Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cargo Ship and Phinisi Boat Just Outside Manokwari bay

Last month I shot a cargo ship and a phinisi wooden boat just outside Manokwari bay using my camera Nikon Coolpix P500. I was amazed to see that the traditional Phinisi boat which was considered slower than the steel ship could chase the modern cargo ship. At first, the phinisi boat was behind the cargo ship. It was not moving on the water with sails but wit propeller. In fact, both of them were using marine screw propellers.
The phinisi sailing boat was not a cargo boat. It was a diving boat. So, it was quite empty, I guess. On the other hand, the cargo ship, perhaps, was loaded with goods which made her movement slower due to more water resistant. In less than 5 minutes, the phinisi boat was able to chase the cargo ship.
Later, the phinisi boat was at the front of the cargo ship. This is an interesting scene for me because most of us consider a wooden sailing boat like Phinisi slower than the cargo ship. In reality, it is faster - if it is equipped with marine diesel engine that drives a screw propeller. Another factor which makes the boat faster is her smaller block coefficient. The smaller the block coefficient, the faster it will be when moving on the surface of the water. 
Wooden boats frequently experience water leakages in the stern tube area near the propeller. Traditional boat builder in Indonesia do not use lignum vitae as bearing materials. They have certain kind of wood that has properties similar to the lignum vitae. However, the wood has to be frequently replaced to prevent sea water from entering the hull through gaps between the propeller shaft and the stern tube bearings. 
Modern design sterntube bearing uses seals and oil around tail shaft inside metal bearings with higher pressure to prevent sea water from entering the sterntube. - by Charles Roring

Friday, September 23, 2011

Outrigger Boats in Manokwari and Numfor island

On my trip by ferry boat from Manokwari city to Numfor island last year, I  had some opportunities of taking pictures of outrigger boats usually used by fishermen to catch fish or to carry people and goods from one place to another. I guided 2 Dutch volunteers on a snorkeling and birding trip to Numfor at that time. Because we went to the tropical island by a ferry boat, we had plenty of time talking with people or just taking pictures of the sea and coastal areas both in Dorey bay of Manokwari and when the boat was approaching the ship harbor of Numfor island.

When the boat was approximately 5 kilometers outside of the bay, I saw some outrigger boats in the middle of the sea. I was holding a Sony D-SLR camera in my hands. I pointed it to one of the boats that was going in parallel direction with the ferry boat and shot the boat several times. The sizes of the photographs which the D-SLR camera created were very large and not suitable for this blog. I had to compress the pictures in Adobe Photoshop software before uploading them to this post.
The motorized outrigger boats were used by fishermen to catch fish from the fishing ground which they had made at certain places at sea. To make a fishing ground, fishermen tie long rope to a drum that has been filled with concrete cement as a weight and throw it into the sea. At the other end of the rope, they tie floats. Below these floats, from the surface of the water down to around thirty or even fifty meters, they tie coconut palm leaves around the rope. During the days and nights thousands of fish like to gather around the leaves. These typical man-made fishing grounds can be seen many islands in tropical region. In West Papua waters, we can easily recognize them if we see bamboo rafts with some coconut leaves on them floating at sea. Sea birds such as terns patrol around such rafts to catch fish.
Because most of the fishing grounds are located in the middle of the sea, the fishermen who go to those points need outrigger wooden boats that are powered by outboard engines. Fishermen who only catch fish near the beach or at the edge of coral reef do not need to have outboard engines installed in their outrigger boats. Outrigger boats are quite safe in rough seas as long as the bamboo rods and the wooden booms that were used to make the outrigger are fastened to each other and to the hull of the boat tightly with ropes. They will not easily be broken by big waves.
Numfor is a tropical island that is located between Manokwari and Biak. It is a nice destination for anybody who likes snorkeling, birdwatching or interacting with the indigenous Papuan people to see their unique culture in their daily life. Very little information has been mentioned about this island in travel guide books. But it is really a nice tropical island.
As a tourist guide, I have guided tourists to this island many times. Some of them go by ferry boat whereas others by Susi Air airplanes. I personally like to go there by ferry boat first (because there is a chance of us watching dolphins and seeing fish market at the harbor) and then return to Manokwari city again by airplane. One thing that I like about Numfor is that it is a very beautiful tropical island in Indonesia and the cost of traveling around this island is quite affordable for most tourists. If you are interested in visiting Numfor and need me as your guide, please contact me via e-mail:
Also read:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Photograph of a Phinisi Sailing Boat just outside Manokwari bay

The photograph of this phinisi wooden boat was taken just outside Manokwari bay. I used a telephoto digital camera - Nikon Coolpix P500 to shoot it. The boat has two wooden posts which were traditionally constructed for sails. In Indonesia, the wooden boat is called phinisi - a typical small schooner made by seafaring people in South Sulawesi. In my opinion, the two wooden masts are still preserved not only to provide additional supply of driving power from the wind but also for aesthetic reasons. This phinisi wooden boat will look more beautiful with 2 sailing masts than without them.  So, the boat was moving on the water powered by a marine diesel engine. There were no sails installed on the posts at the time of shooting. When I enlarged the picture in the screen of my camera, I saw a red flag with diagonal white stripe in the middle of it. I knew that it was a diving boat. The boat had visited Manokwari bay, perhaps, for bringing tourists who wanted to do some shipwreck diving in the bay. It is interesting to see that the boat which in the past was used for transporting goods and people from one island to another is now used in marine hospitality industry.
The weather was getting darker when I shot it. It was 5.43 p.m. when I aimed my camera at the boat that was sailing around 350 meters from me. I didn't have a tripod to stablize my camera. So, I just leaned on the trunk of a coconut tree to minimize my body and hand movements. I should have used a tripod but I didn't have it. The Nikon Coolpix P500 with 36 x optical zoom feature was able to enlarge the subject big enough for shooting. Although this camera was not an SLR camera, the quality of the pictures that I made was very good especially when the light was sufficient for shooting. As a matter of fact, I am not a photographer by profession. But I always bring my camera where ever I go to make interesting pictures that I need for my blog.
I was standing under a resting hut at Tempat Pemanggilan Ikan meaning literally Fish Calling Place of Bakaro beach when I shot the boat. Here, tourists can see how the local Papuan people call fish from the sea by blowing a whistle and feeding the fish with termites. Manokwari has been a destination for divers who are interested in doing shipwreck diving and snorkeling. by Charles Roring
Also read: Underwater photographs of coral reef