Ambon Night Safari 2010

Trip: Wetpixel Night Safari Ambon 2010
Dates: Arrive 7 Nov 2010, depart on 16 Nov 2010
Trip Leaders: Eric Cheng and Tony Wu
Host: Maluku Divers, http://www.divingmaluku.com

The planned diving schedule, comprising 21 dives (or more, if you are ambitious) is:

7 Nov: Arrive/ set up cameras
8-9 Nov: Normal day-diving schedule
10 Nov: Transition schedule: 14:30; 17:30; 20:30
11-13 Nov: Night schedule: 17:30; 20:30; 23:30
14 Nov: Transition schedule: 14:30; 17:30; 20:30
15 Nov: Off-gas/ Optional land tour (additional cost)
16 Nov: Depart Ambon

Note that Wetpixel is also running a Raja Ampat / Misool trip from Nov 20 - Dec 2, 2010. There will be at least 3 of us who are doing both trips; we plan to migrate from Ambon to Sorong sometime between Nov 16-19. This means that if you would like to do both trips, you can join us and we’ll do the planning.

Frontal view of the Maluku frogfish (Histiophryne psychedelica)

Diving Style: Ambon has a combination of reef and muck diving. For this trip, we will be concentrating on muck/ critter diving, and we will devote much of the trip to diving in the evening and night. Although the resort is situated at the best critter sites, we will dive from boats. The dive sites are located inside Ambon bay, and most of the time, we will be diving in relatively shallow water.

Because we will be diving a lot at night, you will need to bring adequate lighting. A minimum of two torches (three would be better) plus lots of batteries would be a good idea.

Also, while the muck sites are sheltered and shallow, there can be strong current at times. Our night dives will be concentrated during the period between new moon and first quarter moon, so in theory, the current will not be strong.

However, you never know with Mother Nature, so we’ll need to be flexible and adapt to prevailing conditions.

Mating cuttlefish everywhere!

For a better idea of what Ambon is like, see this slideshow:

Also, here is a PDF of an article about Ambon. The text is in Japanese, but the photos will give you more of an idea of what kind of marine life to expect:

Finally, the dive sites we will be diving are where the newly described Maluku frogfish (Histiophryne psychedelica) has been found. We will, of course, hope to see this elusive fish, but to date, only a handful of these animals have been spotted, so please manage your expectations accordingly.

Accommodation: Twin-share rooms at the newly completed Maluku Divers dive resort, which is located at the prime muck dive sites at Laha. All rooms have hot water and aircon, as well as two editing desks with charging stations for batteries. The resort is equipped with back-up generators, so we’ll be insulated from power outages on the island. There is no Nitrox available at this time.

Meals are Indonesian fare, primarily comprising fresh fish and seasonal vegetables. If you have any special dietary requirements, please inform us well in advance so the resort can try to accommodate. Please bear in mind that Ambon is a remote location and some things are not always readily available.

Cost/ Person: US$2,495

Not included is airfare, additional local accommodation during transfers, alcoholic drinks.

Deposit: US$1,000, due with booking
Balance: Balance of payment due 1 July 2010.

Contact Person for booking: Dan Baldocchi, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Getting There: There are regular flights to Ambon from Bali, Manado and Jakarta on Lion Air and Batavia Air. While it is possible to make reservations yourself, it’s best to let the resort handle domestic flight reservations, coordinated through Dan Baldocchi. Domestic itineraries and prices generally firm up within three months of the date concerned, so expect that final itineraries will become clear around mid-August.

Power Supply: Power in Indonesia is 230V/ 50Hz. There are charging stations in the cabins and in the dedicated camera room. Plug shape is recessed two-prong, Type F on this page: http://users.telenet.be/worldstandards/electricity.htm

Please note: 110V is not available.

Snapping shrimp with eggs

Discarded fish = HUGE critters

Rhinopias in Ambon

Baby cuttlefish in egg

A juvenile snapping shrimp

It may not look like much, but under those fishing boats is critter insanity