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.