Dear Readers,
This website provides information about traveling in Raja Ampat and West Papua as a whole. Tourism sector has collapsed due to the limitations of people's movements during this covid pandemic. A lot of guides have become unemployed.
Please, support me in continuing these works by sending your donation through Western Union to my address:
Leo Charles Roring
Jl. Brawijaya, samping SD Padma 1
Kompleks Missi, Manokwari 98311
Provinsi Papua Barat
Indonesia
After that, you could send the MTCN (Money Transfer Code Number) to my email: peace4wp@gmail.com or to my whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Thank you,


Charles Roring
rajaampat.club

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Things to do in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is a very popular destination in Indonesia for marine tourism. Most people think that snorkeling and scuba diving are the only things that visitors can do while traveling to these beautiful tropical islands. As a matter of fact there are a lot of things that can be done when visiting the regency. Here are some of them:
Tour by Motorized Boat
There are hundreds of tropical islands which tourists can see in Raja Ampat. To explore these islands, we need to hire a motorized boat. It can be a small speed boat or an outriggered dug-out boat made traditionally by local people of Raja Ampat. In the south of Waigeo island, there are a lot of islands that can be visited using the motorized boat. 
boat tour tropical islands and snorkeling
Exploring Raja Ampat by motorized boat

  • Swimming and Snorkeling - Landing at the beach of these remote islands, we can start exploring its shallow water by swimming and snorkeling. Don't forget to bring an underwater camera to take pictures of the fish and the coral reef. 
  • Birdwatching - While taking the motorized boat to explore the remote island, we can also do birdwatching. I usually bring binoculars, and spotting scope, in addition to snorkeling gear. Coastal bird such as Beach Kingfisher, Spice Imperial Pigeon, White-breasted Woodswallow, or White-bellied Sea Eagle can be watched both by binoculars or by spotting scope.

Birding tour in Kabui bay of Waigeo island to see spice imperial pigeon
Birwatching in Karst
  • Visiting Karsts and Hiking to the viewpoint - Karsts in Kabui bay, Gam island, and Piaynemo are beautiful. There are several viewpoints in the karsts which tourists can visit to see the beautiful scenery of Raja Ampat. Going further to the south, we can explore the beautiful tropical islands of Misool and Kofiau.
  • See unique tropical plants and Insects - Nepenthes, orchids, pandanus, coconut, and mangrove trees are some of many plants which tourists can see while exploring the big and small islands of this regency. I used to see beautiful butterflies such as the Idea Durvillei, and jewel beetle when exploring karst in Raja Ampat.
  • Fishing - Most of the coral reef area in Raja Ampat is protected. But there are waters in the islands that can be accessed by people who want to enjoy fishing. Fishing in deep water is ok. After getting some catches, visitors can grill the fish at the beach resort or homestay where they stay.
Hiking in the forest
There are several big islands in Raja Ampat such as Batanta, Salawati, Misool and Waigeo. The famous one that tourists like to explore is Waigeo. The rainforest of Waigeo is the natural habitat of a lot of birds, insects, reptiles, and mammals. Some interesting animals that we can include Red Bird of Paradise, Wilson's Bird of Paradise, Cuscus Possum, and soa-soa lizards. The birding tour in Waigeo can be done on foot or by car.

Tour to Villages
There are a lot of coastal villages in Raja Ampat. If we travel by motorized boats, we can do tours tomsee villages to see and meet people who live mostly as fishermen and farmers.

Doing Art
There are still other things that we can do while visiting and staying in Raja Ampat such as drawing and making sketches of nature, reef, birds, and insects that we see. I often do this. I bring a sketch book with me with colored pencils, and brush pen. Because I work as a tourist guide, I have got a lot of opportunities to see remote islands  and meet interesting peoples of this beautiful archipelago. 

Volunteering Works
I often meet foreigners who want to spend a period of their time in Raja Ampat as volunteers. They can participate in beach clean-up activity, coral reef preservation, or even participate in more cultural encounters with local people. Last month, I was in north-east Waigeo. I accompanied 2 volunteers from the Netherlands who stayed with local people for around 1 week. They brought beads and yarns in various colours. Every day, they make necklace, bracelets. 
There are still a lot of activities which can be done by tourists or volunteers while visiting Raja Ampat. Here is my email address: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180. 
by Charles Roring

Friday, October 18, 2019

Coral Reef in Raja Ampat Archipelago

From late September to early October, I had an opportunity to visit important islands in Raja Ampat regency from Misool, and Kepulauan Sembian to Kofiau islands and north-east coast of Waigeo.
In general coral reef of this archipelago is still in very good condition. Raja Ampat has not suffered from massive bleaching on its corals like what happened in Okinawa and Great Barrier Reef. The regency is very far from big industrial cities of Indonesia such as Jakarta, Surabaya or Makassar. So, coral reef is still healthy and the density of marine life is very high.
Coral Reef and Fish in Warduwer beach of Waigeo island
That's why a lot of scuba divers and snorkelers as well as freedivers continue to come to visit Raja Ampat. Coral reef with big fish can be seen in north-east region of Waigeo. It is the one that directly faces the open sea or the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately because of its remoteness, very few people go there.
The best months to explore the north-east reef of Waigeo island is from June to November. The sea is relatively calm.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Traveling to North East Coast of Waigeo Island

A visit to northeast region of Waigeo island
A Beach in North-east Coast of Waigeo island
There was a village in north eastern region of Waigeo island. I visited it 3 weeks ago. I accompanied Wally and Coby in our efforts to help local people build sanitation facilities at a black sand beach. There was a turtle conservation project at the beach. The villagers had built a small wooden house as their shelter while doing monitoring works on turtles that were landing and laying eggs. Unfortunately, the house did not have toilet and clean water facilities to support tourists who want to see turtles landing and laying eggs at the beach.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Kofiau Islands

I and my friends visited Kofiau islands early this week. We went there by speed boat from Misool islands. It was a nice adventure because we could get the opportunity to see a lot of tropical islands in the southern region of Raja Ampat.
Kofiau islands
In late September, strong wind from east and south covered the region. This generated big waves that were dangerous for small boats.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Traveling to Misool

I left Sorong city for southern region of Raja Ampat islands yesterday by a fast passenger boat. She passed through a lot of big and small islands.
Adventure in Misool islands
Misool islands in Raja Ampat regency
The marine landscape was very beautiful.  It took several hours to arrive in Yelu - a crowded fishing village.  Some friends of mine met me at the jetty. We walked around the village and arrived at a homestay where we took a rest there for a few hours. The owner provided tea and coffee for us. His name is Eja. I took the opportunity by taking pictures of the village from the second floor of the house. It was a fishing village whose houses stood above the water.
Yelu village
Towards evening time, we moved to Harapan Jaya by a small motorized boat and stayed there for 1 night. The homestay owner provided us with simple but delicious dinner - fried fish, sambal (a sauce whose ingridients were chilli, onion and tomatoes). We stayed at a bungalow that sat on the edge of a cliff facing the sea. In the morning, the weather was very nice. Birds such as Lesser Frigatebird, Brahminy Kite, Willie Wagtail and Pacific Swallow were flying around. Some Blyth's Hornbill were busy eating fruits in a tall tree.
Now I am waiting for another speed boat that will take me to Kofiau islands.
Interested in Traveling to Misool?
As a tourist guide, I could organize your trip to Misool islands of Raja Ampat. Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Also read:
Traveling to North-east Coast of Waigeo island
Kofiau islands
Raja Ampat Snorkeling Trip Preparation
Traveling to Raja Ampat

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Raja Ampat Snorkeling Trip Preparation

Warduwer beach of Raja Ampat Flow Resort
Snorkeling Site in Raja Ampat
If you plan to take a trip to Raja Ampat for snorkeling holiday, you need to make several preparations.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Reef Fish of Raja Ampat islands

Raja Ampat is a great destination for visitors who like marine life. Its coral reef is home to hundreds of beautiful fish such as anemonefish, moorish idol, striped surgeonfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, lionfish, and tasselled wobbegong. Sometimes bigger fish such as humphead wrasse and manta can be seen passing by the coral reef.
Global warming and marine polution has triggered massive coral bleaching in various coral reef sites in Great Barrier Reef and Okinawa. Fortunately, Raja Ampat reefs are still in very good condition. It is still the richest marine environment in the world.
Striped surgeonfish and convict surgeonfish
Striped and Convict Surgeonfish

When I guide tourists on a snorkeling tour in Raja Ampat, I always try to take pictures of the fish and other marine creatures that I see. Back at home when I am not busy, I create sketches of these sea animals. I mostly draw them using pencil on paper and added colors using my Derwent watercolour pencils. After that I redraw them digitally using a stylus on my Samsung Galaxy Tab A. I choose Autodesk sketchbook as drawing app. The artworks are later uploaded into my nature art shop in Redbubble. Anyone can see and order the artworks at this link: Reef Fish Art
Moorish idol
Moorish Idol

Snorkeling Vacation in Raja Ampat
I offer snorkeling tours for anyone who is interested in taking a vacation in Raja Ampat. The duration of the tour can be as short as 3 days to as long as 1 or 2 weeks. During the tour, we could enjoy snorkeling at Warduwer beach, Mioskon, Friwen, Kabui bay, and even Piaynemo islands.
Tour participants need to bring snorkeling mask, snorkel pipe, and swim fins (flippers). Underwater world of Raja Ampat is very beautiful so, I highly suggest that participants bring camera such as the Nikon W300, or GoPro. After snorkeling, we can try to identify the fish that we photograph. Snorkeling participants who are interested in art can also make drawings of the fish and color them using watercolours.
Clown Anemonefish
Anemonefish

Additional Activities
In addition to snorkeling, I can organize hiking tour to the forest for tour participants to watch paradise birds and other tropical birds of Raja Ampat such as Red Bird of Paradise, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Blyth's Hornbill, Yellow-faced Myna, Hooded Butcherbird, Eclectus Parrot and Palm Cockatoo, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, and etc. Tourists who want to enjoy snorkeling need to bring binoculars for the purpose.
Cost
I cannot give the price of the tour because it will depend on the number of participants and the duration of the tour. In general the cost is 5,000,000 rupiahs per person for 3 days/ 2 nights for accommodation, food, and transportation between Sorong airport and the guesthouse in Raja Ampat.
The cost does not include airfare,  charterred boat tour for snorkeling trips to remote islands in Raja Ampat.
Booking
If you are interested, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by sending text message to my cell phone: +6281332245180. Sending text by whatsapp to that number is also possible.
Also read: Snorkeling at Raflow Resort of Raja Ampat

Friday, August 16, 2019

Raja Ampat Snorkeling

Yenbuba strait between Kri and Mansuar islands
Snorkeling site in Yenbuba
I organize snorkeling tours in Raja Ampat especially for tourists who like to see marine life of the islands. Snorkeling is the activity of swimming with the aid of snorkel and snorkeling googles. A snorkel is a pipe that connects the mouth of the swimmer and the air. Wearing swimming googles or snorkeling mask, a snorkeler will be able to see reef fish, sea stars, colorful corals and other marine creatures. 
To prevent fogging on the glass surface of the mask during snorkeling, some drops of liquid soap are applied. When rinsing the mask, a snorkeler has to leave very thin layer of the soap on the surface of the mask. With clear mask, we can see everything underwater clearly. Snorkelers usually wear lifejackets, and fins.
Underwater camera is also needed especially for those who want to take pictures or make videos of the fish and coral reef that they see while snorkeling or freediving.  I use Nikon 130 and Fujifilm XQ2 with waterproof casing. In the past, I used Brica B Pro 5 Alpha Edition.
Striped surgeonfish
Coral reef in southern coast of Waigeo

Snorkeling Sites

Raja Ampat islands have got a lot of snorkeling sites. The ones that are closer to Waisai town and can easily be reached by town dwellers are located along the southern coast of Waigeo. A number of beach resorts are operating at this coast including D'Coral, Gurara, Scuba Republic, Putras and Raja Ampat Dive Resort. A new one is being built near Pantai Saleo. Its name is Raja Ampat Flow (RAFLOW) Resort.
In northeast of Waigeo, there are Mamiaef and Waim islands. They are also very nice snorkeling sites. Kri, Mansuar, and Gam have got a lot of coral reef sites too. Going further to the east, we can also find Batanta and Salawati islands. Arborek is frequently visited by snorkelers because it is a transit point to Piaynemo that also has got coral reef areas. Wayag in the west of Waigeo is the famous icon of Raja Ampat. It has got coral reef sites too. Snorkeling in the islands that face open sea can sometimes be dangerous. Make sure there is a motorized boat near you when you swim in the waters whose current is strong. 
Kofiau and Misool have got pristine coral reef too. Unfortunately, it is located in remote region. 

Combined Activities

Pristine coral reef of Raja Ampat
Coral reef in North-east region of Waigeo
Snorkeling is not the only activity which tourists can do while traveling to Raja Ampat. It can be combined with such activities as hiking, bird and wildlife watching. Trips to villages, river areas can also be organized.
Accommodation
There are tens of homestays and beach resorts which visitors can choose while traveling in Raja Ampat. The famous ones such as Papua Explorers Dive Resort, Kri Eco Resort, Misool Eco Resort, Raja Ampat Biodiversity Eco Resort have got their own websites which visitors can read before flying to Indonesia. There are also hotels and lodges inside Waisai town (the capital of Raja Ampat regency). However, most snorkeling visitors prefer to stay in beach resorts and coastal homestays so that they can easily have access to the beaches or house reefs.

Booking

If you are interested in traveling to Raja Ampat and want me to organize and guide you, please, contact me by e-mail to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Also read:



Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Bird Tour in Raja Ampat

Last week, I guided six Singaporean tourists on a bird tour in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. They stayed at Putras, a beach resort in southern region of Waigeo. We enjoyed birding in the forest of Saporkren, at Warduwer beach and along the road side in the southern and eastern regions of Waigeo.
In the forest of Saporkren, the main target birds were Wilson's Bird of Paradise, and Red Bird of Paradise. However, there were other birds which we also saw such as the Common Paradise Kingfisher, Papuan Pitta, Brown-headed Crow, Frilled Monarch, Blyth's Hornbill.
Singaporean tourists at Warduwer beach of Raja Ampat
Singaporean birdwatchers in Raja Ampat
It was quite difficult to watch birds under the canopy of the forest. So, at 10.00, we moved to Wardower beach to watch Hooded Butcherbird, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Pink-spotted Fruit Dove, Spangled Drongo, Willie Wagtail, Torresian Crow, Glossy-mantled Manucode. Because there were more open spaces at Wardower beach, birdwatching activity could be carried out with the use of spotting scopes. The Singaporean birdwatchers brought Kowa and Swarovski spotting scopes. They greatly enhanced our birding experience. We even visited the beach twice - in the morning and in the afternoon.
When we were at the beach, we saw some construction workers were working at the beach. They were building wooden bungalows. Soon, a beach resort would be open at this beach. 
Watching paradise bird in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Red Bird of Paradise
If you are interested in visiting Raja Ampat and want me to organize your tour and guide you, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Scuba Diving in Raja Ampat

I had a nice scuba diving experience in Mioskon island yesterday morning. I have guided 2 American visitors, Bruce and Paige Harvey to Raja Ampat for several days now. We went diving with some dive guides from Raja Ampat Dive Resort (RADR).. They were very helpful in explaining the dive plan, the reef and the current condition.
Scuba Diving in Raja Ampat

Coral reef in Mioskon
We went down into the reef at approximately 08.30. The visibility was very good. I did not feel any current at all. A lot of fish could be seen from small fuselier to big trevally, parrotfish, batfish, and leopard grouper. We really enjoyed the dive and I highly recommend it for any scuba divers who want to explore the coral reef of Raja Ampat.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Raja Ampat Birding

Red Birds of Paradise in Waigeo
Red Bird of Paradise
I have just returned from an early morning birding walk in the forest of Waigeo island. I guided two American tourists Paige and Bruce. We left Raja Ampat Dive Resort at 04.50 for a coast in the southern area of Waigeo by a small motorized boat. After that we continued our trip on foot to the lek of Red Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea rubra). It was still dark and we were walking under the trees of Raja Ampat's rainforest. We used some flashlights. A long the path, we saw millipede and toad. It took around 1 hour 30 minutes for us to reach our birding ground. The sun began to appear in the east providing more light for us.
Courtship dance of paradise bird
Male Red Bird of Paradise was performing courtship dance
We heard the sounds of thunders above us. Soon the rain started to fall. Because we were determined to watch the paradise birds, we decided to stay at the birding platform. After waiting for around 30 minutes we could see the male birds of paradise jumped to the dry branches and danced up and down the near vertical branches of a tree in front of us. Sometimes they only sat on the horizontal branches or flew to palm trees in the surrounding area.
The rain fell again for another 30 minutes and the birds stopped dancing. Because they did not leave their tree, we did not leave our benches either. Soon after the rain stopped, two female Red Bird of Paradise showed up. The male ones jumped to their "poles" and began performing their courtship dance again. The cloudy weather made it dificult for me to capture this important moment by camera. I was able to take some pictures of the paradise birds. Some were quite sharp but the rest were blurry.
Palm Cockatoo
After watching birds of paradise, we walked down the slope again to the beach. We saw Moluccan King Parrot, Beautiful Fruit Dove, Claret-breasted Fruit Dove, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Mimic Meliphaga, Hooded Butcherbird, and Blyth's Hornbill. We heard the sounds of Common Paradise Kingfisher but we did not see the birds.
When we set our foot again on the beach of Raja Ampat Dive Resort, we saw some leftovers of catappa fruits falling on to the ground in front of us. When we looked up, there was a Goliath Palm Cockatoo in the tree. He walked on the branch of the tree trying to find delicious fruits for his breakfast.
If you are interested in taking a birding tour in Raja Ampat, and Sorong regency of West Papua, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com
 -written by Charles Roring
Also read:
Birds in Raja Ampat
Birdwatching in Raja Ampat Karst

Friday, July 5, 2019

Raja Ampat is Snokelers' Paradise

Abundant Reef-fish in the waters of
Warduwer beach of Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat has got the highest marine biodiversity in the world. It is definitely a paradise for snorkelers. There are a lot of coral reef sites that are suitable for visitors who want to enjoy snorkeling. Some of them are described below:
Warduwer Beach - This beach is located in the southern region of Waigeo island. Its reef flat are is quite wide and suitable for anyone who wants to enjoy snorkeling for the first time. Here visitors can see various kinds of damselfish, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, yellow-tailed blue devil (Chrysiptera cynea). More experienced snorkelers can go to drop off reef of the beach. It is a nice place because the reef slope is a great site to see parrotfish, barracuda, batfish, trevally, tasselled wobbegong, scorpionfish, anemonefish and a lot more.
Yenbuba Strait - This the place where sea current is sometimes strong. Visitors need to make sure that they are accompanied by experienced snorkeling guide. A lot of species of big and small fish can be seen here.
There are still a lot of other snorkeling sites that I want to describe in this post but I will do it later when I update this post.
What to bring?
In general, snorkelers need to bring their own equipment such as mask, snorkel, fins, weights, snorkeling suit, camera, and sunblock lotion and medicines.


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Snorkeling Video from Raja Ampat

I had a wonderful tour in Raja Ampat early this month. I focused my activity in Warduwer beach. Here, I spent my time snorkeling over its very nice coral reef. White sand strecthed along the southern region of Waigeo island making it an ideal site for snorkeling and freediving. I brought two cameras, i.e. the waterproof Nikon AW 130 and Fujifilm XQ2 (which I put inside a waterproof case). I went snorkeling and freediving during high tide especially in drop off area of the beach. The drop off is around 50 meters (164 feet) from the beach.
As a matter of fact, the beach is very flat and shallow. So, it is safe for visitors who bring their children to Warduwer beach. They can learn how to swim st Warduwer beach.
Marine life in Warduwer beach
Snorkeling photo from Raja Ampat



When I was in the water, I saw hundreds of species of fish and other marine creatures. There were parrotfish, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, blenny, anemonefish, moorish idol, hawkfish, lemon damsel, wobbegong, scorpionfish, and a lot more.
To make videos, I dived to a depth of 2 to 7 meters and recorded anything that I saw. I did not scuba dive. I only used mask, snorkel and fins. It was a freediving. So, I could not stay longer in the water. I spent between one and one and a half minutes during each dive. Underwater swimming is a fun thing to do.
Map location of Raja Ampat islands
Location of Raja Ampat
What to bring
Raja Ampat was a nice place for anyone who wants to see beautiful fish and coral reef in its natural habitat - and not in aquarium. Visitors who want to go snorkeling at this beach need to bring:
  • Clothing that is suitable for tropical climate, and for swimming
  • Sun-block lotion, 
  • Snorkeling device such as mask, snorkel and fins
  • Underwater camera

How to get there?

It is easy to visit Raja Ampat.
  • First, you need to take international flight from your country to Jakarta - the capital of Indonesia.
  • Second, you need to continue your trip by taking a domestic flight provided by Garuda, Sriwijaya, or Batik Air to Sorong city.
  • When you arrive in Sorong, I could meet you at the airport and then organize your tour to Raja Ampat islands.
A beach resort is being built at the beach. Its name is Raja Ampat Flow (RAFLOW) Resort. Soon, there will be 15 bungalows for visitors to stay. 
As a tourist guide, I often organize tours to Raja Ampat for visitors who like snorkeling, sightseeing and birdwatching. If you are interested in visiting Raja Ampat to enjoy snorkeling and want me to be your guide, please, contact me by whatsapp to: +6281332245180 or by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Boat Trip to North of Raja Ampat

I visited Yenbekaki village of Raja Ampat last week. It was located in north-east region of Waigeo island. I went there with Rani and two villagers by a small wooden boat powered by two 15 HP outboard engines. We went there to see turtle conservation innitiatives at Warebar beach.
At Pasir Timbul (sandbar) of Raja Ampat
The weather was very nice. We made several stops along the way. First, at the Pasir Timbul (meaning: sandbar), Second: at Yenandau beach, Third: Warebar Beach, and Finally: Arrived at the beach of Yenbekaki. Although the weather was very hot, we really enjoyed the view, the fresh air and the crystal clear blue sea of Raja Ampat.
When we stopped at Yenandau beach, it was around 14.00. Rani took out cake for our lunch. There were also two packages of lunch wrapped in paper. The ingredients were rice, fried fish and some vegetables. Sitting at a big stone by the beach, we had our lunch. Yusuf, one of the villagers whom picked some green leaves which we used as our "plates." The sea was calm and the sun was brightly shining from above. It was a very beautiful beach. Minutes after lunch, we left the beach for Warebar beach.
Yenandau beach in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat
Children were playing at the beach when we arrived. They were happy to see us. When our boat landed on the beach, they welcomed us and helped us pushing the boat to the land. There was a small house at the beach which was used by villagers as a post for their Turtle Conservation Works. There are three rooms in it. There was a big table in front of the house facing the beach.
Children were helping us push the boat when we landed at Warebar beach
The sand was black. It was the location of turtle conservation works conducted by Yusup and his friends from Yenbekaki village. There were two plastic containers with with baby turtles in them. They planned to release them at night. We also checked the relocated nests. Eggs of the turtles were given labels about the species and time when their mothers landed on the beach to lay them. In the relocated nests, special net was installed to protect the eggs from predators such as soa-soa lizard, and dogs.
Relicated nests of Olive-ridley turtles and hawksbill turtles in Raja Ampat
Relocated and Protected Turtle Nests in Raja Ampat
We continued our boat trip to Yenbekaki village. The waves at the beach were quite big. We had to wait for the right moment to leave it. Still, one of us fell back into the bottom of the boat when a big wave hit us from the front. Everything back to normal again when we had reach deeper water. In around five minutes we landed at Yenbekaki village. Here, the sand had a cream whitish look. We brought our bags into Yusup's house and took a rest at the bench across from his house. Sweet hot coffee was brought to us. We drank the coffee and then decided to do a short walking tour around the village. The village was quite big. The houses were neatly arranged, some were decorated with flower plants or motif paintings. At the beach, we saw some people were building a wooden boat. They were happy to see us. Some children were playing at the beach.
We also had a long beach walk to see the beautiful scenery of Yenbekaki village. At night I and some villagers left the village for the Turtle Conservation Post by small motorized boat. At was only a short trip but we had to be very careful when entering the beach. The waves were big. We decided to enter it through Warebar river. The villager at the front of the boat used torch to find the entrance of the river.With the push from a big wave, we entered the river and slowly turned left to a big pool. We landed near the relocated nests. We still needed to walk for a few minutes to the post. I did not want to wait for long to see the release of the turtle. When everybody has arrived at the post, I asked them if it was ok to see them releasing the baby turtles. They said yes. 
Release of Baby Turtles at Warebar beach of Raja Ampat
Two big containers with baby turtles in them were released. Villagers released the turtles at night to prevent predators from attacking them. We still did night patrol to see whether there were mother turtles that landed on the beach to lay eggs but we did not see any. Back to the post, at the table in front of it, I enjoyed having good conversation with the villagers and a university student who was doing researches on turtles.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Birds at Raja Ampat Flow Resort

Yesterday I did some birding walk again at the surrounding area of Raja Ampat Flow (RAFLOW) Resort. The weather was nice towards the sunset time. Birds were flying in the air and hopping in the branches of trees. I saw one male Eclectus Parrot landing on the branch of a tree near me. It was close enough for my telephoto camera.
Eclectus Parrot
I made a few shots of him and then gave attention to Willie Wagtail that was sitting on a small twig of a shrub plant. He was quite far from me. Fortunately, y camera could still reach him. Warduwer beach where RAFLOW Resort was located is a great site for tourists who like birdwatching. During my several days of birdwalk around the beach, I was able to take pictures of Palm Cockatoo, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Mimic Honeyeater, Lesser-crested Tern, Red Bird of Paradise, Brahminy Kite, White-breasted Wood Swallow, Pinon Imperial Pigeon, Black Sunbird, Rufous-bellied Kookaburra, Spangled Drongo
I also saw Beach Kingfisher but was not able to shoot it by my camera. I used Canon 200D with Tamron 150-600 mm.
Palm Cockatoo

In addition to birding, I also enjoyed snorkeling at the beach. I saw a lot of species of fish and coral reef. There were wobbegong, butterflyfish, stonefish, Striped Surgeonfish, anemonefish, and other marine creatures like burrowing clam, christmas tree worm and crab.
Willie Wagtail
Raja Ampat Flow  (RAFLOW) is a nice beach resort for visitors who want to enjoy snorkeling, birding, sightseeing.
Mimic Honeyeater
If you are interested in traveling to Indonesia for visiting Raja Ampat, and want me to organize your tour, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Freediving in Warduwer Beach of Raja Ampat

I went freediving today at Warduwer beach of Waigeo island. My aim was to take pictures of fish, coral reef and other marine creatures that live in the coral reef. Unfortunately, the visibility was very poor because of heavy rain that fell in the previous day.

It was a recreational freediving, so I did not dive too deep. As usual I saw a lot of fish in the water. There was a very interesting fish that I saw today. It was sitting on a rock in the shallow water.

A beach resort is being built at the moment. Its name is Raja Ampat Flow (RAFLOW) Resort. The resort is a nice place for anyone who wants to enjoy their holiday in Raja Ampat. Birdwatching, swimming, snorkeling and sightseeing to karst islets can be organized at this beach.
Stonefish at Warduwer beach of Waigeo island
If you are interested in visiting Raja Ampat, you could stay at this RAFLOW Resort.  Please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or send whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Encounter with Wobbegong

Yesterday, I went snorkeling and freediving again at the beach of Raja Ampat Flow Resort (RAFLOW). This time I moved slowly along the reef flat and reef crest area trying to find interesting subjects for my photo collecting works. I found different colors of Christmas Tree Worm, burrowing clam and fish. When I swam closer to the reef crest area, I saw something peculiar. To make sure what it was, I swam toward it. And yes, I saw the unsual fish that a lot of divers, and snorkelers would like to see: the wobbegong. It was a carpet shark. It was a fish that is common in every water like surgeonfish or butterflyfish. This was something special. 
Wobbegong
Carefully and slowly, I approached the fish. I activated my camera - the Fujifilm XQ2 - and aimed it at the Wobbegong. I pressed the shutter buttons several times as I moved around it. I was only less than 1 meter. She seemed to enjoy being photographed at. I read in the internet that the fish is not considered as dangerous to human. When I considered that I had enough photos, I left the fish. There were a lot of fish around me especially at the drop off area. I had taken a lot of pictures of them in previous day. 
Wobbegong at the beach of Raja Ampat Flow Resort
I focused on sea star, and Christmas Tree Worm. When I moved to close to them, they quickly pulled their bodies into their nests again. So, I changed my strategy. I approached them slowly holding my left hand on the rock. I readjusted the shooting mode of my camera to Macro Mode. This time, I could placed my camera only a few centimeters away from the worm. I found three different sea stars too. 
Christmas Tree Worm
I organize snorkeling, sightseeing, and hiking tour for tourists who want to spend their holiday in Raja Ampat. If you are interested, you could contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Snorkeling at RAFLOW Resort of Raja Ampat

RAFLOW stands for Raja Ampat Flow. It is the name of a beach resort that us being built in Waigeo island of Raja Ampat. I went snorkeling at this beach yesterday.  I brought an underwater camera - Nikon W300 to take pictures of fish and other marine animals that I saw in the water.


Marine Life at the house reef of Raflow Resort
Marine Life at the beach of RAFLOW resot
The coral reef at the front waters of RAFLOW resort is in very good condition. There were a lot of fish including parrotfish, butterflyfish, rabbitfish, anemonefish, surgeonfish, damselfish, lionfish and even wobbegong. 
The visibility was also very nice. I tried several settings of the camera to see the ones that are suitable for snorkeling or freediving. The fish symbol or the underwater mode is not always the best setting. I swam slowly from the beach to the reef flat area. Most of the fish here was small. When I moved closer to buttress zone and drop off zones of the reef, I could see bigger fish.
Tropical Fish in the waters of RAFLOW Resort
There were around 3 species of anemonefish that I found. They were Pink Anemonefish, Spinecheek Anemonefish and Red and Black Anemonefish. To take pictures of them, I had to freedive and hold rock coral. While my left hand was holding the coral, my right hand was busy pressing the shutter buttons of the camera to capture beautiful marine life in front of me.
Pink Anemonefish
I spent around two and a half hours in the water in two snorkeling sessions. In the evening which is the sunset time, the surrounding atmosphere of the resort was very peaceful.
White Sandy Beach at RAFLOW Resort
Birds such as Willie Wagtail, Mimic Honeyeater, Torresian Crow, Hooded Butcherbird, Helmetted Friarbird, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo and several other birds were singing in trees or in the air. RAFLOW Resort is a nice place for visitors who want to enjoy holiday in Indonesia. They can swim and do snorkeling or freediving as much as they like. They can also watch birds which are also colorful and beautiful.
If you are interested in taking a holiday at Raja Ampat Flow Resort, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Monday, May 27, 2019

My Freediving Photos from Raja Ampat

I often guide tourist on a snorkeling tours to Raja Ampat. During the tours, I could take a lot of pictures and coral reef. To make high quality photos, I need to be on the same eye level with my subject. It means I have to freedive to deeper water.
Here are some photos that I made in Warduwer beach of Waigeo island in Raja Ampat
Freediving Picture from Raja Ampat

Freediving Picture from Raja Ampat archipelago
Raja Ampat Underwater
If you are looking for a guide for your snorkeling and birding tour in Raja Ampat, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Kingdom of Nemo

I frequently guide tourists on snorkeling trips to coral reef areas in Raja Ampat, Tambrauw, and Manokwari. The objective of the trips is to find and see various species of beautiful and colorful tropical fish. The fish that I and tourists like to see is anemonefish. There are several species of nemo.
red and black neno
Red and Black Anemonefish
In the waters of Yengkawe homestay and Raflow Beach Resort of Raja Ampat, I see Pink Anemonefish. In northern coast of Manokwari, the ones that I often see are Red and Black Anemonefish. Yesterday I went to the same beach to enjoy snorkeling again. When I walked into the waters, it was in low tide. As usual, I carried my digital camera Fujifilm XQ2. I had inserted it into its waterproof case.
Slowly I swam away from the beach. There were Striped-surgeonfish, Yellow-tailed Blue Devil Fish, Butterflyfish, Rabbitfish on the reef flat area. As I moved closer to deeper water, I saw more varieties.
red and black anemonefish
Kingdom of Nemo
There was a huge boomie that was located in deeper water. I went there. Because it was in low tide, the distance of the top of the boomie from sea surface was around 2.5 meters. So, it was easy for me to freedive. With the camera in my right hand, I decended to the boomie. I had visited it a few times. So, it was not a new thing for me. Its top was covered by anemone. I found a hard coral where I could grab to stabilize my body in the water. It was a cauliflower coral that was strong and would not easily brake. I pulled myself deeper to be in eye level position with the anemone. There were a lot of fish around me. I did not want to waste my time down here. So, I quickly aimed my camera at the fish and made a lot of shots. Most of the nemo fish were Red and Black Amemonefish. I called this boomie as Kingdom of Nemo.
yellow nemo fish
Spinecheek Anemonefish
When I was busy exploring the boomie, I found another different species of nemo playing on some anemone inside a crevice of lettuce coral colony. It looked like a Spine-cheek Anemonefish. Interestingly the fish was much smaller. The edges of its fins were yellow. Its body was dark yellow with three vertical white bars covering its front, middle and rear sides. The one that I saw in Mansinam island was significantly bigger with strong maroon color.
For one hour in the water, I saw a lot of species of marine creatures including the sexy Burrowing Clam, Crab, and Leopard Blenny. My snorkeling experience that day was very nice. The sea was calm and the visibility was good. I could upload new photos and stories to this blog.
If you are interested in taking a snorkeling tour in Raja Ampat, Tambrauw and Manokwari regencies of Indonesia, and want me to be your guide, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

leopard blenny fish
Leopard Blenny
Burrowing clam in reef rock
Burrowing Clam
Clownfish are attractive for visitors who are avid snorkelers. They are colorful, easy to be watched, and are not affected by the venom from the "hair" of the sea anemone. The symbiotic mutualism relationship is nice to be watched. Anemone provides protection to the nemo fish from predators. Its poisonous tentacles are safe nest for nemo. On the other side, movements of clownfish swimming through and wedging inside the anemone has improved the circulation of water as well as supply of air to the anemone. Clownfish cleans anemone by eating leftover meals from its tentacles, so, he is a carpet expert. Charles Roring/ 20 May 2019.