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Why Raja Astonishes by Pier Mane

In November 2015, I sailed to Raja Ampat for the first time aboard the Dewi Nusantara.  I remember on the first dive, the check out dive, being so amazed because I had never seen so much life, so much energy, on such incredibly pristine reefs.  With all those thousands of silver backs (baitfish) flooding my viewfinder,  it occurred to me that seeing reefs like this was what Cousteau must have encountered everyday.  I didn’t think places like this still existed.  Due to the “out of ordinary” visibility that made our encounters so special, we decided to spend most of our 10 day Dewi cruise in the Misool area.  I particularly love Raja’s energy underwater. With its incredible diversity of fish going left, going right, going up and down throughout each and everyday, complimented by incredible backdrops of lively corals, I was Astonished.  My plan is to continue to discover this amazing place.  I already have my next journey booked!

Italian photographer Pier Mane fell in love with being underwater and started diving in 1985 at the age of seven! He was CMAS certified at a Club Med at 12 and became a PADI instructor prior his 18th birthday.  He interrupted his diving after college to pursue a career in Oil and Gas Exploration Management.  In 2014, when he rented a digital underwater camera from Kathy Church in Grand Cayman, and rediscovered his passion for diving and underwater photography.  He purchased his own rig, an EM-1, which he really enjoys shooting.  He recently won the Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016 title.  More of Pier’s images can be seen in his BHS Gallery and

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