Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Long Beach of Maluku

Long beach (also called Ngurbloat beach) in the Ngilngof village is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Unfortunately it is relatively unknown among the holiday makers due to the lack of promotion. I have a friend who is from Ngilngof village. His name is Rudi Fofid. He works as a journalist and is now trying to promote this beautiful beach by sharing his photos in facebook. I try to help him by writing this short post on this blog. Whether you like sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, or fishing, this Ngurbloat beach of Kei Kecil island is a recommended destination for you.

Aerial view of Pasir Panjang Beach in Kei Kecil island of Maluku

If you are a birder, you can bring your binoculars and telephoto D-SLR camera to watch various species coastal birds such as kingfishers both in Kei Kecil and Kei Besar islands. Also, bring your own mask if you want to enjoy snorkeling over the pristine coral reef of Kei islands. Avoid walking on the corals. Coral reef is the tropical rainforest of the sea. It absorbs CO2 gases and release Oxygen during photosynthesis. So, it is important for all of us to protect this precious underwater environment.

It's not difficult to reach Kei Kecil island where the Long Beach or Ngurbloat beach is. Just fly from Jakarta to Ambon city - the capital of Maluku province. After that, you can continue your trip to Tual town by airplane or passenger ship. Then you can continue your trip to the Ngurbloat beach by public transportation or a rented car. Need a guide? Contact my friend Rudi Fofid by email: Rudi speaks English and can guide you on an adventure trip throughout the Mollucan islands.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Phinisi Liveboard for Diving Trips

Liveaboard is a common term in marine tourism where travelers stay in a boat for several days on a diving tour to several islands whose underwater world is still in pristine condition. The invention of  steel and welding eliminated the use of wood in the construction of big ships. Today the hulls of giant cruise ships, tankers and cargo vessels are completely made of steel. Only some part of decking and significant portion of the interior that still use wood. Naval architecture still use wood in big ships because of aesthetic reason. A lot of modern ships still have tables, beds and wardrobe that are made of wood.
The operation of liveaboards in coral reef areas such as the ones in Raja Ampat and Iris Strait of Kaimana regency must not harm the marine environment that thrive underwater. Boat operators must not release their anchors on the reef. 
liveaboard diving boats in Sorong waters for trips to Raja Ampat
FRP (Fiber Reinforced Plastics) and GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastics) as composite material for boatbuilding are mostly used in small to medium size boats. In tourism industry where speed and time is not an important issue, the use of wood in cruise boats is very high. Wood gives more classic look and beauty to cruise boats. Liveaboards, for example, are mostly built from wood. Liveboards are boat that are designed and built for tourists. In Indonesia, liveaboards are mostly used in diving tours. Scuba divers stay in the wooden boats for around 1 week during the dive tour that brings them to several remote islands whose coral reefs are still in pristine condition. The most famous type of wooden boats in the liveaboard tours is the phinisi boat. FRP is still used to improve the watertight property of deck, and hulls in wooden boats.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Traveling in Maluku

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Maluku, also called the spice archipelago, is nice tourist destination in Indonesia. Today the region consists of two provinces, i.e. the North Maluku with Sofifi as its capital and the (South) Maluku with Ambon as its capital. It is not difficult to reach Ambon. There are regular flights from Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar, and Manado to Ambon served by Lion Air, Sriwijaya, Batavia Air, Express Air, and Garuda. Maluku with hundreds of small islands are surrounded with pristine coral reef. Several passenger ships operated by PELNI lines make Ambon as their port of call. Some liveaboard operators in Sorong and Bali provide diving trips to Maluku. A famous destination is Kei regency whose Pantai Pasir Panjang beach at Ngilngof village is perhaps the finest beach in the world.
During the spice trade between 1500s and 1800s, many European explorers came to Maluku to buy clove, nutmeg, cajuput oil, and enjoy sailing through the crystal blue water to the coral islands whose underwater world is one of the finest marine ecosystems in the world. Scientists like George Everard Rumphius, Alfred Russel Wallace also visited Maluku to carry out research on the flora and fauna of the tropical islands.
children at sea with their boat

Leitimor peninsula in Moluccan islands
The view of Leitimor peninsula in Ambon island
In my recent trip to Maluku, I took a Perintis boat called Sabuk Nusantara 32, from Sorong city in West Papua to Harapan Jaya village in Misool islands of Raja Ampat. In the afternoon the passenger boat that was carrying around two hundred passengers arrived in Bula - the capital of East Seram regency. Then I continued my trip to Ambon by trans-Seram bus. We passed through the Manusela National Park which is a nice hiking, birding site. In general, the road condition, from Bula to Waipirit harbor, was good. Its an ideal route for cyclists and mountain bikers who want to see or explore the nature of Seram and the unique culture of the Moluccan by cycling.
Alex, an American who has been traveling for more than 1 year around Indonesia, and is now in West Papua, told me that he plans to ride from Bula to Ambon. Perhaps, he may do that in July or August 2012. Maluku between 1999 and 2004 was a dangerous destination. All countries issued travel warning to their citizens who wanted to travel in Indonesia. Now the situation in the region is safe. Contact my friend if you need a guided tour in Moluccan islands with a customized itinerary. by Charles Roring

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