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Misool Resort - Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Discussion in 'Indonesia' started by Blues Runner, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Blues Runner

    Blues Runner Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Jacksonville, FL
    58
    87
    18
    I recently returned from a couple week dive trip to the magical region of Raja Ampat Indonesia. Raja Ampat is referred to as the seat of the coral triangle. The sights, smells and sounds of the region completely engaged every sense. The warm hospitality and caring of the Indonesian people are genuine and are missed in many locales on the globe today.

    Our temporary home for this experience was the Misool Resort on the island of Batbitim. Only fourteen years ago, Batbitim island was the sight of a recently abandoned shark finning camp (note 100 million sharks continue to be killed annually for their fins). Two avid divers along with investors negotiated a lease for Batbitim island with the local governing Indonesian people. The divers educated the locals that prosperity could be improved by protecting the resources above and below the sea. A marine reserve was established that has grown to 1200 sq km. According to studies (and my eyes ), “the protections have led to a greater diversity of fish, coral, and mollusks on these reefs, than anywhere on earth”. The local Indonesian residents staff the resort and make up the Ranger Patrol that protect the marine reserve.

    Our dive experiences at Misool showed that study to be spot on! I saw more variety and numbers of fish, soft and hard coral species and colors than I have ever experienced. I had my first experiences with pygmy seahorses, wobbegong sharks, bump head parrot fish, napoleon wrasse, mandarin fish, leopard sharks and oceanic manta rays to name a few. The majesty of diving with the oceanic mantas kicked my endorphins into over drive!

    The resort itself was constructed from previously fallen local hardwoods from Batbitim and surrounding islands. No trees were harvested to create the resort. Our villa was beautifully staged on the beach. It had three sets of double glass doors which we left open to enjoy the ocean breezes and gentle sound of the waves for sleeping. Much of the food is locally sourced and prepared fresh daily. We were fed five times a day.

    Misool is staffed and managed by an outstanding group of people! The hospitality and dining staff ensured that every need was timely responded to. The dive center is very well managed and organized. Dive day plans and briefings are strongly communicated. Our dive guide for our stay was Antoe Woong. Antoe has an eagle eye for spotting creatures small and large. His attention to his diver’s individual needs was outstanding! The dive boats are laid out and equipped well and are very efficient for the type of diving done.

    I greatly admire the efforts of the folks guiding and operating Misool Resort and the Misool Marine Reserve! The Misool Marine Reserve is a great blueprint for halting and reversing the damage that continues to occur in our oceans.
    Lookout3.jpg Dive Center from walkover.jpg Villa Tenang - Insley's.jpg Blue Seat star.jpg clam4 (2).jpg clown fish11.jpg mandarin fish4.jpg Napoleon Wrasse 3.2.jpg mobula rays.jpg manta2-2.jpg
     
  2. drjtprice

    drjtprice Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Saxlingham Nethergate England
    62
    54
    18
    Boat diving, house reef diving or both?
     
  3. Blues Runner

    Blues Runner Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Jacksonville, FL
    58
    87
    18
    Primarily boat diving. Most dive sites are no longer than a 20 minute boat ride. Misool has a beautiful house reef as well for diving and snorkeling.
     
  4. peeweediver

    peeweediver Barracuda

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Chicago area
    435
    280
    63
    Thanks for the report and pictures. Someday.....

    Rob
     
  5. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    3,116
    2,817
    113
    One thing that's important to note:

    Misool control access to each dive site. Each day the guides select their sites based on the clients wishes and capabilities (plus weather and tides). Popular sites such as Magic Mountain are scheduled on a rotation bases.

    Only one boat on each site at a time. Once Misool have taken their selections then at 5pm the remaining slots and sites get opened up to the visiting live aboards on 1st come 1st served bases.

    We've been 3 times now. The last two times we went with friends and had a boat and guide to ourselves (4 people). On each visit we get taken to some sites we haven been to before.

    Always a favourite is the 2 tank dive, where after the 1st dive, you go to a deserted beach for breakfast and a laze in the lagoon before heading off to the 2nd dive

    We go for the 12 day stays and sign up for unlimited diving. I reality that means 3 dives a day, plus options of night dives. Last time I was also getting some cheeky 4th dives assisting the staff on research projects - I may have over done it because I was wacked at the end of the visit.

    We generally take 3 liveaboards per year, but never once have I regretted not being on a live aboard and being shore based at Misool, it really is an oasis of tranquility, and it aches to leave each time.
     
  6. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,440
    3,010
    113
    Misool Resort is still the best dive resort I have ever been on.

    Magic Mountain is my favorite dive site there.
     
    Blues Runner likes this.
  7. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    2,856
    2,152
    113
    Raja Ampat is my favorite place to dive. I’ve been diving here twice by liveaboard and will return a third time shortly. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I have always heard great things about this resort. Have you ever dived central Raja Ampat north of Misool? If you liked the diving in Misool, I think you will like central even more. I find it fishier and more dense!
     
    Blues Runner likes this.
  8. Dan

    Dan Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
    5,440
    3,010
    113
    The owners effort in protecting the Misool no-take zone area is very moving and commendable.


     
    Benjamin Lloyd and Blues Runner like this.
  9. drjtprice

    drjtprice Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Saxlingham Nethergate England
    62
    54
    18
    How is the snorkeling? My wife doesn't dive. Can you hire a private guide? Thanks for your comments.
     
  10. Diving Dubai

    Diving Dubai Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Dubai UAE
    3,116
    2,817
    113
    One of our friends has a none diving wife, and she had a snorkel guide on our boat, she did snorkel on Magic mountain and did see the manta's when they were shallow (6-8m). The lagoon is great for snorkelling too and of course the water villa's have steps straight down to the lagoon.

    The beach bungalows require going over the hill (I believe the boats will come and collect you if the tide is right, the thought of climbing steps in the morning puts me off - I have enough trouble functioning pre-coffee as it is
     
    drjtprice likes this.

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