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La Galigo Liveaboard




LA GALIGO LIVEABOARD









LA GALIGO LIVEABOARD

Welcome to Lagaligo Liveaboard. Here you will find some amazing adventures for cruising around Komodo national Park, Raja Ampat, Wakatobi and more. You can check out our purpose built boat, that is fully equipped with everything you will need for some amazing diving and perfect for relaxation. Here on Lagaligo we want you to feel like one of the family while you are with us.

Check out our dive locations, boat and schedules, we have trips running all time. If our schedules, don’t quite work for you then please get in touch and we will see what we can do.

We look forward to having you on board Lagaligo.





VESSEL

La Galigo has been built by traditional Southern Sulawesi craftsmen in Bira in 2012. She is a traditional two mast Phinisi style sailboat, which the Buginese have perfected over hundreds of years. Her sturdy hull has been built from Kalimantan ironwood and the rest of the vessel has been finished to perfection in warm tropical teak.

She has been designed by an avid liveaboard diver with the liveaboard diving lifestyle comfort and practicality in mind. Motor and generator noise have been engineered out by isolating the engine room away from rooms with thick walling. Cabins and ensuite’s are filled with plentiful natural light and spectacular views of the passing seas and islands.

La Galigo consists of 3 main decks for living and diving plus an additional roof top deck that is opened during favourable conditions. All cabins have wardrobes with plenty of space for your luggage, and a desk to fill out your log book after a spectacular day diving. All cabins also have hot water in the showers.

Your service is guaranteed with a very low crew to customer ratio. Enjoy a unique cultural exchange with the local Indonesian people as you learn a little Bahasa Indonesia and immerse yourself in the culture of this mystical land.






THE COMPANY

La Galigo Tirta Wisata is a registered Indonesian company.  The La Galigo concept was conceived back in 2013. The idea was to start a dive liveaboard in Raja Ampat,  which had the comfort and class of the more expensive boats, at a more reasonable price. After 1 year of trying to build a new boat, and looking for a suitable finished vessel, The owners discovered La Galigo in a harbour in Bali. To this date the crew of La Galigo love every moment of being on the boat and diving Raja. For more information please have a look at some off our reviews and testimonials.







THE SAFETY

Here at La Galigo, we pride ourselves on our safety record, That is why all our staff have been trained in primary first aid and secondary care, and no expense has been spared in relevant safety departments. We have a fully stocked first aid kit on board, as well as emergency oxygen, and a defibrillator. Every effort has been made to attain high security standards, in the bridge we have an EPIRB emergency locator, long range radio phone (for use in emergencies only), FM and SW Radio, 4 VHF and SSB radio. There are also fire detectors throughout the boat and large number of fire extinguishers, all of our staff are trained by a fire control specialist in the unlikely event of an outbreak. There are also an adequate number of personal flotation devices and lifebuoys.

*We require all guests embarking on a charter with us to have a minimum of 50 dives within the past 5 years with an open water certification or 20 dives with an advanced open water certification. We accept certifications from relevant international agencies such as PADI, NAUI, SSI, BSAC. You will be requested to provide details from your dive card upon booking, if we cannot find your details online from your certifying agency, a photocopy or scan of the card will be requested. If it is not possible for you to send us a copy, it will be requested that you bring your card with you. Please present your card on the day of charter to the Cruise Director.

*Due to our remote location a Dive Insurance policy is mandatory to dive with us. Under our experience DAN gives a very good service and coverage. This policy must include medical evacuation.


Daninsurance

Our dive guides will guide the dive very conservatively and to a maximum depth of 30m, the best marine life show is in the shallower water, therefore we don’t need to spend too much time in the deep water. We do not do deco dives. It is imperative to dive conservatively. Become acquainted with your dive computer and if you have not dived recently please let us know, we offer a refresher / check dive to all our customers upon boarding as part of the schedule, so do not worry if you are the only one!

Before every dive, a member of our staff will enter the water and perform a condition check for the dive. This will ensure that we can offer you the best conditions for your dive.

There are no nearby decompression chamber facilities in Papua. The closest chamber is in Manado, Northen Sulawesi, and evacuation is extremely expensive and difficult to arrange. We provide Oxygen for dive emergencies, but breathing Oxygen is insufficient treatment for DCS

*You may be refused diving throughout the duration of your trip if you fail to adhere to these requests.

DAN 10 day or 30 day insurance can be organised specifically for your trip, please contact the La Galigo reservations office to organise this




CABIN STYLES







DIVING



Manta Rays Komodo - Part One

Soon before we know it, June will rock around and it will be time to head back from Raja Ampat to Komodo again. Why should this get you excited? Manta Rays is the Answer. If 2017 is the year of the rooster, 2016 was the year of the Manta, and we are expecting it again this season.

If you have dived into Komodo before, then the name Karang Makassar or Manta Drift would be a stand out from your trip. Explosive manta displays a plenty characterised the 2016 season in Komodo. One of our charters was even lucky enough to witness a Manta mating trail chain in action here. Another great highlight was the black color morph Mantas that can be found at this site.


So why so many Mantas? As well as the breeding, this is a prime spot for Manta feeding. This area has a combination of strong currents and upwellings in the water column. The colder, deeper water, is rich with nutrients which feeds the base of the food chain. When this comes up to divers levels it brings an increase in the plankton, small fish and crustaceans that are a smorgasbord for the Mantas. The Manta Rays move around the north and the south of Komodo, migrating to areas where the currents and upwellings provide the best feed.

Scuba Diving Komodo Islands in Indonesia with Lagaligo Liveaboard

Another reason that is speculated to have caused an increase in the Manta numbers is a change in Indonesian legislation to protect


Mantas, introduced in 2014. The increased numbers could be a direct result of the Manta fishing and export ban. It’s early days, and research data is required to confirm anything, but we have our fingers crossed that this is a good sign of things to come. Stay tuned, our next blog will look into this in more depth.

If you’d like to be as lucky as our guests on the 2016 charter, and have the chance to witness a Manta mating trail chain, or get that rare photo of a black colour morph variation, you can book onto a Komodo charter now. La Galigo liveaboard is now taking bookings for the 2017 Komodo dive season, and we have a feeling deep down in our bones its going to be another bumper season.

Please see our 2017 schedule to make your booking today while there are still spaces left on these exciting liveaboard trips.




Three Species to Spot in Raja Ampat - Part One

Isn’t it so incredible how a year can just fly by, months are remembered like days when you’re having so much fun. I remember being a child and waiting for Christmas around this time of year,  and it felt like someone had pressed pause on the remote of life.

Now, having relocated to Raja Ampat, everyday feels like Christmas. Feeling like only a few weeks ago, the owners, a few guests and the ever awesome crew of La Galigo were watching a simple yet spectacular display of fireworks over the central part of Raja Ampat on new years eve. We were accompanied by a few of the other liveaboards that operate in the area and their guests, and after the show, we all converged together on the beach and shared a beer and the stories of our individual Raja Ampat experiences so far.

Talking to some of the other boats’ guests was a real pleasure, primarily for the reason that we all shared a few things in common, a love for the underwater world, travel, and conservation. A few of the guests from La Galigo and the other boats took out their tablets, and started to share their images and stories of what they’d seen so far on their trip.

The beauty of this region lies within it’s diversity, so whether or not someone saw their first Manta ray within the Dampier Straight, or spent a whole dive trying to photo Raja Ampat’s endemic Pygmy seahorse, we all smiled for similar reasons. The one thing that really gets me about this area, is that you can go back many many times over, and regardless of who you are, will find something big or small that will recapture your heart or make you want to snap a few photos for everlasting memories. It keeps me intrigued, and having dived on 4 continents on Earth, remains to this day my favorite place, not just to dive, but to be.

I have created this blog to give you an idea of what I have found so far with my time onboard La Galigo in Raja Ampat, and what has left those kind of memories with me.



Number One - Mimic Octopus - Batanta

My first encounter with the Mimic Octopus was actually shortly after we purchased La Galigo from Bali

mimic-octopus-raj-amapt-lagaligo-liveaboard-indonesia

and were relocating her to Komodo. During our time we passed a place in Sumbawa called Bima, out the front of Bima Bay there was a famed dive site there known as ‘Copycat Copycat’, so we decided to stop. After diving for almost 50 minutes in 5 meters of water we had seen very little, but then everything changed.

We were subjected to almost over 20 minutes of what I assumed were two Mimics mating. This however, did not give us a great example of the behavioral traits normally associated with the species. This was not such the case in Batanta, and the dive sight aptly named ‘Happy Ending’, where you can literally ‘drop in’ on many of the species that macro photography lovers desire.

I have always been an avid reader of the marine species identification books since I became an instructor some 5 years ago, and was aware of the common impersonations this animal had been documented carrying out. These include such poisonous fish as the ‘Sole’, ‘Lion Fish’ and the ‘Jellyfish’. Also famous for impersonating the sea snake to evade such predators as the damsel fish, this Octopus is an underwater genius. It appears to have learnt many defense techniques which it in turn adapts to which predator is after it. So is this why when encountering humans, we so often get an array of displays of different animals.

The Octopus is highly regarded as an intelligent creature, and upon my second siting at the same dive site, I recorded what I thought was the creature mimicking a small stingray as it scattered to return to it’s burrow. Upon return, her head then popped back out the burrow, almost fearless. This does however provide me with a thought, what other animals use mimicry as a form of self defense. Surely, if this is such an effective form of protection for one specific species of Octopus, how is it not more prevalent throughout the animal kingdom?

You can visit Batanta on any of our three Raja Ampat dive itineraries. La Galigo Liveaboard will take you to these stunning dive sites from October through to April every year.



Top 5 Raja Ampat Dive Sites

Raja Ampat has a vast horizon of scattered emerald isles dramatically rising from the fresh azure sea. This is the first image that comes to mind when the unspoiled tropical paradise of Raja Ampat is mentioned. What lies under the surface of those mysterious waters is a divers paradise, the worlds highest marine biodiversity in a healthy ecosystem protected by a system of marine parks.


Raja Ampat is a big place. So here is a guide to the top 5 dive sites across the wide archipelago that is Raja Ampat. The options to dive these sites are either by one of the land based dive resorts, or by liveaboard dive boat. A dive resort will take you to the dive sites that are accessible within the range of their speed boat, and typically take you to more dive sites in their local area. This gives you a great opportunity to really explore deeper into a particular  area of Raja Ampat that you choose.




The liveaboard operators typically have multiple trip options, each varying in the number of days to suit your vacation length. If you have between 12 to 14 days to spend in Raja Ampat, then you can join a charter that will cover all of the best areas from Misool in the south to Wayag in the north, and selected sites in between. Shorter trips of between 8 to 9 days will allow you to focus on the central Raja Ampat area and either the north or the south, depending on which itinerary you choose.

Itineraries are typically set for a certain area during pre set dates on charters that are open for anyone to join. Chartering the full boat for your group will usually give you the freedom to choose the general area you want to dive for the duration of the hire period.

Below is a list of the top 5 dive sites in Raja Ampat, these are spread between the south, north and central regions of Raja Ampat. The top picks are:

 South:

    Magic Mountain – Perfect combination of large and macro marine life
    Kaleidoscope Ridge – High current and large schools of fish

Central:

    Cape Kri – Highest fish diversity in Raja Ampat
    Blue Magic – Mild currents and a great mix of small and large species

North:

    Changgo – Epic underwater landscapes

South Raja Ampat (Misool Region) – Magic Mountain and Kaleidoscope Ridge



Magic Mountain

Time and time again this site leaves divers with 500+ dives under their belts surfacing to say “that is the best dive I have ever done”. A beautiful submerged ridge that starts at just 6m from the surface. The site resembles an underwater plateau mountain, that progressively steps down half a dozen times.Dropping in from the dive boat, the first sight is an impressive hard coral garden on the shallowest flat top of the ridge. Many times we have dropped into this site to see a Giant Black Pacific Manta

Ray within minutes of being in the water.

As the dive progresses we drop a level and start making our way down to 25m along the ridge edge. Here you can find a microcosm of the weird and wonderful macro critters clinging to the ridge walls. Swimming towards the deep end of the ridge we start to head to the area where the current picks up a little. With the current comes the schools of Pelagic’s and other large fish. The Barracuda and abundant Napoleon Wrasse are a highlight here amongst many other fish species.

Hitting the end of the ridge the final flat topped step is around 20m, this is where you start to raise your profile progressively up the steps and experience the diversity of critters to be found, while ascending back to the 6m coral garden.

If you want the perfect combination of the small guys and big guys, then this is the dive for you. This site can get quite busy in peak season, so liveaboard captains and the nearby Misool Eco-resort coordinate dive group drop in times via radio, to ensure you are swimming in schools of fish and not schools of divers.




Magic Mountain Stats

Location: South east of Warakaraket island, Misool region

Depths: 6m to 40m+ – best depth 25m

Marine life: Good mix of Pelagic’s, Manta’s and macro life




Kaleidoscope Ridge

If you love high currents underwater, and dramatic landscapes above water, then you will love this site. An undercut karst limestone island rises from the sea and what lies beneath the surface here is a submerged ridge that extends from the end of the island. This ridge makes for a great dive site with huge colourful fan corals and a Coral Trout cleaning station.

Map-Kaliedoscope-Ridge-Raja-Ampat

Map of Kaliedoscope Ridge in Raja Ampat

Kaleidoscope Ridge_raja_ampat_lagaligo_liveaboard_indonesia

You drop into the water on the protected end of the island, back from where the land mass ends. Depending on which way the current is running, you will either start with a leisurely search for some of the interesting flatworms and sea spiders or take a mild drift towards the ridges end. As you change direction to head back to the island and slightly assent to 18m the real action starts. Strong currents sweep over the top of the ridge. Here we set in a reef hook and sit back in the current,  enjoying the show that passes us by. Large schools of fish thrive in his current, often seeing massive congregations of brightly coloured yellow Banded Sweetlips.




Kaleidoscope Ridge Stats

Location: West end of Pelee Island, Misool region

Depths: 5m to 34m – best depth 18m ridge top

Marine life: Main attraction abundant schooling fish in currents, some macro in calmer waters also

Central Raja Ampat (Dampier Strait) Cape Kri and Blue Magic




Cape Kri

This is Raja Ampat’s best known dive site, owing to the work of the marine biologists who found record breaking numbers of fish species here. This site holds the tittle for Raja Ampat’s highest

Map of Cape Kri in Raja Ampat

Map of Cape Kri in Raja Ampat

number of different fish species recorded on one dive. Cape Kri had 374 fish species recorded on this dive, ranking it in the worlds top 5 most numerous fish species dives.

The astonishing number of fish species is evident as soon as you drop into the water. Giant Trevally, Big Eyed Tevally, Barracuda’s, Snapper’s, Bumphead Parrot Fish, Queensland Grouper’s, Black Tip Reef Sharks, White Tip Reef sharks – the list of species you see here just go’s on and on.

This site is a submerged ridge that runs off the east end of Kri Island, in the center of the Dampier Strait. Following the wall of this ridge, divers are amazed by the volume of marine life that passes them. Your dive guide will have already done a current check before the dive, to determine what direction the current is running on your dive, and hence where you will start. At certain points the
reef the current really picks up as it sweeps up from the depths and over the ridge. This is where divers must beware of potentially dangerous down currents, that can pull divers down the opposite side of the ridge. At this point your experienced dive guide will signal you to attach a reef hook at around 8m to allow you to float in the current and watch the fish swim by. One of my favorite parts of this dive is looking down at the ridge bottom below and seeing the patrolling sharks swimming back and forth.

cape_kri_raja_ampat_lagaligo_liveaboard_indonesia

If pure diversity of species is your thing then this is the site for you. This is another site that can get quite busy, so liveaboard captains and nearby Kri Eco Resort – Papua Diving, coordinate dive group times via radio, to ensure there are small groups diving on the ridge.




Cape Kri Stats

Location: East end of Kri Island, Dampier Strait region

Depths: 3m to 40m – best depth 15m on the wall and 8m on the ridge top

Marine life: Many different species of fish including sharks




Blue Magic

Dropping into the blue, you will find a vibrant reef that sits at 6m below the surface teeming with life. Another of our favorite spots to have wild encounters with the graceful Giant Manta Rays. Here you will also find huge hard plate coral formations hiding reclusive Tasseled Wobbegong Sharks.

blue_magic_raja_ampat_lagaligo_liveaboard_indonesia

Circumnavigating the gently sloping walls of this round reef, you will find a myriad of smaller creatures. Stop and pay special attention to the giant sea fans, latched onto these corals you will find the tiny Dennis Pygmy Seahorse, a Raja Ampat endemic species.

Returning to the top of the reef towards the end of your dive, you will continue to discover amazing species hidden amongst the maze of bommies and hard corals. Current picks up at one end of the reef and brings with it the massive Tuna and schools of Barracuda.

Much like Magic Mountain in the south, this dive site is a great mix of the smaller and larger marine life that Raja Ampat is famous for. Mild currents make this dive quite an easy and relaxed site to navigate.




Blue Magic Stats

Location: South of Misokon Island , Dampier Strait region

Depths: 6m to 30m – best depth 25m

Marine life: Highlights are Giant Black Pacific Manta Rays, Dennis Pygmy Seahorse and Tasseled Wobbegong Sharks

North Raja Ampat (Kawe Island) Changgo




Changgo

Epic underwater landscapes are the characterising feature of Changgo dive site. A rock formation with a few sparse trees emerges from the waters at this dive site in the south east of Kawe island. As you drop down into the water you discover the first of a series of large cracks and ridges that surround this site.

As you delve deeper you cross a sheer dropping wall and encounter the first of the strong currents at this site. When descending keep an eye on the small nooks and crannies in the wall, if you get lucky you will find one harboring a bizarre and colorful Nudibranch. Traversing to the center of this dive site, the wall suddenly opens to an awe inspiring archway 7 meters in height. Dependent on current, you can either swim through this archway, or sit in the rushing water stream and watch the schools of fish battle the current. Continuing on you will find massive overhangs and walls absolutely littered with all sorts of soft corals and critters.

Changgo_raja_ampat_lagaligo_liveaboard_indonesia

Timing is essential to make this dive possible. The area is quite exposed to open sea waves and a large surge can develop close to the emerging rock at the surface. Current is also quite strong in places, but there is also many sheltered relief areas along the site. The close proximity of this site to Alyui Bay means that a night dive at the pearl farm jetty can be nicely tied into this day.

Wide angle photographers will love this dive for both the amazing landscape and also the large schools of fish.




Changgo Stats

Location: South east Kawe Island , North Raja Ampat

Depths: 5m to 32m – best depth 20m

Marine life: Large schools of Banded Sweetlips, Bumphead Parrot Fish, Napoleon Wrasse,  Nudibranchs

No matter what you’re after in a dive, Raja Ampat has it all. You can find dramatic landscapes, wall dives, slope dives and creatures great and small. This is just the top 5 that Raja Ampat has to offer, but in addition there are many other amazing places for muck dives, night dives, wreck dives – anything that you want really.

You can see these dive sites onboard La Galigo Liveaboard, they operate in Raja Ampat from October through to May each year. The off season is spent between Komodo and Wakatobi.



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