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 Raja Ampat Islands - Profile

Location

Located off the northwest tip of Bird's Head Peninsula on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia's West Papua province, Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals surrounding the four main islands of Misool, Salawati, Batanta, and Waigeo, and the smaller island of Kofiau.

Raja Ampat archipelago is the part of Coral Triangle which contains the richest marine biodiversity on earth and has been described by scientists as a biological hotspot.  The geography, diving, wildlife, culture and hospitality of the people are all legendary. Thanks to the Indonesian Throughflow, the diversity of marine life is staggering and crystal clear waters ensure the diving and snorkelling rates as among the best on the planet.

However, the incredible coral reefs here are now under threat from the Crown of Thorns Starfish and the local community needs your help. Read this news item (July 2018) to find out more.

There have been some recent near-misses with positions being taken from the paper charts for the Sorong area. Paper charts and GPS can vary up to 500m. Please take care when using paper charts for primary navigation.

There is a new marina now open at the Port of Waisai, on the west coast of the island of Waigeo.

See Cruising Reports Adjacent for more detailed feedback from cruisers who have spent time in this area.

Crocodile Attacks - Raja Ampat
In April 2016 a fatal saltwater crocodile attack on a snorkeller was reported, off the coast of Minyaifun island.
http://www.divernet.com/home-diving-news/p305790-crocodile-attack-in-raja-ampat.html

Position 00° 29'S, 130° 09'E (western side of the islands)

Clearance

International clearance must be done in Sorong, but permits for cruising in Raja Ampat can be done in Wasai.  Meridian Adventures at Waisai offer services to help vessels with clearance and obtaining the Raja Ampat Marine Park Entry Tag which is needed to sail in the Marine Park area.  For further information and costs see the main Indonesia Formalities page.

Last updated August 2018

Docking

There is now a yacht marina at the Port of Waisai, on the south east coast of the island of Waigeo (picture courtesy Meridian Adventure Marina). This new facility is being managed by Meridian Adventure Marina Club & Dive Resort.  Temporary membership is available to transient yachts with prices starting at US$15 per day which gives access to the Marina Club’s facilities.

In the absence of berth availability, Waisai offers a calm, safe, and clean anchorage. Meridian Adventure provides water taxi services at no charge to club members to and from the Marina Club and the anchorage.

Pulau Pef in central Raja Ampat, is a privately owned island with a dive resort that has 2 moorings for private yachts. There is no anchoring permitted around the island. If yachts want to stay at Pulau Pef, there is a sheltered bay on the east side of the island where mooring on 2 buoys is possible for a daily service fee. This fee is mandatory - see details below.

Sudden tropical storms (that at times can be severe) can cause problems in the Raja Ampat and Sorong area. Since December 2016 there has been an unusually high number of these (locally known as "badai"), often causing havoc in harbour with anchors dragging, near collisions and entanglements. They normally don't last more than 20 minutes, but gusts can be as strong as 50 knots. Ground tackle and anchor winches will suffer wear and tear so be sure to arrive prepared with plenty of spares (at least a spare set of winch gears and at least two sets of winch motor brushes).

Last updated August 2018.

Meridian Adventure Marina Club & Dive Resort Waisai
Tel:(+62) 951 317 6120 (general enquiries) ,VHF Channel 16 and 72
Marina Location: 00°.25.984 S, 130°.48.386 E;
New marina with 5 Med moor berth positions on floating dock (up to 35 metre LOA), 1 x up to 30 metre LOA alongside berth; 4 metre depth. Shore power available. 200 metres of commercial quay space, 14 metres depth. Water (no shore power yet - Med moor positioning). Facilities include restaurant, swimming pool and lounge area, adventure dive club, laundry and concierge services, WI-FI, cold room and freezer facility. Vessel clearance agent to assist with clearances and permits for cruising in the Raja Ampat Marine Protected Area. Temporary Club Membership is available which provides access to Meridian Adventure Marina Club facilities.
Raja4Divers Moorings - Pulau Pef
0°26.578'S / 130°26.639'E
Tel:+62 (0)811 485 7711 ,VHF Channel 09
Free anchoring is NOT permitted around the island. The dive shop have a mooring for visiting yacths - charge 20 Euros per person per night, including mooring, WiFi, laundry and garbage disposal. Payment in cash only, no credit cards accepted. Visitors are very welcome to join for meals, diving, snorkeling or other activities depending on availability. Advance reservations possible. No guardinage service.

raja4divers
raja4divers says:
Nov 27, 2017 06:11 AM

Thanks for visiting us on Pulau Pef dear Veladura!
The buoys belong to a pearl farm and you can pass the area easily by sailing close along the shore. They have guards to protect the area and when you sail around it, it's no problem at all and safe.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Oct 02, 2017 10:34 AM

Posted by "Veladura" elsewhere on the site:

We have been in Raja4 or Pulau Pef last July and have been very welcome, we had the possibility to shower, have internet connection, have some extremely beautiful snorkeling and enjoy a very quiet night with flying foxes around. Beware of uncharted reefs south of the entrance (visible when the light is right) and of a fish farm east of the place, if you want to head to the challenging pass between Waigeo and Gam Islands: we were coming from the channel and heading to Raja4 and were surprised to see a lot of buoys covering the area. We were trying to find a passage through the maze when a canoe with machinegun armed people came threatening us and trying to make us following them to the coast. They claimed to be police!!! We sternly refused to do so and were lucky that their engine stopped. They were busy starting it againg, quite unsuccessfully and we could sail away undisturbed, a bit shaken though.

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