From Indonesia to French Polynesia in two months

Lots of Komodo dragons hanging out under the kitchen on Rinca.

A large male Komodo dragon is a truly intimidating animal. They are solid muscle and can move a lot faster than you think. I did not stay in this position for very long and used a telephoto lens. Rinca, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

A closer look at the active volcano on Pulau Komba in the Banda Sea, Indonesia

We scored perfect conditions for our viewing of the volcano at Pulau Komba in the Banda Sea, Indonesia. The sound was incredible!

We had the weirdest dive one night in Triton Bay, West Papua. Very near the full moon we experienced a massive swarm of moon jellies that had rode in the big incoming tide. It makes me think we just missed a coral spawning event. It was like Palau but on a coral reef.

Lots of divers like to say that they've found "the next Raja Ampat" so I wont bother. But this place was really, really good and so far no one else has commented on it. I'll just keep it a mystery for now but it's in West Papua.

Cephalopods are the smartest invertebrates and large cuttlefish are some of the most charismatic and entertaining of them all. Banda Neira, Moluccas, Indonesia.

Mike with a large female cuttlefish. A suitor male was standing guard nearby and can be seen in this gallery. Banda Neira, Moluccas, Indonesia

We were 'welcomed' into a remote Asmat village by about 100 canoes. This is a place where headhunting still happens to this day. Asmat, West Papua, "Indonesia"

After a villager has been killed and headhunted by an enemy, their spirit has to be guided into the next life and released from this one. Bispoles are still carved to this day and headhunting still exists in the remote parts of Papua New guinea and West Papua. Here we see men bringing a new mangrove log into the village to be carved into a new bispole for a fallen warrior.

The Asmat. Try to get there if you can. Near Agats, West Papua, "Indonesia"

A diver with a large anemone. Unnamed reef, northern Great Barrier Reef, Australia

There were so many people from different tribes at the canoe festival in Alotau that my head was spinning. The best part was that the festivities were not for tourists, it was for each other. Amazing. Alotau, Papua New Guinea.

Prows of some canoes from the gathering of tribes. Canoe Festival, Alotau, Papua New Guinea.

Checking out sea fans and crinoids in the Solomon Islands.

A diver enjoys the quiet, clear waters of Vanuatu

A local dive guide shows us one of the guns from the SS Coolidge, a US troop carrier that ran into friendly mines near Luganville, Espirtu Santo Island, Vanuatu.

A brown boobie took advantage of our ships' ability to scare flying fish. It made for an entertaining day sea.

Just before sunset, we encountered a dead sperm whale. Judging by the size and condition of the teeth, it appeared to be an old female. The carcass was riddled with shark bites but sadly (or luckily) there were none feeding on the carcass while we stupidly jumped in for a look. Northern Cook Islands.

The Southern Line Islands will stay with me forever. Flint Island, Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

Bigeye trevally are totally fearless and down-right curious at Millennium Atoll. Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

Surgeonfish and green sea turtles both were in huge numbers in the shallows of Millennium Atoll. Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

In the surf zone we found hundreds of surgeonfish grazing on short algae. Millennium Atoll, Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

Blacktip reef sharks owned the shallow lagoon and reeftop at Millennium Atoll, Southern Line Islands, Kiribati.

Even though it's one of the most remote places on the planet, Millennium Atoll is still under threat from exploitation. This fish trap is within the lagoon. Millennium Atoll, Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

Trevally cruising the beautiful coral gardens of Millennium Atoll, Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

Mullets feed in the channel at Millennium Atoll, Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

Gray reef shark during a very spooky sunrise dive at Millennium Atoll, Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

At dusk there is a changing of the guard. Daytime fishes start to wind down and the night shift starts to come out from their daytime hiding places. We got to see this transitional, mysterious, and very important part of the day at Flint Island, Southern Line Islands, Kiribati.

The red snappers of the Southern Line Islands were amazing fish. They were fearless companions on all of our dives and really showed us how much personality a fish can have when it has no fear. Flint Island, Southern Line Islands, Kiribati

A Clark's anemone fish with a clutch of eggs. Moorea, French Polynesia.

Golden trevally on a fish aggregation device (FAD) offshore of Makatea, French Polynesia. These FADs are a good way to alleviate fishing pressures on coral reefs. It's not a perfect system, but it's better than nothing.

Staghorn corals (Acropora sp.) are important reef builders in the lagoons of French Polynesia. They create patches of productivity in the warm, shallow waters of Fakarava.

The pink beaches on the southern end of Fakarava are idyllic scenes. Tuamotus, French Polynesia.

Bora Bora

Underwater cameraman Mike with a really big and very patient barracuda. Moorea, French Polynesia.

The wall of sharks at Fakarava is both beautiful and hypnotic.

© 2017 by Justin Hofman contact@justin-hofman.com