Monday, November 29, 2010

Oasis of the Seas Rooms

"Have you ever traveled by a cruise ship?" If never, I think you should try it someday. I personally like to travel by boat, ferry and passenger ship. If you haven't decided where to go this spring, why don't you try taking one week holiday traveling around the Caribbean islands by cruise ship the Oasis of the Seas or her sister the Allure of the Seas? Oasis of the Seas is the name of a luxurious cruise ship. It is even said to be the largest cruise ship in the world. Both of them are operated by Royal Caribbean International. 
The rooms of the ship have been installed with luxurious materials that are safe for sea travel. Usually the chosen materials for ship interior are fire resistant. The suite rooms may look similar to the ones which we see in 5 star hotels on land but the quality is higher, I think. For example the lamps of the ships will have thicker filaments to make them more durable to vibrations from the propelling engine and shocks created by sea waves. The cables or wire in the ship have been manufactured to meet the requirements of classification societies such as ABS or LR for marine application.  They have to be well insulated to protect them from wet and moisture environment of the sea.

Oasis of the Seas is not only a floating hotel but a floating town. With a capacity of over 6,000 passenger, the ship must provide various kinds of facilities that people will need normally while living on land. From eating places to movie theaters and from internet cafe to health clinic or hospital, this cruise ship must provide such facilities. If one day you are planning of traveling with your family or loved one, buying cruise tickets of this ship is a nice attempt. Whether you travel on land or at sea, you will definitely need travel bags. I recommend that you buy the following high quality bags. Click the image of the bags below to find more information about their price and to order them directly from Target store's website. They are suitable for individual or family travelers. Uniform color of the bags will help you in recognizing them when you are at a crowded carousel of an airport or at passenger terminal of a harbor waiting for a sea journey to the Caribbean islands.
This blog does not discuss anything related to Oasis of the Seas Cruise Deals and Reservations rather it gives explanation or reviews about the cruise ship from naval architecture point of view. If you land on this page after typing cruise deals and ticket pricing of the ship, I recommend you to visit the official website of the cruise ship which is There you'll find information that you need especially her itinerary, tickets and also cruise deals about her sister which is the Allure of the Seas.
Also read:
  • Oasis of the Seas 
  • Oasis of the Seas Interior
  • Oasis of the Seas CTR
  • Interior of passenger ship and cruise ship

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wooden house design of Losmen Amberimasi

The wooden house that you see below is located in Amberimasi village of Numfor island, the Republic of Indonesia. This small house has three bedrooms, with one kitchen at the back of the house. I stayed in this losmen (or you might call hostel) from 23 to 24 November 2010. I really like its surrounding area which is still covered with green vegetation. The house is supported by wood pillars to protect the whole construction from wet ground. Because it is just a stone throw away from the beach, the ground where the house is built will always be wet from the intrusion of sea water. I don't know who designed the house but the architect or the home designer of this losmen probably did not use sophisticated BIM software such as Archicad and Revit.
I think he designed this house manually by drawing some sketches of the floor plans and then drafting one of the best floor plans into a final blue print. The house builder in Numfor island did not use teak wood which are mostly used by contractors in Java. Here in Papua, the most famous wood or timber for home construction is merbau. House made of wood such as what you see in the photograph is quite cool during a hot sunny day. Wooden house is the most recommended home construction in tropical island of Papua whose climate is hot and whose land is regularly hit by strong earthquakes.
Although today's architects have used Archicad and home design solution in modeling their design ideas into a 3D model, architects living in a small island such as Numfor still manually use pencil and sketch pad to visualize the house which they have imagined into a 2D concept house on a piece of paper.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stop Throwing Plastic Wastes Into the Sea!

The sea occupies two thirds of our earth's surface. It is a home to tens of thousands of marine animals. It is also the source of food for millions of people. In recent months, I have been traveling by boats and ships to the islands in the Cendrawasih bay. Formerly this bay was called Geelvink baai during the Dutch colonial period. I go to the nearby Mansinam, Lemon, Raimuti and Kaki islands of Manokwari regency by outrigger canoes that are usually powered by Yamaha outboards. Sometimes, I go to Numfor island by ferry boat which is much bigger than the outrigger canoes.
One thing that really attracts my concerns is the marine pollution. As a nature lover, I am really sad when I see people throw garbage into the sea especially the plastic wastes. Plastic cannot be decomposed in a few days by marine bacteria. This material needs hundreds of years to be decomposed. Sometimes fish eat the wastes because they think that these plastic materials are their foods. I know that we cannot change people's behavior in one day. But continuous efforts in informing the people around us about the importance of keeping the sea clean must be done to fight marine pollution. When our sea has been badly polluted by industrial and domestic wastes, it will not be able to produce good food for us. Coral reef will die and the fish will go away.
A few days ago, I was traveling with two Dutch girls (Jettie and Monique) to Numfor island. We went there by Motor Vessel Kasuari Pasifik IV. It was a RoRo (Roll On/ Roll Off) boat that regularly visits the island from Manokwari city twice a week. When the boat was entering the harbor, a crew of the boat, pick up the bins full of plastic and organic rubbish and threw them into the sea. We were really shocked by that because we had been informing the children not to throw the plastic wrappings of their biscuits to the sea. Instead, they had to throw them into the bins.
The crews of the ferry boat really know that it is not allowed to throw plastic rubbish into the sea. But they keep on doing it. They violate the regulation of the state which has been printed and attached on the walls of the boat. Jettie told the crew of the boat not to throw the wastes into the sea but he did not care. He threw all of the wastes from the bins onto the sea. All of the wastes which the passengers had put into the bins were now scattered on the surface of the beautiful blue sea water near Numfor island of West Papua. What a stupid idea!
Also read:
Preserving the coral reef in Indonesia
What city dwellers can do to protect coral reef
Environmental impact of marine tourism

Ferry Boat Service Between Manokwari city and Numfor island

Ferry boat services that connect towns and islands in the Cendrawasih bay play very important role in the economic development of Papuan people living in the region. In recent months, I have been promoting Numfor as another tourist destination in West Papua. Numfor is a beautiful tropical island located in the bay which was called Geelvink baai during the Dutch colonial period. 
Motor Vessels
Ferry boat Kasuari Pasifik IV sails from Manokwari to Numfor twice a week. It also goes to Biak island and returns to Manokwari again. I expect the number of tourists visiting Numfor island to rise significantly in the next few months. Besides Kasuari Pasific, other boats that go to Numfor are Motor Vessel or MV Yap Wairon and MV Papua 5. Because they are not equipped with ramp door, they cannot be loaded with cars. For Kasuari Pasifik, because its type is a roro vessel, it can carry several cars or trucks in it. Its capacity is five hundred economic class passengers.
Economy Class
Most passengers buy economy class tickets (Rp. 30,000/person). It takes around 5 hours to reach Numfor island for Manokwari city. The General Arrangement of the motor vessels are not the same. For Yap Wairon, passengers can sleep on the beds in the compartments of two decks below the main deck. For Kasuari Pasifik, there is no bed available for economy class travelers. But it has a TATAMI Class where passengers can have sleep on the bunks located at the back room of the second deck. I personally do not recommend the Tatami Class for foreign tourists because of its high vibration which is not comfortable for people who want to sleep.
VIP Class
Every steel boat has VIP class on one of the compartments of its second deck. For KM Yap Wairon, the price of the ticket is Rp. 90,000/passenger and for KM Kasuari Pasifik IV, it is Rp. 40,000. The seats are similar to the seats which we usually see on board of a jet airplane. It is fully air conditioned.
Sun Deck
This is the best place for tourists who want to take pictures of the surrounding scenery. It is only available at KM Kasuari Pasifik. Sometimes, dolphins can be seen clearly migrating in the Cendrawasih bay from this deck. You need to request a permission from the crews of the boat if you want to be allowed to have access to the sun deck.
Concerns among tourists over the plastic wastes problem
When tourists go to Numfor island by Kasuari Pasifik, they often see passengers and crew of the boat throw plastic wastes into the sea. They have expressed their disappointment about this practice to the boat crew several times. They said that if people in Geelvink baai want to get more tourists coming to the region, they have to keep the sea clean. I think it takes time to raise awareness among the people in Papua to stop throwing their plastic and other harmful wastes into the sea.
Also read:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Green Frog

When I was hiking through a rainforest, I saw various kinds of animals. Some of them were frogs or toads. Frog usually come out from their hiding at night. Frogs are amphibious animals meaning that they live in the water and dry ground. When the frogs are still in the form of eggs, they are called spawn. It takes 2 weeks for these eggs to grow into tadpoles and hatch from their eggs. With their feathery gills, they can breath in the water. When they reach 12 weeks old, they become frogs. At this age, frogs breath with lungs. That is the time when they come out of water. Some species of frogs or toads are eaten by people in Asian countries especially Indonesia, and China. Frogs are delicous meat when they are fried. Below is the picture of green frog at the foot of the Table Mountain of Manokwari city.
The next picture is the green frog that I shot using my Sony Cybershot in the tropical rainforest near Senopi village of West Papua. When I saw this frog, I remembered the story of "the Princess and the Frog." Well, he looked handsome, I think. : )
Frogs are sensitive to climate change. Global warming caused by the increasing amount of CO2 gases influences the survivability of frogs. When the land becomes drier, frogs will be lack of water. Rapid deforestation of tropical rainforest really threatens the frog population. Therefore we need to preserve the rainforest to protect frogs and other animals for future generations of human being. by Charles Roring

Also read: 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Paradise bird

Birds of paradise in the rainforest of West Papua are being threatened from their habitat due to hunting, logging and conversion of the forest into monoculture plantation. From 41 known species of Birds of Paradise known to science, there are 37 of them that inhabit New Guinea island. The most famous species among the indigenous Papuan people in the bird's head or vogelkop region is the Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor). The indigenous people use its feather during traditional ceremonies and dances.

The lesser birds of paradise usually come out of their nests to perform courtship dance early in the mornings and in the afternoons before the sunsets. Several male birds gather in a tree whose branches have been cleared from small twigs to enable them compete from one to another in performing the best courtship dance. The surrounding dusk area of the forest that is not too bright meets the bright colors from the birds of paradise. This creates a contrast impression to those who were watching the birds. 
The above photograph shows how a male Lesser Birds of Paradise attracts the female birds (that were sitting above him) for mating. Klasow valley of Sorong regency is one of the most favorite site among birdwatchers who want to go hiking in the jungle and watching wild animals.
Paradise birds, besides being the best natural dancers in the avian world, are also effective seed dispersers. A lot of plants in the tropical rainforest of New Guinea rely on these birds to spread their seeds to far away places. Without the role of the paradise bird, the forest of Papua would not be able to expand effectively. So, the hunting of these birds should be stopped to ensure that paradise birds will survive and continue to carry out their duties in the next century.
Also read: 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Paradise bird from Vogelkop region of New Guinea

Birds of paradise are important species in New Guinea island particularly in the Vogelkop region. As seed disperser a paradise bird can travel several kilometers away with some seeds of a plant in its bill or beak, and stomach and drop them off at a place where the plant has not grown before. In other words, birds of paradise and other species of birds help preserve and expand the forest. Without the existence of paradise birds and other birds in the jungle of New Guinea island, the expansion of the tropical rainforest would be limited.
Personally, during my tour in Sorong regency and Tambrauw mountains, I saw and heard several species of birds of paradise. The first one was the magnificent birds of paradise (Cicinnurus magnificus). They can be watched in high elevation forest of Tambrauw mountains. The second species was the Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor). I saw them while doing a birdwatching tour in Klasow valley of Sorong and at the bank of Syuan river of Tambrauw.
When the first time I saw these magnificent birds of paradise, I was totally amazed by the behavior of the male birds. They had to perform courtship dance in order to attract the female birds. I believe that everybody who has seen these birds would recommend that this species be protected.
I am sad to see that paradise birds are facing extinction due to high hunting rate. They are being caught alive or dead. Hunters will sell them to buyers in big cities in very high prices. This very profitable business threatens all species of paradise birds and other tropical birds in Papua's tropical rainforest.
Alternative income creation for the villagers that we can generate in New Guinea includes the introduction of intensive but small scale vegetable and poultry farming, the controllable exploitation of non-wood products from the forest such as rottan for furniture, and herbs that can be processed into medicine and the promotion of ecotourism. The conversation of large area of tropical rainforest into monoculture plantations is not a wise solution. The negative environmental impact of such plantations is higher than the positive benefits which the villagers might get.
I hope that with these alternative small businesses more people will be able to improve their economic livelihood without having to destroy their surrounding nature.
Please, contact me by e-mail: if you plan to visit Sorong town of West Papua for trekking, camping, and watching wild animals in the jungle.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Coral reef fish in Mansinam island

I have written many articles about the importance of coral reef preservation around the world particularly in the Dorey bay of Manokwari. But I still feel that they are not enough. This time, I want to show you the beauty of the underwater world of the corals and the fish that I recorded during my snorkeling trip in Mansinam island last October. I went there with the Schepers who came to Manokwari city on a one month holiday tour from the Netherlands. I could not identify the name of the coral reef fish because I haven't got any books about the coral fish. Through this video, I want to ask all of you to stop throwing your garbage or plastic wastes irresponsibly. Let's save the coral reef and the marine environment by living more friendly with our surrounding nature.

Interested in taking a winter or summer vacation in the tropical island of Mansinam? It's easy. Book a flight to one of major cities in Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Makassar and Manado. Then, take a domestic flight to Manokwari city. The city stretches along the Dorey bay and in the middle of the bay you'll find three tropical islands, i.e. Mansinam, Lemon and Raimuti. You can go to Mansinam by water taxi. It's not expensive to go there, you only need pay three thousand rupiahs (around 30 cents US dollars) for the boat ride.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Coral reef in Manem islet

I went to Manem islet on 28 October 2010. I was with the Schepers (three Dutch tourists from the Netherlands). It took around one hour from Numfor island to Manem by boat. The coral reef that I saw when snorkeling was very beautiful. As I am not a marine biologist, I couldn't identify each coral reef fish species. Some dolphins were playing near me while I was taking pictures of the ornamental fish that live among the corals. When I was talking with the boat driver, I asked him, "Do people still catch fish using explosives?" He answered, "No, not anymore, people are now afraid of the police. Catching fish using bombs will destroy the coral reef."
I hope that people will not destroy the pristine coral reef in Manem islet through destructive fishing practices. The best time to snorkel in Manem islet is during the low tide. According to the local fisherman, the coral fish will gather in corals that are still below the sea surface. They will not move away. Coral reefs are their homes that provide food and protection from being the prey of big fish. 
From my reference book, The Coral Reef written by Pam Walker and Elaine Wood, I know that these "rocks" are actually animals. They play very important role in absorbing CO2 gases during the photosynthesis.
Manem islet and Numfor island are not famous among scuba divers not because there are no coral reefs but mainly because this region is lack of promotion. When I was traveling around the islands I could easily conclude that they are very potential destination for scuba divers. In addition, the tropical rainforest the covers the islands have high density of birds species. 
To make underwater pictures, you need to use camera that is protected by a water case. But you can also buy waterproof cameras that are now available on the market such as the Nikon Coolpix AW100 which powered by CMOS image sensor and is able to withstand water pressure of up to  10 meters. Another underwater camera that I recommend is Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3. Both cameras have built in GPS that are useful to record position information while shooting.
If you are interested in visiting the island, you can contact me, Charles Roring, via my e-mail: I would be happy to be your guide. If your budget is tight, I suggest that you bring bicycle so that you can save a lot of money while traveling around. Recommended beaches in the Numfor island that you should visit are Samido and Asaibori.
Also read:
Coral reef preservation and eco-tourism in Kaki island
Coral reef preservation in Dorey bay of Manokwari
Underwater photographs of coral reef in Mansinam island
Snorkeling trip to Manem islet