearby island where we descended North of the equator and surfaced on the South side. From here we headed toward Manyaifun where we wanted to overnight again. As we sailed the weather began getting worse again and as we approached Manyaifun in the evening winds were gusting as high as 31 knots and waves were getting high. We finally arrived in the shelter of Manyaifun and anchored.

Very early the net morning the weather had calmed so we departed for Yanbraimuk (Pulau Yanggelo). Shortly after departure the weather began to pick up again and soon we were fighting large swells and high winds.  Several very difficult hours later we reached Yanbraimuk and anchored in the channel and dove twice. The dive sites there have colorful coral and lots of fish, including wobbegong and walking sharks. Then we dropped the guests off at Airborek Island to visit the local village and proceeded to pick up 2 additional guests from Raja Ampat Dive Lodge, Mansuar Island. After that we picked up the guests From Airborek, returned to Putiraja, and dove a night dive.

On the sixth day they dove at Airborek early in the morning then “Manta Sandy” where they mingled with manta rays. Afterward we returned to Putiraja and the corner of the channel mouth.

The next day, we sailed to Wofoh Island , dove twice, then dove the nearby Manare island. The Wofoh dives were spectacular dives however Manare island was disappointing with a lot of dead coral and not so many fish.  We returned to Yanbraimuk, did a night dive, then sailed to Raja Ampat Dive Lodge and moored on their buoy for the night.

Early the next morning we had planned to go see the Cenderwasih birds but it was raining so we cancelled and went for a dive at Mioskon Island, then “Sardine Reef”, and “Cape Kri” before sailing on to Kapasbou, Batanta Island for the night. There we dove “Pintero Rock” after dark, saw a wobbegong shark and walking shark.

We left early the next morning for Sorong and two of the guests boarded their departure flights. The remaining guests stayed overnight on the boat and departed the next day.

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Announcements

We will be at booth 409 at the DC Baltimore Dive Show this Friday and Saturday. Stop by and get some fresh brewed Indonesian coffee and homemade cookies! You can watch a movie about marine conservation in Raja Ampat and mingle with us. Find out why Raja Ampat Diving is so amazing.

And if you're looking for a dive trip special you're in luck! Ask about it at our booth # 409.

DC - Baltimore Dive Show

Friday January 28, 2011 5:00PM-8:00PM

Saturday january 29, 2011 9:00AM-5:00PM

Baltimore Convention Center

1 W Pratt St, Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Ps. Your local dive shop business card will get you in the door half price!

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Dive Trips & Logs

On the 11th of November we departed Kaimana on a 26 hour trip south to Agats, the pick up point for our guests. The weather was good and and the sailing uneventful for several hours. There were 11 people in the group that boarded in Agats, including artifact collectors, dealers, and a museum curator. From Agats we headed south to visit villages on the coast.

The next day we proceeded to the mouth of a river and began seeking an entrance while the guests visited local villages. At the mouth of this river there are many sand bars that continuously shift position and therefore are not charted so we began probing the waters for a place that was deep enough to enter the river. After reaching a point 12 miles offshore we were still unable to enter so returned to our starting point and stayed for the night.

When the tide was high the next morning, we managed to work our way into the river, then continued up river to a village about 45 miles inland called Atjs, Michael's Rockfeller last destination before he was last seen after his boat wrecked 3 miles off shore. According to the locals, he was killed there then cut up and eaten*. We have a video in which a village chief tells in detail how Michael was speared then had his head, arms, and other body parts cut off before cooking and eating. Apparently a white foreigner (Dutch patrolman) had killed three people from a local tribe and according to Asmat beliefs had therefore taken the power of their souls with him. When they saw Michael they killed him in order to regain the powers their people had lost to a white foreigner. The Asmat formerly wore skulls of people they had killed on a necklace to enhance their power. Since the headhunting days are over they now wear a replica of a skull made from a coconut shell as a symbolic replacement.

From Atjs we turned and followed a different river back to the sea that came out near where the group had visited the first villages a couple days before. We then sailed back to Agats, anchored for the night, then proceeded up the river. Our next destination was Sawa lake about 40 miles inland. We stayed for 3 days to visit nearby villages.

Asmats in dug out canoes welcoming us. A welcoming group with traditional clothing, skin paintings, and jewelry greeted our group in dug out canoes. It was an extremely interesting experience that rivaled what is seen in movies about primitive jungle tribes. There was an abundance of beautiful artifacts available for viewing and purchase at the various villages. We bought some of the better ones but did not have enough money to buy everything we wanted. One very special thing we got was an old canoe about 42 feet long with a typical Asmat carving on the front. We didn't have enough money to buy it but the guests saw Josephine really liked it so all chipped in and gave her the money to pay for it. That was done in appreciation for the excellent food she worked hard to serve for them.

Sawa village had a Catholic missionary and church. The church was stunningly beautiful with all timbers and wood structures covered with Asmat carvings. Various Asmat artifacts decorated the walls. It is an amazing place. Even a painting of an Asmat Mother Mary and Jesus was on display.

We returned to Agats and continued sailing to Pomako, the Timika area harbor, where we dropped off our guests. Shortly after we started the sail back to Sorong, to get ready for Mattias Klum's second documentary trip.

* Michael's body was never found and there are various theory to his disappearance, including that he may have been attacked by crocodiles as he attempted to reach the shore.

More pictures on our Facebook page

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Dive Trips & Logs

Putiraja Liveaboard departed Sorong for Kaimana on the 15th of October, sailed through the Sele Strait, and Southeast toward Nassaulang Peninsula. When we rounded the peninsula and reached Adi Island it was 04:30 in the morning and still dark. The area is full of small islands, rocks, and shallow places so we anchored until daylight, then continued toward Triton Bay into the town of Kaimana. Forty four hours after leaving Sorong, we arrived in the Kaimana harbor.

We had to pick up two passengers who had already arrived and began searching the town for them. Fortunately, Kaimana is a small town with only a couple of hotels and we were able to locate them quickly. After we finished our paperwork, we began preparing for the trip up river. Several people including the harbor master warned us that there was a very dangerous spot in the river where several ships had been lost, among them was a tugboat and a large barge loaded with logs. It is a deep and narrow bend with a small island in the middle of the bend. The currents get quite severe and cause several whirl pools that can turn a ship over if entered. With that in mind we hired a local experienced ex tugboat captain. He piloted our boat to its final destination of a village called Kokoroba, approximately 48 Nautical Miles up the river.

The second day there we continued 2 hours further up the river and dropped off our guests and local guides at a small village called Wainaga, where they began a four day trek into the mountains. The river to it is very winding through mangroves and swampy land bordered by mountains. The river current can sometimes be very strong, sweeping large logs down the river. There are many crocodiles in that area but you never see them because they submerge when they hear the outboard motor.

The local villagers guided us to an airplane wreck nearby. It was an A20 twin engine bomber shot down during WWII. One of the villagers who was 6 years old at the time told about seeing it come over the mountain with a Japanese fighter shooting at it, and saw it crash. They found someone's arm and removed a ring from its finger but saw no other body parts, apparently burned up or thrown further into the jungle where they didn't look. There had been a local salvage team from Biak who removed almost all of the pieces. However, the engines, some landing gear parts, machine guns and a few smaller items still remain. Reportedly there was another crash in the water nearby but nobody wanted to dive for it because of the crocodiles.

There are many wild nutmeg trees in the area and we gathered a lot of the nutmegs for our own use. The villagers were not aware that the fleshy part of the nutmeg could be prepared and eaten as a dessert. Josephine gave them some she had prepared then explained how to do it. They were surprised but liked the taste and were happy to learn something new.

The river water was very muddy and kept clogging our water maker's filters. We were only getting a couple hours of use from the filters, so we were busy washing and reusing until they could not be used anymore. We managed to conserve our stored fresh water until the day we were scheduled to leave. At that point, we filled our tank with water coming from a mountain spring and it lasted until we returned to Kaimana.

After picking up the trekkers on their return to Wainaga we gathered some Pomelo fruits from the trees, returned to our ship, and began the trip back down the river to Kaimana. Our large boat made it through the whirlpool around the bend okay, but we are very thankful of the advice given by the tug boat captain.

Papuan Man And Carved Trunk Canoes By Arguni Bay In Kaimana we discharged our guests and three days later boarded Mark Erdman from Conservation International and Gerry Allen, the renowned fish expert for fish in this part of the world. They were accompanied by a group of Indonesian scientists who were to gather and categorize fish specimens from the Arguni Bay area.

While waiting in Kaimana, we had produced enough fresh water to carry us through the next week. We returned up river again to Kokoroba without any problems. From there trips were made to outlying areas by speed boat in search of interesting fish species. Each day new fish specimens were cataloged, photographed, and preserved for the trip back to the laboratory.

We then moved the ship about 10 miles down the river near Faternus island so the scientists could explore the area. Two days later we headed back to Kaimana. Upon arrival, we discharged our guests and began preparing for a trip to the Asmat territory.

More pictures on our Facebook page

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Announcements

Every year there is a new Raja Ampat entry tag. A contest for 2011 tag design was recently held and voted by people from all over the world. The winning design by Selvy Mareta Herman, from Singapore, is titled City in A Sea. Her design shows silhouette of a manta through the negative space created by other silhouettes of underwater creatures and corals "to represent the richness of Raja Ampat." If you're diving in Raja Ampat in 2011, you'll get to proudly display the 5cm diameter design on your BCD.

There were 20 beautiful entries overall in the competition. Needless to say, it was a tough decision to make by the public. The contest for Raja Ampat entrance tag is over, but you can still see all submitted designs. Browse through all 20 designs here.

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Dive Trips & Logs

Not too long ago we had the pleasure of taking award-winning photographer & filmmaker Mattias Klum around northern Raja Ampat to do a documentary for National Geographic. We spent two days diving at the colorful Anita's Garden and Fam wall, followed by a dive in Eagle Rock near Kawe where feeding mantas are often seen in a profusion of fishes. We then headed to Wayag and Uranie for three days of diving. There are lots of grey reef sharks here and the area is continuously patrolled from trawlers. We climbed up a limestone karst to see the beauty of Wayag isles formations. Our final day was spent by the pearl farm, where wonderful sorts of micro critters can be found.

With Mattias' documentation of Raja Ampat comes SOS Challenge - a project to "inspire people to care about the ocean."

We look forward to having Mattias and his staff aboard Putiraja Liveaboard again before the year is over.

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Announcements

We're excited to have a new website for Putiraja Liveaboard! Our scuba operation is centered around Raja Ampat and the Bird's Head seascape at the northwestern tip of West Papua in Indonesia. We are proud to be a diving operator in this spectacular region.

Please take a look around our new website. We hope to display a good set of information about Raja Ampat and trips for divers and adventurists. We strive to improve it with your interactions. We urge you to make comments and write to us. Hopefully, we'll also see you aboard Putiraja Liveaboard to do some exciting dives in Raja Ampat soon!

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