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Liveaboard Diving in Misool
What To Expect On A Misool Liveaboard
Misool liveaboards offer divers a chance to dive in the amazingly diverse area of Raja Ampat. The island of Misool, is one of the four larger islands in the Raja Ampat archipelago and the most southerly. There are numerous liveaboard boats to choose from that operate in the Misool area. The island is made up of the main section of land, where the main town of Waigama sits on the northern edge. The town is very small with only a single track road and some houses and shops, it is however the location of the jetty where most people arrive by boat to the island. To the North and South of Misool, there is also a collection of smaller islets which is where the island’s only holiday resort is located.
Guests aboard liveaboard boats in Misool will notice two distinct groups of people, the Papuan’s who live in the centre of the island and the Maluku people who live on the coast. There is a strong tradition of fishing locally in Misool and also a thriving Sago processing industry. Sago which is extracted from the stems of tropical palm trees is a staple food in this and other regions of Papua. Other than tourism Sago is the biggest industry on the island which makes this an interesting liveaboard itinerary.
Liveaboard boats in Misool, usually an Indonesian Phinisi (a traditional sailing vessel), will take divers to a great number of fantastic reefs, rich in sea life. The visibility is excellent and can be up to 30 meters or more in some areas making for an amazing dive tour. The position of Misool and the Raja Ampat islands inside of the coral triangle also means that the reefs here are caked with a huge variety of soft and hard coral species.
The colour and diversity of corals and reef life is particularly pronounced at Misool. Macro lovers will find pygmy sea horses, ghostpipe fish and nudibranchs all over the coral covered slopes. Night diving in Misool is understandably spectacular, the reefs are bustling with activity and fascinating critters can be seen all over.
In addition to the reef life there are plenty of sharks to be seen as well. White and black tipped reef sharks can often be seen patrolling over the corals, or with their tails sticking out from under rocks and caves. There is also a chance in Misool to see the world’s only walking shark, the epaulette shark. The epaulette shark is only found in this region and Australia. It uses its paddle shaped fins to ‘walk’ from the rock pools where it hunts back into the ocean, and it is the only shark that can do this. Scuba diving in Misool offers something for everyone.
Dives Sites of Misool
The diving at Misool is all about the reefs and coral, and the jewel in the island’s crown is Boo dive site. Various dive cruises are available that visit this site on a Raja Ampat itinerary. Everywhere you look there is something new on offer, there are soft and hard corals in a rainbow of colour, gorgonians, sea whips and even a few caves and swim-throughs. Reef fish are numerous, as well as crustaceans which can be seen feeding around the reef.
Diving Fiabacet from a liveaboard offers something a bit special, with reef walls lined with sea fans and a host of nudibranchs. This is the perfect place for some amazing macro shots when the light is right. The islet of Farondi also offers a unique experience, especially for those who enjoy coral encrusted caves and swim-throughs and let’s face it who doesn’t enjoy those? The currents in these dive sites are usually quite mild compared to other parts of the archipelago, however they are still more suited to experienced divers than beginners.
Top Tips for Divers
- Misool, like most of the islands is quite isolated, so be sure to bring spares of anything you can’t live, or can’t dive, without.
- The water is quite warm, around 30 degrees but consider covering your skin when you are diving near sharp corals and fire urchins.
Getting to Misool
Misool is one of the main islands that dive liveaboards visit but it is quite far south of the others, including Sorong, where the ferries depart from. The boat service here is irregular at best compared to the other islands and chartering a boat is very expensive. For those visiting to dive the best option is a diving liveaboard booked in advance. This removes a lot of the hassle and there is no more relaxed way to see the islands.
Indonesian liveaboards come in various shapes and sizes in this area with the conventional motor vessels seen elsewhere, offering comfort and top facilities for diving. The most popular type of liveaboards here though are the traditional Indonesian sailing boats. These beautiful sailboats offer a peaceful and traditional experience with everything you need for a smooth diving experience.
Misool Diving Reviews
- 9.4 Superb
- 29 Verified Reviews