This past season we had the pleasure of hosting Alex as he was looking to get footage for his newest Out of the Black & Into the Blue series of underwater videos. He managed to capture the essence of Triton Bay: the beautiful soft corals, massive schools of fish, whale sharks, and the wonderful critters we all love so dearly. These are the things we see often, but aren’t able to show to the world except through videos such as this one. We’re honored to have been a part of the process and are very grateful to Alex for producing this.
Back about a couple of months ago we spent seven fabulous mornings snorkeling with whale sharks in Triton Bay Indonesia. There were as many as four at a time. They are attracted to the bait fish fishing platforms and if we feed them some of the baitfish, we can move them to the back of Antares. Dolphins, tuna, and mackerel joined the frenzy. In Indonesia this whale shark experience can be had in Cenderwasih, West Nusa Tenggara, and Triton Bay. Triton Bay was by far the best as the water was clear and the sharks show up every day.
After a shout out to some of our previous guests and others who visited Triton Bay, we have managed to help Conservation International identify 8 new Whalesharks that are visiting the region. Six are from Triton Bay itself and two from Cenderawasih Bay. If you have any Whaleshark images that shows the ID Spot (please see our earlier blog) please feel free to share them with us and Conservation International. You never know you may have one that has not yet been identified and you can name it!!!
We would like introduce you to our newly named Whalesharks:
Firstly, those identified by our Guests: Rob & Susie Andrews, Marie Tartar and Faye Simanjutak.
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!
If you love critters then October is the best time to visit. We believe there are two reasons for this: 1) It is the start of the diving season and the reefs will not have had any divers for at least four months. Yes, there does seem to be an inverse correlation between the number of divers visiting a site and the number of critters seen. And 2) the critters seem to enjoy cooler waters. However, to spot most of these guys you will need to have a guide who really knows the sites. Dive sites change and a site which was hot one season can be disappointing the next. October isn’t the best season for wide angle photography, but if you are into macro it is well worth it.
Below are some images taken by amateur nudibranch specialists Sylvia & Joel Meudic, who stayed with us last October. In two weeks, they photographed over 100 different species of nudibranchs as well as a plethora of pygmy seahorses and other critters such as pipefish, frogfish, crabs and shrimp. To view their excellent and very comprehensive portfolio of images from Triton Bay, please see this page.
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
The off-season in Triton Bay usually runs around June to late Sept. Water temperature drops and the wind and waves pick up, making boat travel uncomfortable at best and sometimes even dangerous. We usually focus on renovations and improvements to the resort at this time. A few years ago we added new guest rooms, while last season saw new rooms for staff. The major project this past summer was changing the roofs on all the guest rooms and restaurant to a more durable and long lasting type of wood shingle. We even managed a few dives – the water might be cold for divers but the fish and corals don’t seem to mind!
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!