days one hundred and seventy thru one hundred and eighty-one: march 7, 2016 thru march 18, 2016

Oh yes, we're back. It didn't take much convincing for us or even Jonathan's parents, to dive Raja Ampat. Hey, we know what we like, right? Similar to our first cruise, we spent 11 days on the Samambaia exploring the Raja Ampat area with the same crew we've grown to love. We got spoiled again and pretty much had the boat to ourselves - it was us, Jonathan's parents, and our cruise director's parents. Not bad, eh?

It was especially exciting for me, since now I was returning as a certified Open Water diver and could finally join in on all the fun. While on the cruise, I also did the course work to become an Advanced Open Water diver, which basically means I can go deeper than the first certification I received. 

At the beginning of our trip we headed north in an attempt to see the solar eclipse. Unfortunately, it was a cloudy overcast day and we missed the eclipse. We did, however, get to enjoy some time on the way north thru the Dampier Strait with several pods of dolphins and multiple whale encounters. Definitely not a bad way to start the trip!

As we headed south toward Misool in southern Raja Ampat, we stopped again at "Mini Wayag" to check out the view.

Misool is well known for its soft corals and massive walls, but above water proves an area perfect for cruising around via speedboat to explore the karst landscape and mangroves.

Unfortunately, Jonathan's dad suffered a dive related incident (don't worry he's ok now!) but we had to adjust course mid-trip and head back to Sorong in an effort to get him proper medical attention. Thank goodness for DAN diver's insurance! This did, however, give us another shot thru the Dampier Strait to hang out with some more dolphins and whales.

Here is Johannes, our cruise director, and his mom, Ava, on the bow of the boat showing her a whale in the distance.

As we cruised along, the crew fished using hand lines off the back of the ship providing fresh fish for many of our meals. Below is Frengki, one of our dive guides, with a fresh tuna he had just caught.

Here's a picture from our last dive of the trip with Frengki, our lead dive guide, his cousin Recki and one of our speedboat drivers Erwin. 

Our complete dive log from this trip, 27 dives.

It's honestly no surprise that we had an amazing time in Raja Ampat. We've found a corner of the world that we truly love and can't wait to come back to.