Descending: The Four Kings

22:24, Oct 29 2013

Canadian Scott Wilson and Kiwi Ellis Emmett have been where no men have been before.

An 18 month trip took them to some of the world's remotest dive locations - many of which have only recently been discovered.

Scott and Ellis chronicle these travels as co-hosts of a show, Descending on the Travel Channel. We'll catch up with them each week about the destinations they've been to.

This week, in Indonesia, Scott and Ellis experience Raja Ampat-a reserve rich in beauty, diversity and culture. Ellis befriends a local Papuan who teaches him to fish like a local and the divers have a close encounter with Giant Manta Rays.

We chat to Scott about this incredible experience.

What was your favourite dive from this episode?


Diving with the Giant Manta Rays was outstanding. It's like being at an air show underwater! It's almost unnatural seeing something that large be so graceful.

How did you get there? 

A series of flights from Jakarta, to Lembeh and onto Sorong in West Papua. Then a few hours by boat into the National Park of Raja Ampat.

What diving risks were you concerned about in this location?

Remoteness is a concern. You are a long way from a chamber, let alone a hospital of any reasonable standard. Otherwise, watch your bottom time as you will be so incredibly mesmerised by the sheer beauty of this place below the waterline (and above).

What's one thing every traveller should try there? 

Head into a village to meet the locals. It's so easy to spend all your time in the water or on a liveaboard/at eco lodge that you have to make time to experience the people and culture too.

What should you avoid in this destination?

Avoid trying to beat the record of species identified in one dive. The world record for that has been set here twice. I promise if you try to count all the species you can find on a dive you will be sucking the rust off the bottom of your tank.

This place has some of the most diverse coral reef eco-systems on the planet.

Did anything go wrong on a dive?

Luckily no! We had a bit of an issue with a light-aircraft, but more on that next week.

What's the coolest thing you saw?

I'd have to say the walking shark. A recently identified species, this shark will swim and then come to rest in the sea-grass on its pectoral fins and then literally walk along on them. Darwin would have been most pleased!

This place is a true gem for our planet. Those who are divers, this should be top of your bucket list.... Those who aren't divers, this should be second on your bucket list only to getting your diving license!

Watch Descending, Wednesdays, 8.30pm on the Travel Channel.