|wall dives, drift diving
|Intermediate - advanced
|10 - 30m
|Moderate to strong
|27 - 30°C
Triton Bay is known for displaying a similarly impressive level of soft coral coverage as places like Misool Island. Epaulette sharks can be seen walking over the reefs as giant groupers lurk in sheltered spots, while schools of jacks and fusiliers dart around en masse. Squadrons of bumphead parrotfish charge around chomping the coral into fine sand, watched by ever-present turtles.
Triton Bay's black coral forests are awesome in scale and never fail to impress. Above the water is also fascinating with lush green landscapes, local people whose lives are a million miles from your own, and ancient cave paintings which root the people to their ancestral land. Not many liveaboard diving charters visit this region and the pioneering spirit and sense of privilege you feel while visiting Triton Bay is palpable.
What other parts of Papua Province have over Raja Ampat could be the almost guaranteed presence of some of the larger creatures scuba divers are ever likely to encounter. Triton Bay boasts a resident pod of pilot whales, the sight of which will linger long in the memories of those who dive with them. The bay also features excellent whale shark action. These enormous fish approach the 'bagans' of fishermen at the surface, sometimes many at a time. To see so many of these majestic sharks gulping for scraps at the surface is a sight to behold! There are also areas in the Triton Bay region which promise all manner of critter appearances including frogfish, ornate ghost pipefish, wonderpus, pygmy seahorses and nudibranchs galore. Photographers are advised not to leave their macros lenses at home!
|Those liveaboards that visit Triton Bay schedule their trips during the main Raja Ampat diving season, i.e. from October to April. Outside of that period the winds and rain can cause unpleasant sea conditions so some liveaboards choose to visit the more sheltered spots in the area such as Cenderawasih Bay.
West Papua experiences 2 wet seasons, namely November/December and July/August. Rain is a possibility in West Papua not only in rainy season. Water temperatures tend to remain reasonably constant: from 27°C (May to October) to 30°C (November to April). For more information on the climate and water temperature at Kaimana
|Highlights: whale sharks, whales, turtles, schooling fish & big pelagics, great macro life/ marine diversity
Triton Bay is part of the Kaimana Marine Protected Area, which encompasses 6,000 square km (2,300 square miles) and is located in West Papua Province, Indonesia. Fak Fak & Triton Bay “counted marine biodiversity” is 1,005 species of fish, 471 species of hard coral, and 28 species of mantis shrimp.
Triton Bay is known as a home to endemic species. Endemism in Triton evolved the same way as it has throughout the Bird’s Head of Papua. Beginning ten millions years ago shifting tectonic plate caused geological upheavals and formed new island chains across the Indonesian Archipelago. Triton’s reef developed into a crossroad for current-borne marine larvae originating from the Banda Sea. Another contributing factor is the tremendous volume of fresh water flowing from the Mainland of Papua into the sea. Most marine larvae cannot survive in low saline environment. Here they survive and flourish. Best time to visit is March to April and October to November.
The indigenous people of Lobo Village believe that the giant Garuda bird once made Kaimana its home. A woman from Warinau Mountain laid 2 eggs. These 2 eggs hatched into one black bird and one white bird. The black bird grew into a giant bird. It is believed that when Garuda set its wings on the sky, it covered the sun above Kaimana. The villagers were afraid of the black bird. One day, Portuguese sailors arrived at Lobo and they shot the black bird, which relieved the entire village. They later built a statue of the Garuda as the reminder that Garuda once lived there. The bones were nowhere to be found. The story of white egg remains unknown. Today, Garuda is the symbol of Republic of Indonesia.
The shadow of 1000-meter tall peaks of West Papua Mainland will welcome you to the Lagoon of Triton Bay. Immerse yourself in the lushness of Papua’s rainforest and Triton Bay’s underwater sanctuary. Hike the peak of Ermun, and end your day by exploring the green coastal areas with a kayak to reach white sand beaches, where coconut trees make perfect shade for a picnic day.
You can find a statue of the Garuda in the village of Lobo. Observing one of Papua’s most impressive displays of ancient rock art by kayaking, located on the opposite side of Namatote. At Namatote and/or Mai-Mai, imagine yourself submerge 3 meters underwater with one or more of the largest fish on earth, up to seventeen-meter whale shark. If you are extremely fortunate, you will also see a dozen dolphins just below the tales of the whale sharks. The reef surrounding Iris Strait, which lies between Aiduma Island and the mainland of Papua, is filled with sea life and soft corals. As you move the deeper toward the bottom, you will notice a little bit of everything from Pygmy Seahorse, Wobbegong Shark to Walking Shark.
Easily spotted from miles offshore is the Mommon Waterfalls falling directly to the sea in the iconic Mommon Bay. Trekking a half day deep into the rainforest of Papisoi will be rewarded by the feeling the spray of the fresh water of a waterfall. In 2007, two of the first surveyed sites broke Dr. Gerald Allen’s Raja Ampat world record for the most fish species recorded from a single dive site – an astounding 330 species recorded from Papisoi Cape dive site alone! Marine surveyors always find new species here. You will definitely enjoy diving in the most abundant fish tank in the world.
The remote island of Karas, located in Fak Fak regency, is home to turtles and pristine beaches. Dugong are often seen here. Here, one can also paddle inside Batu Lubang, a hole connected to the sea and filled hard coral gardens. We can join locals fishing in front of the village of Mas during sunset. Here you will meet some of the friendliest people on the planet living from one fish to the next.
The beauty of its incredible soft corals that emerge from the surface is certainly one of the main marine attractions of Triton Bay. There are more than 959 different types of corals and 471 types of corals known in this area. Other highlights include black coral forests, overflowing sweetlips benches, vibrant macro lives, and a good chance to encounter whale sharks on Triton bay Bagan, the fishing platforms that these giants come to visit to suck the fishermen net full of fish. In Triton Bay, the forests of black coral, the proliferation of gigantic sponges of all colors will delight the most jaded divers.
Macro photography is also well represented in this region with antennae, ghost fish, and many cephalopods. Bagan fishing platforms are frequented by whale sharks who let themselves be approached and observe for as long as you like.
With a name like Disney Land, it is no surprise that this site was named by the legendary American diver Larry Smith. From the surface the site appears to be a small island of rock breaking through the surface. Below the waves is a series of sloping reefs, many of which are covered by masses of black coral as far as the eye can see.
There are often a lot of sweetlips and snapper on the site. In the sometimes strong current they are most often found nestling in sheltered spots close to the reef and among the corals. This is a relatively shallow dive site as most of the fun takes place in less than 18 metres of depth.
One creature of particular interest here is the wobbegong shark. This unmistakeable bottom-dwelling, carpet shark can be seen lying with its flat body against the sand with its frilly whisker tassles protruding from around its mouth. They are very well camouflaged so keep your eyes peeled otherwise you might just swim over the top of one and miss it.
One of the reasons why divers love Triton Bay is that at some sites, when the conditions are just right, the volumes of fish can be extraordinary. Unusual therefore that GT Rock should take its name from a single species - the giant trevally.
When the current is flowing this can be one of those dive sites with a lot of action going on including the eponymous giant trevallies, tuna, fusiliers darting around in the blue. You might be out there too, being pushed along by the sometimes very strong current.
Closer to the reef will lurk large numbers of grunts, sweetlips and red snapper sheltering from the current. If you need a breather then it is always wise to drop in on the leeside of some pinnacle or jutting part of the wall to relax for a while.
In the absence of the current there may not be such heart-stopping action, but it is worth investigating the reef for some of the smaller creatures such as scorpionfish, hawkfish and pygmy seahorses. Also keep an eye on the sandy bed for wobbegongs and rays.