After some 23 years since first stepping foot in Triton Bay, Joerg Meier returned this time with family and friends to revisit some of his old haunts and relive the beauty above and below the waves… this is his story….
” None of us can claim 2020 turned out as planned. And with the first month of 2021 gone, it looks like we face another challenging year ahead. Most travel plans in 2020 – including team-ups with German family and friends – did not work out. The positive aspect of negative things was a longer than usual retreat to the remoteness and biodiversity of West Papua. The journey started with two weeks in Batbitim, a tiny island in southern Raja Ampat and Misool Eco Resort’s home. I’m privileged to be a shareholder since 2007. It then continued to Triton Bay, east of Kaimana, in the south eastern part of West Papua’s Bird’s Head’. I first encountered the astonishing beauty and majesty of Triton Bay 23 years ago, in early 1998. Back then, I ventured into the unknown with little more information than this place with its stunning landscapes was supposed to be one of the last untouched paradises in Indonesia’s vast archipelago. There was an interim encounter with Triton Bay in 2009 – cruising on a liveaboard – but only now I had the opportunity of revisiting some of those sites I first discovered in 1998. Ending 2020 observing a stunning sunset over Kalig Island, starting 2021 with a storm approaching Batbitim’s North Bay, to then continue to Triton Bay Divers revisiting majestic Triton Bay, this time with my little family, was the best possible way to end gloomy 2020 and welcome 2021 in good spirits. Some 55 dives later, topped with lagoon and jungle excursions, now back in Jakarta, we already miss that remoteness, the diving, and being exposed to the sounds of nature. Belated Happy New Year 2021 to all of you – stay healthy, safe and sane! ”
From Joerg’s images below, I think we can all agree Triton Bay is beautiful above and below the waves!
Here is very rare footage of two of Triton Bay’s most special attractions: the Triton Bay walking shark and the Paracheilinus nursalim flasher wrasse. The walking shark is also known as an epaulette shark, and this species is endemic to Triton Bay. Watch how it moves along the ocean floor. Meanwhile, this particular species of flasher wrasse, though common locally, can only be found in the southern part of the Bird’s Headseascape. Flasher wrasse are like peacocks of the ocean, as the males, in bright, beautiful colors, put on a show each afternoon to attract the ladies!
Many thanks to Jacinto Castillo for both videos, which were taken when he stayed with us in 2018!
The walking shark can be seen starting at 11:00 minutes into the video.
Check out this wonderfully written and photographed article from Brandon & Melissa Cole, who stayed with us in January 2019. The article appeared in the Summer issue of Diver Magazine, and a German version has also recently appeared in Tauchen. Thanks so much Brandon & Melissa!
Andy stayed with us for a few weeks in April 2019 and managed to capture one of the best set of photographs we have ever seen, which he has been so kind to share.
Its important to note that underwater visibility and weather for the aerials during his stay actually wasn’t as good as the pictures seem to indicate – he managed to take advantage of the situation when weather was favorable and he did get quite a few excellent wide angle underwater shots even in what most divers would consider to be “poor” visibility. It just shows what proper strobe positioning and adequate lighting can accomplish despite apparently poor conditions.
So below are two galleries. His full collection of pictures taken during his stay with us can be found on his Gallery page. We hope you enjoy them and thank you once again Andy!
To see more of Andreas’ photos, please click this link for his Instagram.
Aerials and Panoramas
Paolo stayed with us again in Dec 2017 and has once again so generously donated his photos. These are some of the very best wide angle pictures we’ve seen of Triton Bay and we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
Here are some of our favorite images from this past season, in no particular order. There are many more pictures that could have been included in this gallery as beauty is subjective and another person could have come up with 12 totally different pictures, but in the end these are the images which we believe show the very best of Triton Bay. We would like to express our tremendous appreciation to the guests who donated these stunning pictures!
In early February, our guests had the opportunity to observe a team from Conservation International (CI) mount a satellite tag on a whale shark. The satellite tags record location, depth, and water temperature, and transmits that data every time the dorsal fin of the shark breaks the surface. This information will allow them to monitor the whale sharks movements over the next two years. According to CI, their program is the only one of its kind in the world. They currently have tagged less than 20 whale sharks in Cenderawasih Bay and only 4 in Triton Bay as of Feb 2017.
Very little is known about whale sharks. CI’s monitoring and ID program here and in Cenderawasih Bay indicate that well over 90% of the 100+ individuals who have been identified so far are young males. They don’t know where the females or the adults are, and it is becoming apparent that Cenderawasih & Triton Bay must be some kind of nursery for young whale sharks. Of the sharks that we have seen ourselves here, most are between 3~9m. Our guests help contribute to the database by providing photos of the area around the shark’s left dorsal fin for identification.
Triton Bay Divers would like to thank Dr. Mark Erdmann, Abraham Sinapar, and the team from CI for the opportunity to observe them in their work. To learn more about CI’s whale shark monitoring program, please check out this link:
Triton Bay Divers has recently been featured twice in the Swiss Diving magazine Nereus! For those who read German, please check out the article by Andrea Rothlisberger in the June issue, and by Thomas Haider in the August issue (part 1). Additional photos from Thomas can be found on their website at this link. Photo above by Thomas Haider.
Above photo: underwater 360 degree panoramic of Christmas Rock, one of Triton Bay’s better known dive sites.
For German readers, below is an article by Connie Thieme in the most recent SilentWorld magazine about her stay with us earlier this year. Thank you Connie for sharing the article, and to AquaVenture for arranging her visit.
Connie missed almost a week of diving due to illness, but still managed to put together some incredible photos (including the picture above), which can be seen in our Guest Galleries or on her website Marine-Snapshots. Look for the black light (UV) shots of various marine animals and corals, and the photo of the Pontohi pygmy seahorse is as good a picture as you’re going to see of these elusive creatures.