Thursday, July 14, 2011

Snorkeling in tropical island of Numfor near Amberimasi village

The tropical island of Numfor in the Republic of Indonesia has several nice places that are covered with pristine coral reef. One of them is the sea area of Amberimasi village. Snorkeling on a budget can be done here. When the weather is bright, tourists only need to walk around 300 meters to the beach where the coral reef thrive. Beautiful tropical fish live in the coral reef that covers the sea floor in the south of Numpuri islet. When the tide is high, local fishermen spread their nets. They will pull it out of the water when the tide is low catching fish for their daily consumption. 
I see that the islanders in Numfor island already know the importance of coral reef as home to the reef fish that live in it. From my conversations with them, I know that they only use kalawai (spear), hook and line, and net to catch the fish which they want to eat. The impact of this traditional fish catching method is little. Sometimes, I ask boys in Amberimasi village to bring tourists for snorkeling in the area by their wooden canoes. Small financial contribution for their service can help the boys understand the economic values of the coral reef that come from eco-tourism program that I am now promoting for the tropical island of Numfor. Because the coral reef is the source of food, the fish that tourists eat is usually caught from the sea area in Amberimasi village where the coral reef is located.
During my last visit to Amberimasi between 1 and 2 July 2011, I saw the reforestation of tidal area in Warido, Amberimasi and Baruki villages with mangrove forest was not as successful as the one that has been carried out in Kornasoren, Yemburwo and Syoribo villages in the northern coast of Numfor. I hope that villagers will be more serious in reforesting their tidal area to protect their villages from Tsunami that may occur anytime in the future.
The panoramic view of Amberimasi beach with its mirror effect is really fantastic. The water looks still nearly with no ripples at all. When I was traveling with two Dutch volunteers, Jettie and Monique in November 2010, I was able to take some pictures of the still water panorama. Here is one of them.
Numfor island is relatively accessible from Manokwari - the capital of West Papua province in the Republic of Indonesia. By ferry boat, it is around 5 hours and by airplane it is only 20 minutes. Traveling on a budget around Numfor island is possible to be done especially if it is carried out by bicycle. Don't forget to bring your own snorkeling gear and pocket camera that is equipped with waterproof case (check Amazon.com for flexible waterhousing for your camera manufactured by dicapac.com) if you want to explore the beauty of the coral reef in Numfor island by snorkeling and taking picture of it. 
If you are interested in visiting Numfor island and need me as a tourist guide for you, please, contact me at charlesroring@gmail.com.