Diving Raja Ampat
Bird Wall is a reef on the south side of Waigeo Island in northern Raja Ampat and is a gentle slope bottoming out at around 30 metres. There are small bommies and rocky areas scattered all along the slope which provide the environment for an astonishing number of marine creatures.
Cuttlefish can be seen here along with very interesting and unusual nudibranchs such as Nembrotha and Funebris. Keep an eye on your dive computer as it is easy to lose track of depth and time since there is simply so much to keep you occupied. You will find Indian lionfish resting or waiting for the next catch in addition to mappa pufferfish hiding from curious divers.
Check out the crevices for blue-stripe flagtail pipefish and also juvenile emperor angelfish, probably one of the most colourful and distinctive fish around. Don't forget to check behind you occassionally as there may be something interesting passing by such as big Napoleon wrasse and a great variety of fusiliers and jacks.
The shallows on this site are equally interesting and photographers who have chosen a macro lens will be rewarded with pygmy seahorses and sea dragons. A green turtle might also swing by while you are doing your safety stop so, eyes open!
At The Corner, you should be prepared for a bit of current since this Raja Ampat dive site is on the southwest side of Waigeo Island and so it is exposed and not sheltered by the island at all. But the current can be your friend since it will bring all the fish closer to the reef in search of a shelter and, provided the dive is planned and executed correctly, you will not have to fight it.
White tip and black tip reef sharks can be seen at depth, but they are very shy so make sure your camera is ready to shoot. Wobbegong sharks are sometimes seen on the slope and they are a lot easier to photograph since they tend to be sluggish and restful during the day.
You will also find it interesting to look out for sailor shrimps, spine-cheek anemonefish and also mushroom coral pipefish. If the current is mild then you will really have the chance to witness some of the most beautiful nudibranchs in the world. Many species have been discovered in Raja Ampat and they seem to speak volumes for the biodiversity of the area. There are specimens from the family of Chromodoris, Nembrotha but also countless variations and sizes of Flabellinas. It is a nudibranch-lovers dream.
Note: Sel Pele Bay is also located at Waigeo Island.
Waigeo Island Reef Basics: Reef and sloping walls
Depth: 5 - 30m
Visibility: 10 - 30m
Currents: Can be strong
Surface conditions: Calm
Water temperature: 28 - 30°C
Experience level: Beginner - advanced
Number of dive sites: 3
Diving season: All year round
Distance: ~150 km west southwest of Sorong (9 hours)
Access: Raja Ampat liveaboards
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