Local Guide to Raja Ampat Dive Sites #05 Mayhem
On the western edge of the Dampier Strait, just off the coastline of Gam Island, you can find Mayhem Reef. A huge submerged pinnacle starts at about 10m and can drop below 35m at points. The pinnacle has natural walls and slopes rich with soft and hard coral. The dive site is considered more suited for advanced divers because of the strong currents that could occur in this area. Still, when dived in the right conditions with a knowledgeable guide, it is an incredible experience.
Because of the location of the pinnacle, there is an abundance of marine life on the site, and the stronger the current, the more fish life there will be. The short distance to the shoreline creates a natural freeway for marine life to travel through, while the pinnacle serves as a drive-through for these species to feed.
The deeper waters to the west can at times attract larger marine species. There have been sightings of Manta Rays and even whale species. Schools of fusilier, batfish, snappers, sweetlips, and even bump head parrotfish can be seen on the reef. This mass of fish brings their natural predators to the site. On some days, dozens of reef sharks can be seen patrolling the reef while Tasselled Wobbegong sharks lie in wait to lure their prey in for a meal.
The site is best dived starting from the North in a gentle to medium current, allowing drifting on either the west or east walls of the pinnacle. Masses of the soft corals line the walls, with batfish and triggerfish darting in and out of the growth. It is possible to spot schools of barracuda, jacks, and fusiliers just off the reef walls. Because of the size of the pinnacle, it is possible to spend ages exploring the dense reef wall just watching all the fish swim past.
Once you reach the southern tip of the reef, you can make your way up the gentle slope using the reef as protection from any current. This slope is dense with large hard coral growth and natural rock formations. It is the perfect area to appreciate the rich colours found on the reefs of Raja Ampat and explore the macro life living there, all while surrounded by masses of fish. The gentle rise of the slope makes it the ideal way to end your dive incorporating your safety stop while still enjoying the incredible reef.
It is even possible for divers who are light on air to explore the opposite reef wall after this and circle back round to the reef slope for round two. As a safety precaution, always dive the site with an SMB or other signaling device at your disposal. As the name suggests, this site provides all kinds of mayhem in the best possible way.
About Meridian Adventure Dive
Situated in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Meridian Adventure Dive is a PADI 5 Star Resort and winner of the PADI Green Star award. Scuba divers enjoy our professional services that have become synonymous with both the PADI and Meridian Adventure names.