Friday, July 8, 2016

Snorkeling with American Tourists in Manokwari

Mansinam island in Manokwari
Yesterday, I went snorkeling with two American tourists in North Coast and Dore bay of Manokwari. Before leaving for snorkeling sites, I went to the beach to see whether the sea was calm or not. Unfortunately, the wind was very strong. I had some discussion with a water-taxi driver who said that it would be too dangerous to go to parts of the islands in the bay that were directly exposed to the wind.
North Coast
So, I decided to change the destination of our snorkeling site to the north coast of Manokwari. After that I went to Swissbel hotel to meet Sachi and Riaz and explained the situation. They could understand my explanation and agreed to go snorkeling in the northern area of Manokwari whose waters were calm. We went there by three ojeks (motorcycle taxis) to the suburb of Manokwari were we enjoyed snorkeling for approximately one hour. After that we had lunch at the restaurant of Mansinam Beach Hotel.
Coral Reef and Fish in Manokwari
Visiting Mansinam
This time, the sea was calm and I felt that we could enjoy snorkeling inside the bay, i.e. in Mansinam island. Since the boat station was near the hotel, we went there on foot. There were some water taxis waiting for passengers at the station. It took around 10 minutes to reach Mansinam. Before going snorkeling, we visited the museum of the island which describes the situation of the indigenous people of Papua before the arrival of the missionary, during the missionary works and several decades after that. An old Papuan man who guided us in the museum was very enthusiastic in explaining every picture and articles in the museum. Most of the writings were written in Indonesian language. I must translate them into English so that Riaz and Sachi would be able to understand them. We spent around 30 minutes in the museum and after that continued our trip to the beach.
We enjoyed snorkeling for around one and a half hours. We saw moorish idol, damselfish, butterfly fish, surgeon fish, pink anemonefish, orange-finned anemonefish, black urchin, sea star, boxfish, sweepers, pipefish, sea snake, and a big needlefish. The coral reef was very good in the island but more plastic wastes were found the area. Sachi and Riaz said that Manokwari was a beautiful town. We have to be proud of it and keep our environment clean.
In addition to snorkeling, we also went hiking in the first day of the tour to Table mountain. We entered the forest at 17.00 and began walking through the forest to the Japanese World War II memorial monument. After that we continued walking through the forest again until we reached the campus of Papua university. I did not see any birds in the forest because our goal was only walk. But I could hear the sound of a helmetted friarbird shouting in distant trees. During the walk we discussed about the Pacific war where the Imperial Japanese troops were fighting against the Dutch and the American in Manokwari. We reached the main road at around 18.30 and returned to Swissbel hotel by public transportation.
The next morning we still had a plan to enjoy snorkeling in remote place of the bay outside of the city but the weather was bad. It was raining most of the day. We could not go. Sachi asked for full body massage instead of going to the sea. On the fourth day of their stay in Manokwari, they left this town for Jayapura by airplane. |It was a nice experience of hiking and snorkeling with them.

If you are interested in taking a snorkeling and rainforest birdwatching tour in Manokwari, please, contact me by email to: