Thursday, May 24, 2018

Snorkeling Site in North Coast of Manokwari

Charles Roring was snorkeling in coral reef of Manokwari
Charles Roring was Snorkeling in Manokwari
I went snorkeling to the north coast of Manokwari this afternoon. I went there with a friend of mine to see the coral reef at the beach that faces the Pacific Ocean. I takes approximately 30 minutes ride to the beach and around 15 minutes swim to the coral reef area. It was my first experience to swim in the water. The floor of the sea from the beach to the reef was quite flat.
However, the coral reef was located unusually far from the land. Tourists who want to enjoy snorkeling need extra energy and courage for swimming to the site.
I brought me an action camera Brica Pro5 alpha edition that could take underwater photographs of fish and reef. It was a nice experience because I could see the marine environment in an open sea.
Snorkeling tour with Charles Roring
Coral Reef in North Coast of Manokwari
The visibility was not so good because of the waves. From several dives that I did to depths of 1.5 to 2.5 meters, I could tell that the coral reef was quite healthy. There were more fish in the sea grass area at depths of 1.5 to 2 meters during low tide. Seagrass was a safe home for various species of fish. Big predators will not try to chase small fish. They could easily escape through the grass.
I plan to do another exploratory snorkeling trip to this beach to find other coral reef sites that are more suitable for snorkelers.
As a matter of fact, Manokwari has got a number of beaches and coral reef areas that are good for snorkeling and freediving.
If you are interested in visiting Manokwari to enjoy snorkeling, and want me to be your guide, please, contact me (Charles Roring) by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Preparation before Snorkeling

Snorkeling gear
Mask, snorkel and underwater camera
Snorkeling is a very good recreational sport. However, it can be dangerous if the person who wants to enjoy it does not have enough experience or does not make adequate preparations. A snorkeling trip that is well prepared will guarantee maximum safety for tourists who take the tour.
Local guide and marine tour operator who organise the marine tour have to make sure that the gears required for the trip are all in good working order. For instance, the valve in the snorkel will let the air to flow but blocks the water from entering the mouthpiece.  The silicone skirt of the mask is still elastic to ensure that it will function properly as a watertight seal while somebody wears the mask in the water. The lens of the mask has to be made of shock resistant glass. Plastic lenses have to be avoided.
Snorkeling tour with Charles Roring in West Papua
Coral reef life in the waters of Manokwari
Beginning snorkelers have to wear lifejacket if they want to swim in drop off area. The jacket will give them positive buoyancy. When water enters the snorkel or mask, inexperienced snorkelers will get panicked and usually swim to shallow area. They may stand on the coral once they reach the shallow ground and prevent them from standing on the coral. Experienced snorkelers and freedivers do not want to wear them because they will limit their freedom of movement in the water. Lifejacket can be stored in the boat and can be thrown to the snorkeler in emergency situation.
Snorkeling tour in West Papua of Indonesia with Charles Roring
Coral reef in Manokwari waters
Emergency kit is a must. It contains water, food (usually biscuit), first aid kit, tissues, flash light, matches. Every snorkeling guide or boat driver needs to bring it particularly when conducting tour to remote island.
Boat driver has to check the engine and hull of the boat to ensure maximum safety when they run to remote islands. Fuel is more than enough for the trip. Boat owner must not smoke cigarettes when he sits near the gas tank manually driving the boat. To minimize accidents at the beach or at sea, all tour operators, guides and tourists must follow safety regulations and do better preparatory works before every trip.
Marine tourism are very popular in countries that have got coral reef such as Florida Keys in the US, the Carribean islands, Egypt, Malaysia, Thailand, Okinawa of Japan, Guam, Indonesia, the Philipines, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and a lot of small countries in the Pacific. These countries generate billions of us dollars of income that are very important to provide jobs and support the economy of the respective countries.  A snorkeling tour that is successful will increase trust and satisfaction among customers. It will also ensure sustainable operation of marine tour business in the long run. written by Charles Roring

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How to take pictures while snorkeling or freediving

Snorkeling photography trip with Charles Roring in Manokwari, Tambrauw and Raja Ampat
Underwater Picture of Coral Reef in Raja Ampat
Coral reef is a fascinating environment. It is the place where people can see various species of fish and colorful corals. There are blue sea star, black urchin and green sea grass. There are also yellow colored sweetlips, red and white clown fish. Everyone who enjoys snorkeling will definitely want to take pictures of the wonderful marine environment that they see underwater. Underwater photography is now growing very fast with the introduction of a lot of photographic devices that have got better technology and more affordable prices.
I personally have taken a lot of pictures of fish and coral reef. I use several types of cameras such as the ordinary Sony Cybershot pocket camera that I put inside Dicapac waterproof case, Canon G1X, Nikon AW120 and the latest one - the Brica B-Pro5 Alpha Plus.  The camera that I like the most was the Nikon Coolpix AW120. Unfortunately the camera has broken. Now I use the action camera - the Brica B-Pro5 Alpha Plus.
Snorkeling and freediving photography with Charles Roring in Manokwari, Tambrauw and Raja Ampat
Underwater Picture
When taking pictures of fish or coral reef, the position of the snorkelers is mostly on the surface of the water. The result does not look well because of the lack of the blue water background. Snorkelers or freedivers need to descend to lower position or to an eye level with the fish or the coral reef that they want to take pictures of.
In addition to the eye level position, underwater photographers need to make sure that they are in stable position. This is often difficult because of current or waves. I often release some oxygen from my lung to enable me to go deeper. I also hold a big rock while shooting the fish. In deeper water, the use of flash will increase the quality of photographs.
Sometimes for the purpose of ecotourism promotion, resort owners want to get pictures that combine underwater view of the coral reef and the beach view of the dive resorts. A fisheye dome port will be needed. Using that device, photographers can capture images of both above and below the water environment. Written by Charles Roring
Related articles:
Snorkeling Raja Ampat
Snorkeling along the shore of Arfak mountains
Clownfish in Manokwari waters

Monday, May 21, 2018

Why I like swimming, snorkeling and freediving

Snorkeling and freediving tour in West Papua by Charles Roring
Coral Reef Environment in Manokwari
I was born and grew up in Manokwari. It was a small coastal town in West Papua. When I was a kid, there were no theme parks or malls. After school, children played at football field, school yard and sometimes at the beach. Swimming was a fun and very interesting activity. I started to give special interest in coral reef since I was in elementary school.
My understanding about coral reef was getting better after reading books that were related to marine environment. Running snorkeling tours for tourists is a job that I really enjoy. In addition, I can help local people generate alternative income from their natural resources sustainably. When villagers get income from nature tourism, they will protect their marine environment.
Anemone fish in the coral reef of Sausapor
Anemone Fish in the Waters of Tambrauw regency
Places that have got coral reef include Numfor island, Raja Ampat, Tambrauw regency and Dore bay of Manokwari. These places are located within the coral triangle region.
To take snorkeling and freediving tours, visitors need to bring snorkeling device such as mask, snorkel and fins. They also need underwater camera to take pictures of tropical fish and other marine creatures that live in the coral reef.
Coral reef is a fragile environment. For beginning snorkelers, they need to wear lifejacket or snorkeling jacket so that they can maintain positive buoyancy on the surface of the water. If they feel tired and want to stand in the water, they could find flat bottom that only consists of sand. Wearing a lifejacket is very important to prevent a snorkeler from stepping on coral reef.  Experienced snorkelers and freedivers prefer drop off enjoy freedom of swimming in deeper water. Big fish such as giant trevally, grouper, parrotfish, black tipped shark, barracuda can easily be found drop off area. Sometimes turtles can be seen in the coral reef. There are several species of them such as hawksbill, olive ridley, green and leatherback.
Coral reef thrive well in healthy marine environment. Plastic and harmful liquids must not pollute it. Sea cucumbers that live at the sea floor have to be protected too. They are the ones that filter sea water.
Coral reef can give significant economical contribution to local community if they are able to preserve it. written by Charles Roring
Also read: 7 Snorkeling Spots in Raja Ampat

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Cameras for Adventure Travelers

Naturetourism with Charles Roring
My cameras for traveling
When I guide tourists on adventure trips in West Papua, I always bring at least one camera. The type of the photographic device that I choose depends on the destination that I plan to go to. For instance, if I want to guide birding visitors in Klabolo forest, I will bring my Fujifilm Finepix HS 50 EXR. I will use it to take pictures of birds of paradise and other tropical birds in the forest. I am very satisfied with this camera. It was small enough to carry but it has got super zoom lens that is equivalent to 1,000 mm lens that is usually used in D-SLR cameras. In the past I used Nikon P500 and Nikon P600. The quality of pictures that Fujifilm HS50EXR creates is better than them. Unfortunately, Fujifilm does not manufacture that camera anymore.
Lesser Birds of Paradise picture created using Fujifilm HS50EXR
Lesser Birds of Paradise (Paradisaea minor)
If I plan to go to the beach for snorkeling over coral reef in Raja Ampat, Tambrauw regency or Manokwari, I will bring my action camera Brica B-Pro5 Alpha Edition. In the past I brought Nikon Coolpix AW 120. Now the camera has broken. I used to take pictures of coral reef using ordinary Sony cybershot pocket camera that I put inside a dicapac waterproof case. I have just replaced them with the B-Pro5.
Nature tourism with Charles Roring in Manokwari
Manokwari underwater
As a matter of fact, the pictures that Nikon produces are much better than the Brica B-Pro5. However, the action camera is equipped with a waterproof housing that makes B-Pro5 more resistant to water pressure. In the long run, I will use the action camera more frequently until I can save enough money to buy a better camera that performs well underwater.
The pictures that I make during my adventure trips in the forest and at sea are important materials for my writing works. I always write trip reports or posts in my blogs and website. I add pictures in the articles to make them look more attractive to readers.
If you are interested in taking a snorkeling trip or birding tour in West Papua with me and want me as your guide, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or whatsapp: +6281332245180.

Also read:
Photograph of Phinisi boat
Underwater Photographs of Coral Reef in Mansinam

Threats to Coral Reef in Manokwari waters

Nature tourism in Manokwari
Manokwari city
As a tourist guide, I often organize snorkeling tours to coral reef areas around Manolwari city. I have run marine tours since 2010. So, I could see how the marine environments declines as the city is growing rapidly.
When the small town Manokwari was chosen by central government to become the capital of the newly formed Papua Barat Province, its population is growing rapidly. Government and businesses started to build office buildings and shops in every part of the town. As the result of the rapid growth of population and development, Manokwari city produces more trash and liquids that are harmful to the environment.
Marine snorkeling tour in Manokwari
Coral Reef in Manokwari regency
From my personal observation, coral reef areas in the bay of Manokwari have declined to a worrying level. A lot of trash such as plastic bags, baby diaper,  empty bottles of mineral water and cooking oil, as well as cans of softdrinks cover the coral reef areas in Lemon, Mansinam, Pasir Putih as well as Raimuti.
Coral reefs outside the bay of Manokwari also face similar threat. The trash follows the sea current and then land on the remote beaches of the regency.
This phenomenon has to be stopped. City dwellers in Manokwari as well as other areas around the world have to stop using plastics. Regular beach clean up has to be carried out too. With more trashes are added to the streets and drainage channels and with the lack of trash management system in the city, I am afraid that we will lose our coral reef in the near future. written by Charles Roring
Also read:
Coral reef preservation in Dore bay
Snorkeling in the coral reef off the shore of Arfak mountains

Clown Fish in Manokwari Waters

Snorkeling tour in Indonesia
Clownfish and anemone in Manokwari waters
I went snorkeling and freediving to the coral reef area of Manokwari two days ago. It was located in the northeast coast of the regency. The length of the beach was approximately 100 meters with sharp coral covers most of its shallow waters. There was a narrow but very good access for swimmers and snorkelers to enter deeper water of the beach. The marine life at the drop off area of the coral reef was quite good.
I brought my Brica B-Pro5 Alpha Edition that I had just bought from Lazada. I attached it on the tip of a selfie stick and carried it with me as I walked into the water. Actually, the water was not so clear when I began swimming. The visibility was only around 5 meters. So, I swam further away from the beach following the drop off contour of the reef. There were some separate coral reefs located in deeper water. So, I decided to cross to them. As I reached these reefs, their tops were not really deep, only between 1 to 3 meters below the surface of the water. I turned on my action camera and started to make pictures.
Snorkeling and freediving trip report by Charles Roring
White Sandy beach near Manokwari city
I decended to the bottom of the sea several times to depths of around 5 to 7 meters to find good spots where fish gather. I found a spot where there were clown fish and other reef fish. Because of the current, I had to go up to the surface to take another deep breath before going down again to take some pictures and videos.
This clownfish and anemone colony was quite far from the beach. That's why it was free from any disturbances caused by human activities.
As a tourist guide, I have organized several snorkeling tours to the beach for visitors who want to see the marine life of Manokwari. Fish such as striped surgeonfish, convict surgeonfish, damselfish and moorish idol could be seen in these waters.
If you plan to visit Manokwari and need me as your snorkeling guide, please, contact me by email to: peace4wp@gmail.com or by whatsapp to: +6281332245180.
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Snorkeling in Manokwari bay
Snorkeling in Manokwari
Snorkeling in Mansinam island