Day 10 - Daily Log - Gaia Love


Manta © Richard Meng

Daily Log - Day 10 - Gaia Love

Date: October 9, 2018

Boat location: Batanta and Dampier Strait Dive site: Pulau Dayang (A28), Cape Kri (A29), Sawandarek (A30), Channel (Blackwater - A31)

Weather conditions: Sunny and cloudy


Our first dive in Pulau Dayang was a shallow dive at 15-20m. The site is known to be a cleaning station for mantas, and the prediction did not disappoint: two reef mantas glided by, one mid-dive and another towards the end.

Gaia Love then travelled to the second dive, Cape Kri, famous for its school of sweetlips at 40m and infamous for its ripping and whirlpool currents. The sweetlips were there where they were expected to be. The currents changed constantly, which was an enabling environment for a wobbegong, a school of jacks and barracuda, blacktip and whitetip reef sharks, and Napoleon wrasse to say hi. Divers resurfaced far from where they were dropped off.

Sweetlips © Fabian Schorp

During the third dive, our resident artist Arica Hilton had an underwater photo shoot with other divers from Gaia Love. The other groups proceeded to Sawandarek, a dive site underneath a jetty of a village. From the boat, it looked like a sleepy, nondescript area, but the first few minutes in the site already showed off a school of sweetlips at 5 meters. There were schools of unicornfish, snappers, silver sides, and jacks. There was also a lobster hiding under a reef and a hawksbill turtle that seemed to be confused whether it would take a breath or stay down.

In Sawandarek, Cass’s strobe diffuser fell off without her noticing.

She continued taking photos and saw David swimming towards her. She thought David was trying to model for her, until she saw what was on top of his head – her diffuser!

After dinner, a smaller dive group proceeded to a blackwater dive, the fourth dive for the day and the last night dive for the trip!

When the night divers returned to Gaia Love, the transit to Mioskon began.

Blackwater Dive © Richard Meng