Diving in Misool
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 are particularly pronounced at Misool. Macro lovers will find pygmy sea horses, ghost pipefish 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 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.