Even though diving activities has long time exist in Biak, but only recently it became an industry – flourishing after the local government held an event for underwater photography competition and invited underwater photographer professional from all over the world.
Biak is one of the three largest islands located at Cendrawasih Bay, just north of Papua mainland. The isles of Biak consist around 30 islands and few atolls. Due to its location, during the monsoon the waves are relatively mellow because the strong wind from Australia won’t be able to reach the area. Their underwater world is located in the heart of a coral triangle. It offers dramatic wall dives with plain contour, decorated with stunning soft coral gardens swarmed with various reef fishes.
World War 2 Plane Wreck
A warzone between the Allies and Japanese army during the World War 2, some dive spots in Biak are dedicated to let divers visit the wrecks of war boats or fighter planes underwater. Right after we’ve arrived at the hotel, our guide Pak Eric, which was an old friend of mine, took us straight for our first day dive at the Catalina wreck – about 30 minutes from the port. Catalina was an Americanmade amphibious aircraft that drowned during the Pacific War, and it’s a very popular dive site here in Biak. The wreck reside about 30 meters deep in a slope leaning toward flat contour.
After an estimated of 30 meters dive through the wall, a wreck started to be vaguely visible from above, and the deeper we went we were able to see it clearly. It is still incredibly intact – only its body is covered with soft corals such anemone and seafan, and not much reef found around it. Some large-sized seafan corals and other colorful reef corals can be found almost everywhere. There were one or two sharks passing outside of the wall and some schooling snappers roaming around the upper part of it.
Stunning Wall & Schooling Pelagic Fish
The best thing about diving in Biak, where a small storm hitting one area would not affect the weather on the opposing side. True story – the sun still shined and the waves are flat like nothing happened. You will start your dive of the day at Tanjung Samber.
After descending into 20 meters deep, you will find a wonderful wall with colorful reefs and an abundant of reef fishes around the corner. Not only pelagic fish, the wall at Tanjung Samber also has lots of interesting critters which makes every macro photographer enthusiast would instantly fall in love. If you are lucky, you may spot schooling giant trevallies fade away to the far deep blue. Your next dive location is Waroi, named after the same coast side village we departed earlier. Not so different with your first and second dive, the wall in Waroi is also amazing. Beautiful fishes from anthias, wrasse, bat fish and many more roamed around the wall – accompany you to indulge your dive.
Bottomless Underwater Cave
The Padaido archipelago, consist of more than 30 small islands connected by an alluring atoll. On the summer the tide can be very low, making the islands connected each other by sands of the atoll and allowing people to travel from one island to another just by walking! Baracuda point site become your first dive site. It is a combination of slope and wall contours with mild flowing current, creating an exceptionally divine backdrop to watch schooling barracudas and pelagic fishes swim through the wall.
Your next site is the Wundi cave which located at the shallow part of a plateau, and descended into the cave carefully since there is sludge everywhere. With the space between the walls inside the cave is only a mere 2-3 meters and small branching paths that would lead to dead ends, strongle recommended to follow your guide closely. When the sun ray radiated into the cave, it became a natural luminance, helping us to explore the cave – all the while giving us a remarkable snapshot moment. The exit gate is culminated on the outer wall of Wundi Island.
Get ready to explore a small island called Rurbas Kecil, located on the south of Owi Island. Rurbas Kecil is an uninhabited island that occasionally used as a resting place for local fisherman after a day on the sea. It took almost an hour by a boat to reach this tiny peninsula. After descending into 20 meters deep, and dive alongside the Rurbas wall heading north. Soft and hard coral such as anemone, dendronephthya and acropora are hanging all over the wall. A flock of anthias and damsel fish may be seen fulfilling the pristine corals, and once in a while, a schooling jack fish swim pass through our group. You may lost track of time as you enjoy your dive here.
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