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Pristine and bountiful Mayhem dive site in Raja Ampat

Mayhem is often listed among the best dive sites in Raja Ampat; this site has a great variety of encounters, from large schools of fusiliers, snappers, jacks and batfish to wobbegongs and pygmy seahorses on the bottom

Mayhem is often listed among the best dive sites in Raja Ampat; this site has a great variety of encounters, from large schools of fusiliers, snappers, jacks and batfish to wobbegongs and pygmy seahorses on the bottom

Giant moral eel; in terms of body mass, it is the largest moray eel but the slender giant moray eel has greater length; I was somewhat surprised that we didn't see a greater variety of eels and sea snakes

Giant moral eel; in terms of body mass, it is the largest moray eel but the slender giant moray eel has greater length; I was somewhat surprised that we didn't see a greater variety of eels and sea snakes

The Mayhem dive site is actually a large submerged pinnacle; Mayhem lies along the western edge of the Dampier Strait just offshore from the island of Gam; the dive must be timed to avoid the strong currents

The Mayhem dive site is actually a large submerged pinnacle; Mayhem lies along the western edge of the Dampier Strait just offshore from the island of Gam; the dive must be timed to avoid the strong currents

Barramundi have become one of the most popular fish in Thai cuisine; it is often eaten steamed with lime and garlic, as well as deep-fried or stir-fried with lemongrass

Barramundi have become one of the most popular fish in Thai cuisine; it is often eaten steamed with lime and garlic, as well as deep-fried or stir-fried with lemongrass

Checkered snapper; this species is a nocturnal predator that mainly feeds on fish, but will eat crustaceans, gastropods and cephalopods

Checkered snapper; this species is a nocturnal predator that mainly feeds on fish, but will eat crustaceans, gastropods and cephalopods

The week diving in Raja Ampat was definitely among the best of my 3  month time overseas; it also seems quite inexpensive given the amount of diving, lodging, food, etc. that was included

The week diving in Raja Ampat was definitely among the best of my 3+ month time overseas; it also seems quite inexpensive given the amount of diving, lodging, food, etc. that was included

Pinnate spadefish; these giant fish would see my camera and immediately swim towards me; I guess fish never know what they look like unless they can see their reflection

Pinnate spadefish; these giant fish would see my camera and immediately swim towards me; I guess fish never know what they look like unless they can see their reflection

Giant barrel sponge; with every barrel sponge I would peek inside to see if anything was hiding; I didn't check this one since I didn't want to bother the fish lingering above

Giant barrel sponge; with every barrel sponge I would peek inside to see if anything was hiding; I didn't check this one since I didn't want to bother the fish lingering above

The area is so remote that we never saw any trash in the water; since it lies on the Equator, Raja Ampat isn't subject to destructive cyclones that can destroy coral reefs

The area is so remote that we never saw any trash in the water; since it lies on the Equator, Raja Ampat isn't subject to destructive cyclones that can destroy coral reefs

Green table coral; this pattern of growth increases the exposed surface area of the coral to the water column; polyps are provided greater access to light and it is easier for them to feed on zooplankton with their tentacles

Green table coral; this pattern of growth increases the exposed surface area of the coral to the water column; polyps are provided greater access to light and it is easier for them to feed on zooplankton with their tentacles

Trumpetfish; this species can grow to 3  ft and feeds on small fish and crustaceans; they will often track divers or snorkelers but never get very close and are harmless

Trumpetfish; this species can grow to 3+ ft and feeds on small fish and crustaceans; they will often track divers or snorkelers but never get very close and are harmless

It's easy to see why the dive site is called Mayhem; several ocean currents merge here so you can see why the fish traffic is like the Katy Freeway and 610 interchange

It's easy to see why the dive site is called Mayhem; several ocean currents merge here so you can see why the fish traffic is like the Katy Freeway and 610 interchange

Clark's anemonefish; one item I wish I'd brought was ear plugs; it was quite noisy on the boat from deploying the anchor to kitchen sounds to loud conversations

Clark's anemonefish; one item I wish I'd brought was ear plugs; it was quite noisy on the boat from deploying the anchor to kitchen sounds to loud conversations

I'm surprised they haven't made a Jaws-like movie about barracuda; they seem like the piranhas of the seas since they will eat anything

I'm surprised they haven't made a Jaws-like movie about barracuda; they seem like the piranhas of the seas since they will eat anything

Posted by VagabondCowboy 00:14

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