In the western part of Gam Island, Raja Ampat, you encounter a natural channel separating the mainland from the Yanggelo island. In this channel, you find several dive sites, one of which is Citrus Ridge. Located on the North-Eastern edge of Yanggelo, the dive site is easily accessible and provides and secluded and safe entry point for divers away from the main channel. The site can be dived from the north or the south, depending on the current direction. You do not want to swim into the current during this dive as these currents can get quite intense. However, even with these currents, it is a dive site accessible to divers of all levels. This is a genuinely incredible dive.
The channel is lined with dense mangrove forests on both sides, where the reef gently slopes towards the center of the channel. The nutrients from the mangrove forests make the waters in the area the perfect spot for a host of marine life and growth to flourish. As you make your way down the gentle slope, you are first greeted with sporadic rock formations and coral bommies easing divers into the dive. On these slopes, you can spot numerous crustaceans all over the sandy bottom while many anemones provide shelter for ghost shrimps and clownfish. As you make your way along the slope, coral growth becomes more dense and colorful. Masses of fish are seen all over the reef and in the channel. While it is possible to follow the coastline and still have an incredible dive, you will be missing out on the main attraction of the dive site.
It is possible to break off from the coastline, and with a short swim towards the center of the channel, you will reach the reef formation that gives Citrus Ridge its name. This large pinnacle is found around 14m in-depth and is covered in the most incredible coral growth you can imagine: deep oranges, yellows, reds, and even greens. It looks like you are heading into a field of citrus fruit from a distance. Large sponge formations, coral fans, and soft coral growth spread throughout this pinnacle. The depth and the location in the center of the channel make it the ideal location for large schools of fish to converge and be seen all over. The combination of colours and the masses of fish make this an unreal scene to behold.
Once you have explored this incredible pinnacle, it is time to make your way to the opposite slope of the channel, where the gentle slope resumes and allows divers to gradually make their way up to a safety stop depth all. At the same time, the reef and abundance of fishlife never cease. Either ending your dive in a shallow corner of mangrove forest in the south or the shallow fringe reef of Yanggelo to the north, depending on where you started the dive. This site must be dived while in Raja Ampat and will be a talking point long after the experience.