Banda Sea dive sites
Located west of Banda Neira, Pulau Ai is an isolated limestone island surrounded by deep water. This is another of the Banda Sea’s premier dive spots where big fish are common. Currents can be strong at Pulau Ai and that attracts the large pelagic species. Barracuda, trevally and tuna all school here.
As well as reef sharks it is possible to see hammerhead, thresher and silvertip shark. Of course these sightings don’t happen on every dive but knowing that they might adds that edge of excitement.
Eagle rays are more common and large schools of mobula rays (devil rays) are known to make a passing visit on occasion.
Pulau Ai dive sites
Batu Udang (Shrimp Rock) on the south side of the island is a sloping reef down to 15m then a vertical drop off to beyound 50m. The wall is covered in soft corals, sponges, gorgonian seafans and sea whips. Redtooth triggerfish and fusilier swam over the wall in large schools. Deeper sections are home to white tip reef sharks. The shallow sloping reef has healthy hard corals. Hawksbill turtles are often seen munching on sponges. Other schools of fish include bi colour parrotfish, midnight snapper, oriental sweetlips and wrasse. As the name subjects there are millions of shrimps in every crack and crevice here. Hingebeak shrimps and banded boxer shrimps are most numerous. Also look out for Colemans shrimps and emperor shrimp.
Tanjung Batu Payong (Umbrella Rock Point) on the west side of Pulau Ai is a steep wall down to 60 metres deep. All the usual schools of reef fish are here in abundance on the coral and seafan covered wall. Keep one eye on the wall and one eye out in the blue because you never know when something big will show up. Schools of batfish often follow divers. Napoleon wrasse are resident. Divers should swim around, not over, titan triggerfish here as they have been known to aggressively protect their nests.