Thursday, October 20, 2011

Camping in the Jungle of Manokwari

From 16 to 19 October 2011, I went hiking through the lowland rainforest of Manokwari with two Dutch tourists, Thomas (father) and Sandra (daughter). Our destination was the rainforest behind Inggramui village. Because I and the hunters had not constructed a permanent house for tourists, we had to stay in a camp built by hunters near Dopi river. This is a nice place for watching birds and observing flowers that grow along the banks of the river. There was a beautiful and fragrant flower plant that I saw. It was a vine called Faradaya Splendida. Terrestrial orchids from genus Spathoglottis also live there.
Two large blue plastic sheets cover the camp to protect our belongings from rain. To reach this camp, we had to walk for more than three hours. Usually the time needed is two hours but  Sandra liked to stop when she saw interesting insects, birds, or flowers. She would turn on her D-SLR camera - a Nikon D40 to shoot these beautiful subjects.
Recommended Place for Birders
The rainforest of Inggramui is home to various species of birds that are endemic to New Guinea - the largest tropical island in the world. It is a must see destination for tourists who are interested in bird watching. Visitors need to bring binoculars, spotting scope or super telephoto camera if they want to watch birds. During our walking tour inside this lowland forest, we saw cockatoos, a lot of hornbills, pigeons. Butterflies flew around us to find nectar in every wild flowers when we were walking through the woods. In the morning, not far from our camp, we could hear the sounds of young birds of paradise dancing on the branches of the trees.
After spending 3 nights in this tropical rainforest of West Papua, we considered this camp as our home. I made the above picture using Nikon Coolpix P500.
Protecting digital camera and other electronic devices
Heavy rain often falls on the rainforest. If you plan to travel to this wet environment, prepare some plastic sheets or plastic tote bag which you can use to cover your electronic equipments. I use plastic bags which are given for free by supermarkets when we buy some food. The lens of the camera can become foggy due to high humidity. Moisture that has collected on the surface of the camera can cause the photographs that you make to be blurred.
What you need to bring for traveling in the rainforest of Inggramui of Manokwari - Indonesia
There are a number of things that you need such as sleeping bag, and raincoat. Because this is a lowland rainforest, the temperature is quite warm around 27 to 29 degrees Celcius. You don't need warm clothing. A pair of trekking shoes or jungle boots is a must to help you walk along the pathway in the forest which sometimes muddy because of the rain.
Please, contact me via email: if you are interested in hiking and camping in the rainforest of West Papua by Charles Roring

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ships and Boats in Dorey bay of Manokwari

I still remember the first time I saw a cruise ship. I was at sixth grade of elementary school. Unfortunately I forget the name of the luxurious vessel. I don't know why there are no cruise ships coming to Manokwari harbor again. The number of ships and boats that visit the Dorey bay of Manokwari has been increasing rapidly since a few year ago. Its strategic location in the bird's head region of New Guinea island and its status as the capital of West Papua province make the city as the new economic hub in the region. Every week we can see PELNI passenger ships, container vessels and traditional phinisi sailing boats arrive and leave the bay. There are two islands in the front waters of the bay protecting the city from big waves. The basin inside the Dorey bay is always calm making it as ideal mooring and anchoring areas for big and small ships. Dorey bay of Manokwari is also an ideal transit point for sailing yachts that come from Europe or Australia in their trans-continental journey around the globe.
As a matter of fact Dorey or Dore has been in the world map since seventeen centuries when European explorers came to trade birds of paradise with beads and ceramic plates, metal articles such as spoons, and machetes. Today small growing towns along the north coast of New Guinea depend on Manokwari city for buying manufactured goods imported from Java or selling agricultural produce to tens of thousands of the city inhabitants.
Several months ago, four Czech tourists went to Numfor island by ferry boat. While waiting for the boat to leave for the tropical island, Dr. Jaroslav Bacovsky, one of the tourists, walked around the pier and the deck of the vessel to take some pictures of boats and ships that he could see mooring or anchoring inside the bay. The activity of food vendors and passengers attracted his attention.
Most of them showed their big smiles to him. He also made some nice photographs of the landscape of bay that are covered with coconut trees. It took around five hours from Manokwari to Numfor island. I and the Czech tourists visited Yemburwo, and Amberimasi. We spent five days there watching birds, insects and traditional dance and music show performed by local Papuan artists before returning to Manokwari by plane. by Charles Roring

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Wooden Sailing Boat near Lemon island of Manokwari

I live in Manokwari city that is located in the Dorey bay. Everyday various types of ships from wooden boat to cargo ships and passenger ships arrive in and depart from this bay. The availability of superzoom digital camera revolutionize my photographic experience. Ships and boats are some of my favorite subjects that I like to shoot using my Nikon Coolpix P500. Yesterday, I was traveling with 4 Polish tourists to Mansinam island and Lemon island in this Dorey bay. We enjoyed snorkeling and bird watching. For that excursion I saw a kasuari (in captivity), some tern bird, a beautiful pigeon (look at the photograph below) in Mansinam island, and tens of frigate birds flying over the sea.
After spending several hours walking around the island, we continued our trip to Lemon island by a motorized outrigger boat. The boat was made of wood and there was some sea water leaking into the hull while the boat was moving. But it was quite small. So, the outrigger boat brought us safely from Mansinam island to Lemon island. Landing on Lemon island, we walked to the house of Om Jordan - a Papuan who regularly picks up plastic bottles that land on the island to keep its beach clean. Unfortunately, this old man was not there. He was going to Jayapura. There was an old woman who is his sister. She received us in his wooden house. I asked a local Papuan young man to climb a coconut tree and pick 5 coconut fruits for me and the Polish tourists. We enjoyed coconut juice and its meat as our lunch that day. The high tide was coming. The white sandy beach of Lemon island was now covered with sea water. We saw wastes from Manokwari city were drifting on the surface of the sea. Many of them would land on Mansinam, Lemon and Raimuti islands. I hope that one day, city dwellers of Manokwari will stop throwing their wastes into the sea. Let's keep our beach, sea and coral reef clean.
The cost of these coconuts was fifteen thousand rupiahs. After we felt that our stomach had been full again, we decided to continue our tour around the island. We walked along the white sandy beach which was now covered with sea water. The water level reached our knees.
When we arrived at the south east point of the Lemon island, I saw a wooden boat anchoring between Lemon and Mansinam islands. Its LBP was around 25 meters. Its hull was not the same as a Norwegian catamaran sailing yacht mooring at a harbor near fish market in Sanggeng area of this city which I saw last August.
This wooden boat has one mast which is used for sailing. It looks like a traditional wooden boat called Phinisi - a type of sailing boat in Indonesia whose designed is similar to schooner. I think that it is a luxurious cruise boat or diving boat that is driven by a marine screw propeller. The combination of diesel engine and sail makes this boat as an efficient hybrid boat system that consumes less fuel.
The wooden boat might be used by tourists who want to enjoy shipwreck diving in this bay. Manokwari regency also has got several coastal areas that are covered by coral reef. They are nice snorkeling destinations. I took my digital camera out of my bag and turned on. I aimed it at the boat and pulled the zoom lever around the shutter release button. With its 36 x optical zoom lens, I could magnify the picture of the phinisi boat until it looked big enough on the LCD screen of the camera. I shot the boat several times. To increase their loading speed on the internet, I resized the photographs and reduced their pixel quality using Adobe photoshop software.
We finished our tour around Mansinam and Lemon islands at around 4 p.m. By another motorized outrigger boat whose hull was also leaking with sea water, we went back to Ketapang boat station.
Manokwari is a very nice tourist destination. If you are interested in visiting this city for snorkeling over pristine coral reef or hiking and birdwatching in Arfak mountains or even going together with fishermen to catch fish, you can contact me - Charles Roring - via my email: I will be happy to guide you around the regency and make sure that you will enjoy your trip in this tropical island.